Below is a list of topics we hope will help you plan your trip. Each point is relevant to your time with us at Kyaninga, as well as any further travels you're planning in Uganda. If you have any other queries at all, please get in touch.
Wednesday 5th December: Arrive at Entebbe Airport, transfer to Kyaninga Lodge.
Thursday 6th Dec: Relax, enjoy all the facilities at the lodge and meet each other. In the evening it's cocktail night!
Friday 7th Dec: Take a matatu into town and explore African markets, or test your legs and cycle through local villages with our group cycles or guided routes.
Saturday 8th Dec: Ride the Rift Sportive! Evening party back at Kyaninga Lodge.
Sunday 9th Dec: In the afternoon some of the kids and families from the KCDC will come to the lodge for fun and games!
Monday 10th Dec: Safari day.
Tuesday 11th Dec: Transfers to the airport.
Throughout your trip there will be organised group cycles, shuttles into the local town of Fort Portal for markets, souvenir shopping and looking around, and other organised activities for you to join in with (no additional costs).
Family Bookings: Families are very welcome! Please contact us with your requirements and we can create you a family package.
Group Bookings: If you'd like to join us as a group of five or more we can offer a group discount, please contact us.
Transfers: Transfers will be waiting for you at Entebbe Airport on the morning of Wednesday 5th December. Kyaninga Lodge is located in western Uganda and the journey from Entebbe takes between 5 and 7 hours. We do not recommend completing this journey in the dark therefore transfers will be leaving Entebbe between 9am and Midday. Many travellers choose to arrive in Entebbe the day before and stay in a hotel for the night before joining us at the airport in the morning for the transfer.
Return transfers will leave Kyaninga and go directly to Entebbe Airport on Tuesday 11th December. Departure time will be at 6am. We recommend booking your return flight no earlier than 3pm.
If you would prefer to book a private hire taxi for a more comfortable and faster journey we can arrange this for you.
Flights: We recommend using a service such as skyscanner.net - a comparison site that searches lots of airlines for you. We find this is good way of not only getting the best price, but the best combination of flights to minimise time in transit. Tip: If flying from the UK, there are no direct flights to Uganda, for this reason it can be just as easy to fly from your local airport, eg Bristol, rather than travelling to London if you don't live there.
Weather & Climate: Uganda is on the equator and has a tropical climate with dry seasons (hot and dry) and wet seasons (sunshine / rain / sunshine / rain / you get the idea). Kyaninga is located approx. 1600m above sea level. This means temperatures are hot but not unbearably so. Your trip will be at the very end of the rainy season / very beginning of the dry season. We choose this time as rainfall reduces significantly (so the course won't be slippy) and temperatures have not reached the highs they do in the dry season. It's the perfect time to visit Uganda.
Don't forget suncream. It is difficult to buy suncream in Uganda so please make sure you bring a supply with you. A high factor is recommended.
Be sure to bring waterproofs as well as warm clothing for the evenings when it can get cool.
For course specific weather and climate information see this page.
Extend Your Trip: There are SO many incredible things to see and do in Uganda. From trekking to see Mountain Gorillas to white-water rafting. You can organise these trips with tour providers or you can ask us and we'll make some suggestions and get prices for you from a trusted tour company we use based in Fort Portal.
Visiting the Local Town: During your stay we have organised matatu shuttles into the local town of Fort Portal. Here you can explore the town, buy souvenirs and withdraw money.
VISA: A Ugandan visa costs $50, this can be applied and paid for online using this link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/ If you're travelling to other parts of East Africa before / after your trip with us, you can purchase an East African Visa which will save you some money and time.
Vaccinations: You will need to show your Yellow Fever certificate on arrival at the airport in Uganda. Seek guidance from a healthcare professional for other vaccination advice.
Malaria Prevention: Mosquitoes in Uganda can carry malaria. Seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding the best malaria prophylaxis for you.
Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you get good travel insurance for your trip.
Getting Around: Uganda has many good quality private hire taxis available, these are the safest way to travel. Short trips can also be made on a boda boda (motorbike taxi). Boda bodas are very cheap but can be dangerous and helmets are rare (see 'Road Safety' below). For long journeys, as well as a private hire you can use a matatu (minibus) or a coach.
Drinking Water: You cannot drink tap water, bottled water is easy to find throughout Uganda.
Open Water Swimming: Generally it is not advised to swim in lakes in Uganda, these often carry Biharzia (a parasite). Kyaninga Lake has been tested for bilharzia and is safe to swim in.
Dietary Information: During your stay at Kyaninga you will enjoy a mix of African and European food. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements. Elsewhere in Uganda it is relatively easy to find vegetarian and vegan meals.
Medical Information: Please inform us of any pre-existing medical conditions. Uganda has western standard hospitals and doctors in the capital, Kampala.
The People: Uganda is renowned as being the friendliest country in East Africa and with good reason. You'll notice this particularly when cycling through the local villages - people will smile, wave, laugh and shout "how are you?!" a lot.
Crime & Personal Safety: In our experience, Uganda is a very safe country to visit even for a single female traveller. Although we have never personally experienced any crime, we have been told that pickpocketing is common in the capital, Kampala. Uganda doesn't have street-lighting and for this reason we would advise against staying out after dark. Uganda is considered a politically stable African country.
Road Safety: The number one safety concern throughout Africa is the road traffic. Especially around Entebbe and Kampala roads can be busy and traffic moves quickly. We would advise against travelling at night, there are no street-lights and visibility for drivers is poor. If travelling by boda boda (motorbike taxi) in Kampala, use an orange 'Safe Boda', these drivers provide helmets and have training.
Wifi / SIM cards: Wifi is available at the main Lodge. We recommend getting a SIM card for your stay, these can be bought in town and data is inexpensive. You'll need your phone to be unlocked and you'll need your passport with you to buy the SIM.
Clothing: Fort Portal is a very liberal part of Uganda, dress however you feel comfortable. In other parts of Uganda women are encouraged to cover down to the knee unless playing sport. Don't forgot to bring waterproofs and warm clothing for the evening.
Cash: The main currency in Uganda is UGX - Ugandan Shillings. Shillings are accepted everywhere and you can get them easily at ATMs in Uganda (including at the airport). Large hotels, long distance taxis and tour providers will also accept payment in USD. Note that Ugandan Shillings will give you a slightly better rate on goods and are much more widely accepted. You cannot buy UGX outside Uganda.
For course specifications please see The Ride page.
Specific Training for the Race: For those completing the Up Course, we recommend hill training on top of your general cycle training.
Animals on the Course: Animals you may come across on a daily basis include cows, goats and dogs. The Semliki Wildlife Reserve which you will be cycling through also has impala, buffalo and elephants.
Hydration & Fuel: There are two fuel stations on the course with bottles of water so you can take bottles or refill your own. There will also be electrolyte drinks and food. If you usually use gels or energy blocks when cycling, please bring them with you.
Medical Attention: We have a team of 8 medics from Europe out with us on the race course. They have with them medical equipment and plans in place to get you to a hospital should you need it.
Markings & Marshals: The course is marked and marshals will be pressent for your guidance and safety. Use of a GPS bike computer (Garmin / Wahoo etc) is recommended.
Views & Course: This is where words fail us. The first time we came to this part of Uganda we trekked for hours to find a view over the Rift Valley. When we found it, it felt like time stopped. This very same viewing point is at mile 9 on the full marathon course and mile 6 on the half. It's too vast for you eyes to comprehend and so beautiful it defies description.
As if that wasn't enough, the beauty of the race course doesn't end there. The courses are nothing short of stunning - how could they not be in this part of the world. You'll run through villages of earth buildings, around a crater lake and through banana plantations. Running along an orange trail, winding through the lush, green vegetation, every peak you reach the top of giving a different view of rolling foothills, quiet villages, tea plantations or distant mountains. We appreciate we've gone off on a tangent, it's just that we've never experienced running somewhere like this, it's incredibly special and very very good for the soul.