To begin with, there is a certain category of travellers in Uganda who prefer hiring self drive vehicles with roof tops for their safaris. Furthermore, there are several reasons to support this choice such as saving on accommodation costs and experiencing the ultimate vacation/safari/road trip adventures.

Camping safaris

Camping safaris are often the preferred means of experiencing the best of African wilderness safaris. Whenever you mention camping safaris; there are a number of requirements to put into consideration ranging from tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, camping light and several others that come along with the camping gear.

What is a car hire with a roof top?

A rooftop tent is a tent that is locked on top of the car giving you an opportunity to use the car top as the camping ground. Therefore, a car hire with a roof top is one which can be used for both transportation and camping. Interestingly, anyone that is not comfortable sleeping on the ground during their wilderness camping safari, would prefer a rooftop by far.

Types of car roof top tents

There are several types of roof top tents that travelers can choose from according to their tastes and preferences. Some of the things to consider when choosing the rooftop tent is the mattress size and the number of people it can accommodate; which also influence the cost of hiring a particular roof top tent.

Some of them include the following;

  1. Ikamper Sky camp 2.0 (Hard shell)

This tent comes with an expandable king-size mattress that can offer enough space for four average sized people. More to that, this tent is usually preferred by most people because of its hard shell that makes it easy to set up. Additionally, it has three window spots as well as a sunroof kind of window to allow in extra light. It is opened by unfolding the sideways.

  1. Roof nests sandpiper

The sandpiper offers ample space for two adults. In addition, it can carry extra weight of up to 100 pounds. Unlike most of the rooftop tents, this tent simply pops up which makes it really easy to set up. Also, it has a total of 4 windows.

  1. Feldon Shelter Crow’s Nest

This rooftop tent offers enough sleeping space for two people. It also has a 180unfolding for setting up.



  1. The Alu Cab’s generation 3

This tent has 3 access points with a door and window on either side. It also has a hard shell structure and a 45pop-up style to open up the tent which makes it one of the quickest tents to set up. Additionally, the tent can carry extra gear on top such as kayaks, solar panels for power and other simple accessories.

  1. FSR High Country Edition

This type of roof top tent is famous for its reliability. It can accommodate up to three adults and offers a total of three windows. Also, it has a 180 degree unfolding unlike most of the other tents.

What is the price of a car rental/hire with a roof top in Uganda?

To answer this question, the price of a car rental with a roof top varies depending on certain factors such as the type of car that a person wants for their safari, the number of people, fuel consumption, age of the car, car brand and model, season and others.

Factors that determine the price of a car rental/hire with a rooftop in Uganda

  1. The age of the vehicle

The year make of a rental car will greatly affect the price whereby the newer the car, the higher the price and vise versa. Many of the car rental companies in Uganda offer well serviced old model cars (2008 to 2014). However, if you require a model between 2015 to 2019 onwards, you will have to pay more.

  1. Fuel price and engine type

The prices of fuel change from time to time, however diesel cars are known to consume 15 to 20% less fuel than petrol cars. Therefore, making your choice based on fuel consumption can help you save money on your car hire/rental.

  1. Car type

Rental prices are greatly influenced by the category of the car of interest. For instance 4 wheel cars, minivans, buses and luxury cars are more expensive than saloon cars and SUVs.

It is important to note that the number of people you are travelling with plus the amount of cargo will determine which car category you need for your safari/road trip in Uganda.

  1. Car brand and model

The brand and model of the car is another important factor. Most of the imported cars in Uganda are made from Japan and Germany with Toyota and Mercedes Benz taking up a big percentage. These vehicles are more affordable as compared to other brands.

Conversely, travelers looking for luxurious rental cars in Kampala usually prefer German and UK made vehicles which attract a higher cost.

  1. Season

Interestingly, the car rental business in Uganda has always been seasonal with demand for rental cars surging in the dry seasons (December to February and June to September). Notably, the prices of these cars are usually very high. However, you could get a discount if you make your booking before the season begins.

On the other hand, rental cars are cheaper during the rainy season and therefore you can resort to that option as well.

Categories of roof top tents

There are two categories of roof top tents and they include; hard shell roof top tents (pop-up opening format) and soft roof top tents (180 degree opening style).

Advantages of Hardshell roof top tents

-They are easier to set up

-Some hard shell rooftop tents have vertical walls that create more ample space inside

-They can carry extra luggage on top of them

Disadvantages of Hardshell roof top tents

They are heavier than soft shell roof top tents

-These tents are expensive

Advantages of soft shell roof top tents

They are lighter than the ones with hard shells which makes it easier to install on top of a car

-They are affordable

Disadvantage: They are difficult to set up

Tips for roof top tent camping

-Keep your sleeping bags in the rooftop tent in case you are driving on a dusty road

-Avoid over speeding

-Ensure that you close off your rooftop tent properly to avoid getting affected by rain or dust during your drive

-Always make sure that the ladder is locked before climbing into your tent

-Do not smoke in the tent to avoid any fire related accidents

Conclusion: If you are interested in hiring a car with a roof top for your safari, do not hesitate to contact Self Drives Uganda. We will definitely transform your dream into a reality.

Send Us a Message