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Lira, Uganda



Lira-Kampala via Karuma 356 kms
Lira-Kampala via Soroti 485 kms
Lira-Soroti 128 kms
Lira Kitgum 125 kms
Lira-Kidepo Valley National Park 352 kms

Public Transport
Lira - Gulu Ushs10,000-
Lira - Soroti Ushs12,000-
Lira - Apac Ushs5,000-

Lira has a fantastic vibrant African feel about the place. Music blares from humungous speaker systems, the market is a happening place and there is a profusion of hair cut sign art to be seen.

Lira town market
Lira town market

Buses to Kampala via the Karuma Falls bridge or via Soroti are frequent during the mornings. There is a daily bus in the morning to Kitgum when the security is not in question and mini bus taxis throughout the day to Apac. From Apac every morning there is a bus to Kampala that crosses the Nile at Masindi Port on a pontoon ferry.

Those with their own transport will most likely be passing through Lira en-route to Kidepo Valley National Park via the Labwor Hills. There are several large filling stations in town as this is the last chance to find fuel before prices sky rocket.

Lira has seen a massive influx of refugees in the past two years due to LRA activity in the north of Uganda.

Getting there and away:
Option 1.
The most direct route from Kampala is along the Gulu Rd crossing the Karuma Falls and turning right at Kamdini some few kilometers after Karuma. There is a military presence on the bridge at Karuma where the Nile cascades over a set of rapids. You can photograph the rapids providing you get permission from the military. Do not photograph the bridge. There is a campsite on the ridge above the falls. The military will point it out. Permission from the LC in Karuma is required to camp here.

Option 2.
Again leaving Kampala on the Gulu Rd when getting to the village of Rwekunye (the next junction after the Masind town junction) turn right to Masindi Port, which is signposted. You can cross the Nile here on a government-motorized pontoon for Ushs6,000- or similar amount in diesel fuel. You can camp at the Nile Safari Hotel on the east bank of the Nile (ask around for 'Mr Simon' the campsite owner). It's basic, the toilet frightening but there is a nice ambience about the place. You can organize a motorized canoe trip up the river towards Lake Kyoga to some fish landing sites. There is a wealth of bird life and men fishing the river with throw nets from canoes. The camp is safe, warm sodas and beers available and basic foodstuffs.
Camping Ushs2,000-

You can continue from here on good gravel roads to Lira via Apac.

Trouble in the north
The trouble in the north is on a path to reconciliation

Option 3.
From Soroti it is a 2-hour drive to Lira on a marrum road. The route crosses large areas of wetland swamp and may be tricky during periods of extended heavy rain.


Galaxy Guesthouse: Tel. 0774 196782. Busy venue located on Inomo road. The hotel has 17 rooms if a little shabby.

Room rates on a bed only basis
Single Ushs6,000-, Double Ushs10,000-, Self-contained Ushs13,000-

Boslung Hotel: Tel. 0782 787182. 9 room hotel located on Inomo road

Room rates on a bed only basis
Single Ushs Ushs8,000-, Double Ushs12,000-, Self-contained rooms Ushs20,000-

Lillian Towers Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)473 20954/5, email: lilliantowers@lilliantowers.co.ug. Very popular 20 room hotel located on Inomo road with Internet services available. The hotel offers a hotel shuttle bus for pick-ups as far away as Kampala/Entebbe.

Room rates include bed and breakfast
Single Ushs55,000-, Twin Ushs60,000-, Double superior Ushs65,000-, Executive Ushs85,000-, Suite Ushs180,000-

Alpha Resort Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)473 247629, 0772 905701, email: ogemaj@gmail.com. Located 1.5kms from town in Ireda area. 8 self-contained rooms available.

Room rates include bed and breakfast
Single/Double Ushs30,000-

Hotel Pan Afric: Tel. 0782 369140, 0712 961552. 14 room hotel located at Plot 25 Kyoga Road. All rooms have DSTV. The hotel offers shuttle services to town and a coach collection service from Kampala/Entebbe.

Room rates include bed and breakfast
Single Ushs40,000-, Double Ushs50,000-, Twin Ushs80,000

Lira Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)473-20024, 0772 594184. 30 rooms currently under renovation located on plot 8-10 Erute Road. For those en-route to Kidepo valley National Park with camping equipment you can camp within the gardens of the hotel for Ush4,000- per person. Singles, Doubles, Twins and Suites available

Pauline Hotel: Tel. 0782 203714. very pleasant 10 room hotel on the outskirts of town located at Plot 4 Omondo Anyuru Road.

Room rates include bed, breakfast and a newspaper
Single Ushs50,000-, Double Ushs60,000-, Suite Ushs70,000-

Pacific Grand Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)473 427770, 0782 289101, 0772 586421. 24 room hotel located on Plot 5A Kyoga Road behind post office.

Room rates include bed and breakfast
Single Ushs40,000-, Double Ushs60,000-, Twin Ushs70,000-

Mango Tree Guesthouse: Tel. +256 (0)473-327190, 0772-841723. 20 room hotel located at Plot 1B Bala Road

Room rates include breakfast
Single Non self-contained Ushs20,000-, Double Non self-contained Ushs30,000-,
Single Self-contained Ushs40,000-, Suite Ushs50,000-.

Internet cafés

Apex computer centre located on Aputi Road in The White House building provides Internet services at Ushs40- per minute.

There is a bank in Lira. Foreign exchange transactions maybe possible. If you are proceeding north from Lira or to other remote locations along Lake Kyoga you should consider obtaining small denomination monetary bills. Small bills can buy the services you will most likely need should you get stuck, need assistance and save you lots of time whilst change is found for big money.

Mechanical Emergencies:
There are many mango tree mechanics in Lira where you can get arc welding and gas welding done. The filling stations will let you use the pit service for under vehicle maintenance.

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