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Gulu

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Gulu is an important city of Northern Uganda. It's the economic centre of the region, has some useful facilities for travellers and a handful of historic attractions. As violence related to the LRA rebel groups diminished, more NGO workers and travellers settled in and generally friendly local business owners are finding ways to cater to the increasing demand for hotels and restaurants. All in all, this may not yet be a vibrant city nor the most beautiful of Uganda destinations, but it has a charm of its own and breathes the energy of a community shaking off its past.

Understand

Get in

By plane

  • 1 Gulu airport (ULU IATA) (just a few kilometres out of town). Served several times a week by Eagle Air flights to and from Entebbe Airport (usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Occasionally, some charter flights may be available to Moyo Town, Arua and Pakuba. United Airlines Limited fly to Entebbe. (updated Jun 2019)

By train

Gulu is connected by rail, and part of the North Line. This means there are connections to Pakwach in the north, and in the other direction to LiraSoroti, Aloi, Kumi, Mbale and Tororo. There is a plan to build a railway line to Juba.

By car

There's a good road connection as well, and buses run from here to many other destinations. It is 336.4 km to the capital, Kampala.

Get around

See

Do

  • Swimming pool, at Acholi Hotel. USh 10,000 per person. (updated Aug 2015)

Buy

  • Stanbic Bank. Has a Mastercard/Visa Card ATM. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Kenya Commercial Bank. Has a Mastercard/Visa Card ATM. (updated May 2015)
  • Equity Bank. Has a Mastercard/Visa Card ATM. (updated Mar 2016)

Eat

  • Kope cafe, Oyla Road. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Country Bakery, Awich Road. Sells pies. (updated Jun 2015)

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Acholi Inn, Plot 6/4 Elizabeth Road, ☏ +256 758 660020, ✉ stay@acholiinn.com. This is a hotel with a long history and although it could use another update, it's clean and has a bunch of amenities. There are 80 rooms, 12 suites, a swimming pool and a restaurant. The fitness facilities are a bit worn down, but if you're in need of exercise they're there nonetheless. Ask to see a couple of rooms on different floors and expect at least one or two things in the rooms to not work (think tv, drain or aircon). Still, an okay mid-range place for Uganda and the friendly staff leave most travellers with a fairly nice experience in the end. There's also good and free wifi in the lobby. (updated Jun 2017)
  • Bomah Hotel, Plot 8, Eden Road, ☏ +256 413 000 000. This large hotel set among charming gardens is as big and as upscale as it gets in these parts of the country. It's the go-to place for diplomats and business travellers. Facilities include a rooftop restaurant, a nice lounge, comfortable rooms and very cold beer. There are also good massages to be had (US$18). Don't expect every that's expensive to be very good, though - especially the food is of varying quality. All in all an excellent place though. 
  • Franklin Guesthouse, Nehru Road and Main Street, ☏ +256 782331531. Fan single rooms. USh 30,000. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Sunset Hotel, Coronation Road, ☏ +256 775978671. Fan single rooms. USh 21,000. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Binen Inn, Coronation Road. Single rooms with shared bathroom. From USh 18,000. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Payero Rest House, Coronation Road, ☏ +256 772410927. Single/double rooms. US$13/17. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Hotel Abolo Lapok, Olya Road, ☏ +256 774505098. Single/double rooms. US$13/15. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Hotel Kakanyero, Bank Lane, ☏ +256 471432153. Single/double rooms. US$6/8. (updated Jun 2015)
  • Mimosa Hotel, Obadiah Lalobo Road. Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 10AM. Single room with own bathroom. Breakfast. This hotel has 16 rooms. USh 30,000. (updated Jul 2015)

Connect

Go next

Lira 110 km. Pakwach 121.1 km. Arua 232.1 km. Masindi 173.4 km. Nimule south Sudan border 110.1 km.

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