Whereas driving in Uganda is exciting, there is need for you to be keen as it comes with some challenges just like any East African and South African states. However, by East African standards, Uganda main roads are entirely in better state. The surfaced roads radiate out from Kampala, stretching from East to larger town area such as Jinja, Mbarara, Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Soroti, South to Entebbe, Southwest to Masaka, northwest. Besides the above, Uganda’s unsurfaced routes vary from season to season was conditions most likely to be trickier during the wet season. If you are planning for your next vacation in Uganda, we have provided some of the tips for you to follow while road trip in the Pearl of Africa.
Be a defensive driver especially in areas where you will encounter buses and minibus taxis as most of these drivers tend to be crazy. Take this as serious as possible. The minibus taxi drivers are known for their behavior of overtaking on blind corners and do not pay attention to speed limits.
Be ready for Ugandan roads that have potholes. Many times visitors end up with need for repairs because of inexperience in managing potholes within murram roads.
Expect to be overtaken by bigger buses with capacity of more than 70 people at high speed and on coming traffic that will be ahead of you. You should always keep distance from buses and heavy duty vehicles.
Maintain eye contact in the rear view driving mirror and where possible get out of the road earlier to allow the closing loony pass.
Expect traffic jam in most of the roads in Uganda particularly during rash hour especially in big towns like Kampala and Jinja. Do not follow Google Map times in planning your trip. In most cases it reports shorter times than you expect. For long journeys, plan some time for the unexpected road changes e.g blocked roads. You might encounter an occasional roadblock though you will be let to proceed provided that you have the recommended documents.
Avoid driving at night as this puts you at a higher risk. Most road accidents in Uganda happen at night. In most cases, some crazy people can even be driving without lights and this is a high risk. Ensure that you have a valid license. Also note that many non roadworthy vehicles are used at night with some cars not even having flash lights.
Expect to encounter humble and the most welcoming people while on road trip in Uganda. And where you have a challenge, you will find most of them wanting to assist you. Do not be afraid to ask for directions in case you are lost. The most useful people to seek directions from are taxi drivers or boda boda cyclists.
Take note that most drivers in Uganda are too aggressive and maintain the edge of seat. In Uganda driving within the city center is a bit extensive compared to when you are in rural areas where there is minimal traffic jam.
Also note that local car rental service providers offer cheaper options than international agencies. Some of the recommended local companies are Uganda Car Rental, Self Drive Uganda, Road Trip Uganda, Car Rental Uganda, Expedient Car Hire etc. Reliable and reputable car hire companies also rent out dully insured cars for visitors on Uganda self drive safaris.
Fuel stations are available throughout the countryside. Fuel is at times costly and most fuel stations sell it at $1.4 per litre for petrol and a bit less for diesel. The prices differ from one fuel station to another and to be on safer side, better you travel with your own as you won’t know what the next fuel station offers.
If you are planning to extend your Uganda car rental abroad, make sure that you have documents like car registration book and a photocopy is allowed and should be of current, minimum statutory third party insurance coverage certificate sticker and driving license.
License you need your personal domestic license that is valid for 3 months and after the 3 months, you have to acquire a Ugandan license.
Driving speed limit in Uganda is 80 kilometers per hour in open routes but be careful especially with bad roads. You can slow down and brake where there is traffic jam.
Maintain adequate distance especially while driving in congested and busy town areas such as Kampala and Jinja where pedestrians, boda-bodas, taxis and heavy trucks are all using the same route.
In conclusion, driving in Uganda requires you to be keen to everything that comes your way so as to have a safer trip in your life. If you are planning to embark on Uganda self drive safari, simply contact our offices and we shall help you make your dream come true in Africa.