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 than in the past and today visitors can enjoy a self drive in Uganda except in a few areas.
Most of the surfaced roads radiate out from Kampala, stretching from East to larger town area such as Jinja, Busia, Tororo, Mbale and Soroti in the East, Masaka and Mbarara in the Gulu and Arua in the north, Kabale and Kisoro in the South West etc. Besides the above, Uganda’s unsurfaced routes vary from season to season and most of the roads are in better conditions. Most unpaved roads are passable during the dry season and 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;
Hire a Car from Reliable Agency
It is important to hire a car from a reliable agency so that you can secure a vehicle that is fit to be on the road. Avoid briefcase companies and endeavor to rent a car from a well established agency that can even offer 24 hour Roadside Assistance. Some of the reliable car rental agencies include Car Rental Uganda, Self Drive Uganda, Road Trip Uganda and Uganda Car Rental etc.
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 besides the potholes. The minibus taxi drivers are known for their behavior of overtaking on blind corners and do not pay attention to speed limits.
Be Aware of Larger Vehicles
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.
Use the Side Mirrors
Maintain eye contact in the rear view driving mirror and where possible get out of the road earlier to allow the closing loony pass.
Be Aware of Traffic Jam
Expect traffic jam in most of the roads in Uganda particularly during rash hour especially in big towns like Kampala and Jinja.
Avoid Driving at Night
Avoid driving at night as this puts you at a higher risk. 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.
Ask for Directions When Lost
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.
Be in the Know of Aggressive Drivers
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.
In case you hire a vehicle with reliable car hire agency, you won’t encounter any breakdown challenges, fuel stations are available throughout the countryside and you might encounter an occasional roadblock though you will be let to proceed provided that you have the recommended documents. 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.
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. Reliable and reputable car hire companies rent out dully insured cars for visitors on Uganda self drive safaris.
Endeavor to carry your original driving License. There are different classes within the Ugandan Driving License and it is important to drive a vehicle that falls in your class as per the license. It is an offense to drive a vehicle that you are not licensed to operate. For visitors to Uganda, it is important to posses an International drivers license if you are looking to stay for more than 3 months. Your home license is valid for up to 3 months from the date of your stamp of entry. You can also consider acquiring a Ugandan license if you are looking o stay for more than 3 months.
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
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.