Planning a road trip to Uganda? Self-drives are the growing trend in Uganda’s tourism, where most travelers are more of traveling on their own than being guided around discovering the wonders of the country. All they do is hire a car in Uganda and they travel by themselves. This article shares tips for driving in the country.
Uganda is a bit vast and you may be traveling long distances in the car, so take rest stops often, and always drive with food and water should you not pass any stores before your planned stops. Some roads can be isolated so be sure to take a mobile phone and warm clothing in your vehicle (just in case). Also, keep in mind that some roads will stretch for long distances without a petrol station, so be sure to keep your fuel topped up and checking locations of pit stops ahead of travel.
Rules of the road (Ugandan driving laws):
What to do and what NOT to do
Probably the first thing that you will notice when you arrive in Uganda is that Ugandans drive on the left-hand side of the road. This can take Brits a little getting used to (in case you have been driving on the right in your home country) but just take your time and start out slowly – you’ll soon get the hang of it!
After this, the most important thing to note is the driving laws in Uganda.
Be safe: it’s compulsory to wear a seatbelt in Uganda and you risk a fine for not wearing one, so buckle up. Ugandan speed limits are measured in kilometers per hour. The speed limit on highways is 80km/h but can go up to 100km/h on some highways. In national parks and bussy centers along the road, the recommended speed limit is 40km/h.
Over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, while talking on the phone, without a valid driver’s license, a car without tax, a car with worn-out tires, overtaking where you don’t have to, nonworking lights all these calls for a penalty and many more rules which have not been mentioned.
In Uganda, there are several common points of highway driving etiquette which it is advisable to follow to enjoy a smooth experience on the roads. For example, passing/overtaking is not allowed in corners and on a raised point.
Signs and symbols
The signs and symbols used for driving in Uganda are relatively universal and you are highly advised to follow each and every sign and symbol that comes your way while driving for a smooth drive.
Where to drive in Uganda
There are countless incredible places to visit on a road trip around Uganda. Among them include; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga gorilla national park (where you will go for mountain gorilla expeditions), Kibale Forest National Park (popular for chimpanzee excursions), Queen Elizabeth National Park (famous for wildlife safaris including the unique tree-climbing lions), Jinja (where the most proclaimed source of the Nile exists), and so many other places.
The type of car to drive
In Uganda, if you are to drive in urban centers, a 2 wheel drive is very okay. On the other hand, if you are interested in visiting the gems of the country such as going off the bitten path to the national parks, you will need a strong 4×4 car to take you there.