How to get around in Uganda

How to get around in Uganda : Uganda safari tour is fantastic and comes with lots of adventures. Getting in and around Uganda is characterized by many experiences as the whole process involves driving to new destinations that come a long with cattle, cyclists, traffic jam and potholes. While on Uganda safari road trip, expect to bump into these at any point especially in the remotest areas where most of the tourist destinations are located and even in major towns. To get out of this situation, you must plan adequately prior making your final journey to a destination of your choice.

While most travellers in Uganda use mainly roads, the state at which these routes also differ based on the season. During the dry season, marram roads can be dusty and everything around the roadside will be filled by a fine layer of orange brown dust. The wet season comes with mud and requires a perfect 4 wheel drive safari vehicles to navigate through the remotest roads. Most importantly, you inquire from a rental car company or from your tour operator about the current road conditions prior embarking for your safari.

Travelling in Uganda requires one to be keen enough while driving especially in protected areas of Uganda national parks for reckless driving results into fines for example if knock down an animal, you are fined a fee of about US$500 and about US$150 for off track driving while inside a national park. If you are planning to travel to Uganda on a self-drive in your own car, you will need to have a driving license and mostly an international driving permit especially if you are interested in self-drive safari tours. There are various means of transportation in Uganda and the common ones include;

Taxis (Matatus)

These are vehicles that are also called Matatus come in form of vans with a sitting capacity of about 14 people thus they are shared transport means here in Uganda. They are mainly seen in Kampala city as most people use them because they are pocket friendly and also easily accessible. In Kampala, they operate in various routes meaning they can make a stop at any point while picking and dropping off clients. These taxis also reach up-country depending on where you will travel to although for very long journeys, we do not recommend using taxis.

Each taxi comes with a driver and a conductor and in case you are not familiar with the destinations feel free to inquire from one of them. But be careful as most of them tend to take advantage of new faces in town and they make you pay a higher amount compared to the rest of passengers. To be on safer side, you will need to have prior knowledge about routes and the amount charged, thank God for the Google maps!

These are very helpful in locating where you go to however, note that not all the taxis can deliver you to exact destination of your choice given that they have their specific routes. Taxes are widely used not only in Uganda but also Africa at large.

For security reasons, there are private reliable transport companies available for visitors to help you get around Kampala with ease such as Uber, and Bolt. Luckily Uber, is an international transport app although the costs of transport are quite higher than using a normal taxi.

Special hire taxi

The special hire taxis in Uganda are commonly related to the cabs in North America. They are costly for one to get around Uganda but can be pocket friendly when you are sharing the bill with others. If you plan to use a special hire taxi, you can bargain for the price though you may not get the best cost depending on how you will negotiate. These are similar to Uber although the only difference between and Uber car and special hire taxi is that with an Uber car, you must offer for the ride directly from your phone unlike the special hire, you meet the driver and hire directly depending on where you are going to.

Special hire taxis are most available at Entebbe airport as the airport taxis. Upon arrival at Entebbe airport and finishing clearing with the immigration, you definitely need a vehicle to take you to your next location probably a hotel in either Entebbe or Kampala, the airport taxis, do that for you if you do not have organized transport from the airport. Other special hire taxis are available in most towns and they usually have their own stages for parking while waiting for clients.


Buses are the most trusted means of transport for mainly long distances. In Kampala, the coaster buses famously known as the pioneer buses operated by the Pioneer bus services are the cheapest transport around Kampala city however, the buses are usually congested because of their cheap costs. The other kinds of buses navigate through various routes in Uganda beyond the city to further areas of Uganda. They have bigger capacity and at times cheaper than using a taxi. The only place in Kampala where buses are stationed for long journeys is Namayiba Bus Park.

All kinds of buses and all travels with in Uganda and East Africa can be found in this park for example there are buses that go to Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Sudan. Within Uganda, if you want to travel in a bus to tourist attractions, there are available buses to the major towns such as Kabale and Kisoro for Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Masindi town for Murchison falls national park, Fort portal town for Kibale national park, Bundibugyo for Semiliki national park, Kasese town for Queen Elizabeth national park just to mention a few. Some of the Buses companies that provide transport to these destinations include; Link Bus services – travels to the western part of Uganda, and YY Bus services – travel to the Northern and Eastern parts of Uganda.

How to get around in Uganda

Motor cycles (Boda Boda)

Boda boda is a locally used word to mean motor cyclist rider. Motor cycle rides around Kampala and Uganda at large are one the most commonly used means of transport although their costs are higher than using a taxi. Boda bodas are found in various parts of Kampala and they quicker to use since they are not caught up with traffic but more costly than the taxis. For travellers who are scared of the reckless bodaboda drivers who usually do not follow the traffic guidelines, there are private companies that offer safer boda boda ride experiences such as Safe Boda which is currently the only available.

You must first download the App on your phone then order. Boda boda can reach you from you home and drop you off to where you are going unlike the taxis that pick and leave you on the road. All Boda boda riders and users must wear helmets as a way of reducing risks of road accidents. Boda bodas can only be used within the town areas and they are not recommended for long distance journeys. A trip on a Boda boda motorcycle fills travellers with adventure experiences though it can be scary.

Car rental

This is another perfect means of transportation and there are many car rental companies that you can deal with to get the best and comfortable car for your safaris, whether you plan to go for a self-drive adventure or guided tours. If not all, most tour operators in Uganda offer car rental services for Uganda safaris depending on what your interests. Most car rentals are expensive to hire but they come with comfortable and you can trust. Car rentals usually involve hiring a car with a safari driver and fuel in it.

When you contact a tour operator for a safari in Uganda, usually the quote provided includes your transportation to and from the tourist attraction. Tour operators, given the road conditions, preferably use 4 wheel drives; Land cruisers and super custom vehicles.

Air Travel

If you are interested in domestic flights to local destinations, there are some airlines like Aero-link Uganda Limited, Eagle Air, and Fly Uganda that can arrange for you flights to most of the remotest areas in Uganda where airfields are. You may also use Missionary Aviation Fellowship and they arrange flights to Ssese Island. Most of the 10 Uganda national parks have airstrips for domestic flight. Air travels are the most expensive means of transport.

In conclusion, there are various ways that you can get in and around Uganda whether you are interested in safaris to national parks, any natural physical features or just city tours.

For wildlife safaris, you will need safari vehicle with a pop up to help you view wildlife while in your car. One way to travel Uganda independently is by hiring your own car. Hiring a 4×4 is highly recommended, because most roads are unpaved and are often extremely bumpy and potholed, and most of the roads in the national parks are only suitable for 4×4 wheel.

However, driving on rough Ugandan roads is not for the feint hearted, and if you don’t have much experience driving in Africa it might be best to think about hiring a driver for your trip. For a memorable holiday in Uganda, simply reach out to our team and we shall get for you that perfect car hire that suites your travel interests.

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