Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa” as it is often referred with all its beauty is one heck of an incredible safari destination to explore at any time of the year. The different tourist destinations are straight out of a postcard with some of the most jaw-dropping views any one can ask for hence making them worth exploring during self drive in Uganda.
This country is Paradise and it is a wonderful idea for any traveler for enjoy a fantastic road trip. The 8-9-hour drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the 6-7-hour drive to Kibale Forest National Park or the 7-hour drive to Murchison Falls national Park are some of the most rewarding drives in the country because endless views are expected.
However, being a foreign destination for many travelers, it is always important to be acquainted with this country’s roads and certain rules and regulations before hitting the road. It is undeniable that driving in Uganda might seem easy and fun but there are a number of things you have to know and be mindful of. Therefore, here are the top 7 driving tips for any Uganda visitor;
Drive on the left-hand side
In Uganda, driving is on the left-hand side of the road, and all cars (including rental cars) are right-hand drive vehicles.
This is sometimes overwhelming and difficult following at first, but while driving and following traffic during your road trip, it wont take long to get used to it. However, more caution and care should be taken when driving on the road alone, to be sure you aren’t driving on the wrong side of the road. Overtaking/pass is on the right.
Avoid driving at night/after sundown
Driving at night is not a good idea, although it is not a total no-no. One of the reasons we highly advise against driving after sundown/or at night is due to the high risk of hold up as well as robberies. However, if you ever find yourself driving at night, it is advisable to be more cautious and vigilant.
Car Doors and Windows should be locked
Car Doors and windows should be locked, especially while driving through Urban Centers and major Cities. However, it is safe to leave a small gap at the window top for fresh air (while driving, and not packed) and surprisingly also prevents the window from breaking.
Avoid leaving valuables in the Car
Leaving valuables in the car is sometimes inevitable but should be avoided if possible. Even when you do, make sure that it is out of sight from outside because nothing of value will attempt a thief. For Campers, ensure that all access points as well as storage sections are properly locked, and if you can put a padlock on your storage cabinets that have exterior access.
Speed limits in Uganda
Maintain the recommended speed limits while driving on Ugandan roads to avoid traffic fines/penalties and for this reason, the limit on National highways is 100 kilometers per hour. On urban roads/Trading centers you are advised to maintain a speed of 50 kilometers per hour while on secondary (rural) roads maintain 80 kilometers per hour.
It is always important to check the different road signs and follow the speed limits at all times, but if it is raining, misty or even when the road in congested, drivers are advised to reduce the speed even below the indicated speed limit.
Avoid picking up hitchhikers
No matter how innocent, appealing or lost they look, avoid stopping to pick up hitchhikers because majority of them are thieves looking to take advantage of your kindness. However, if you feel concerned about the person’s plight, it is advisable to instead make a stop at the next Town and make a report to someone there.
Avoid stopping at accident scenes
This might sound inhumane but it is one of the top driving tips we give to Ugandan visitors. You might be prompted to do it but it is better to continue driving and instead made a call or stop at the nearby Café/shop to ask for assistance or report the accident. There have been cases of thieves and hijackers staging accidents to take advantage of unsuspecting drivers.