Things to Know Before Self Driving in Uganda
Renting a car in Uganda was one of the best decisions to be made. And if you make sure you are well-informed before you hit the road, you will be absolutely fine. Car rental for self-drive, we believe that driving yourself at your own pace is the best way for a true safari adventure
Are you looking for that one exceptional, durable, affordable and the most comfortable car hire in Uganda and you do not know where to find it or perhaps you are wondering how can I rent a car in Uganda? Well, if this is what you have always searched for then it is high time you met your dream. Depending on what your travel interests is at the destination whether you are planning for a vacation or a business trip our fleet of car hire is readily available at a pocket-friendly price, convenient and suitable to navigate through Uganda’s remotest routes where most of the safari destinations are found.
Alright, so now you know everything you need to know before renting a car in Uganda. But what about actually driving in Uganda? Let me just share 13 useful things to know before you actually hit the roads.
- They drive on the left side of the road. Okay, I’m sorry for stating the obvious. But I just had to make sure I mentioned it somewhere before you actually go on self-driving in Uganda.
- Before you leave, make sure you did a standard car check. So check things such as indicators, tires, oil, etc. I have to admit here, that we didn’t actually do that. Maybe we could have prevented our car breakdown if we did. Although, I am not sure if we could have seen our wheel falling off completely. Still, we probably should have checked a bit more often.
- Speed limit: Apparently, the official speed limit according to the Traffic and Road Safety Act is 80 km/hr on highways and 50km/hr in busy centers.
Though I have also seen 100 km/hr, and if you go by the speed of the cars around you, you would think there is no official speed limit. The best thing to do is to follow the signposts along the road (if there are any). And double-check with your rental company.
- Driving careful: When driving on the highway, you will often pass through a small village, which is not always clearly marked. Nor are the speed limits when driving through these villages. But please, slow down to at least 50 km/h.
There are so many kids walking on the side of the street in these villages. Plus there may be one of those enormous speed bumps I talked earlier.
Seriously, they are insanely huge. And they may show up without a warning. So be prepared. And in some cases go over the bump diagonally if you want to avoid damage to the front or bottom of your car.
- If a convoy of military cars is passing, stop alongside the road and let them pass. It may be the president of Uganda, another important person or a bullion car (one that carries money).
Apparently, if you continue driving when the present’s car passes, it could be classified as an attack. And if you’re really unlucky, you could go to jail for that. So to avoid such scenarios, stop whenever you see a convoy passing.
- Obviously, also make way for ambulances or any car with a sirene. But I mean that’s not really specific for driving in Uganda.
- Cars use their indicators when they’re going to overtake you, or when they want to let you know it’s safe for you to overtake. You should also flashback after you’ve overtaken as a sign of thank you.
- There are quite a few police checks on random sides of the road. In most cases, you just need to slow down, and they will either give you the sign to stop or continue driving.
When approaching those stops, make sure you turn down your music, don’t take pictures, and just follow their instructions. Of course, be respectful, polite, patient and friendly. Just don’t give them a reason to make your road trip difficult.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU RENT A CAR IN UGANDA
Before you accept the car the company provides you, there are some things you should consider.
- Ask if you can go for a test drive. Even if you’re like me and don’t know a single thing about cars. You can at least get a general idea of a car’s state with a test drive. Does it make funny noises? Do you need to ask the rental company how certain things work?
- Get insurance. Period. The roads in Uganda are pretty bad, so I would not advise anyone to drive around without insurance.
- Take pictures of the car before you leave. If the insurance company charges you for any damage or scratches after you’ve returned the car, you can check whether these actually happened when you rented the car. Or whether they were already there.
- Check the company’s policy with regards to having multiple drives, if you’re renting a car with others.
- Make sure you get their emergency phone number. And ask them what to do in case of an accident or breakdown. Also, check their policy to know which types of breakdowns are covered by the insurance.
In town especially Kampala, you are just centimeters from other vehicles, traffic laws exist but to be ignored. People pass on any side of you, boda-bodas (motorbike taxis) bob all around you. If you are a visitor, you are simply not equipped to handle a vehicle in traffic where anything goes and where the biggest vehicle wins. For visitors, self-drive is a test of nerves.