Many travelers that have booked with us a Uganda safari road trip have found them so interesting and one of their favorite Africa safari trips ever. Hiring a 4×4 vehicle in Uganda is a very important element in your Uganda safari tour program / itinerary. It could be a short Uganda wildlife safari, Kampala city tour, Jinja tour, a 6 Days Uganda gorilla & wildlife safari, a 9 days Uganda wildlife safari and many more. After all, a 4×4 Land cruiser, 4×4 safari Land cruiser car or 4×4 safari van is highly recommended if you are to drive safely on Uganda roads and in East Africa in general more so in areas out city Kampala, and other city centers. Roads are bad during the rainy season so without a 4×4 vehicle, you may get stuck therefore hire a car in Uganda that is 4×4.
We have done lots of trips East Africa driving by road through Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania and as an expert car hire Uganda company, we decided to share everything about driving in the countries above to help you plan your next trip self-drive car hire Uganda Rwanda trip. Top tips for driving in Uganda!
Decide on the Car to Use
When renting a car in Uganda, choose a vehicle that can accommodate the number of people you are moving. For this case, you need to book a good 4×4 vehicle you can afford in case you are travelling for many days. Many of the Africa safari destinations are far meaning you will spend more time on the roads traveling to explore different destinations. 4×4 cars is perfect for the long drives. The big cars have a big boot that is enough for luggage, and plenty of leg room so that your free during your safari Uganda.
Most of the interesting places to visit around Uganda and in East Africa in general require a strong 4-wheel drive car due to the nature of the roads. Many of the roads are bad and sometimes impassable especially in the rain season. For instance, roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park in South western Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park, areas among others require a four-wheel drive.
A GPS is very important for your self-drive trip. You can come with one from your home country, loaded with East Africa maps, or you can rent one from the car rental company. It will help you with road directions and speed limits too.
Road Maps are very important. Make sure you get updated travel road maps. These are sometimes offered with the car, or you can buy from shopping malls and Bookshops.
Always double check your route before you begin your journey and get a general picture of the route especially in south western part of the country.
Driving at Night
The number one rule is to avoid driving at night whenever possible. We advise our clients to start driving at 6:00am to 6pm or 7:00pm latest. Beyond 7pm, we do not expect you to be on highways beyond 7pm. There are many reasons for this;
In Uganda, there are no street lights on highways and sometime visibility is poor. Some Uganda roads, including major highways have no Cats-eyes or fluorescent line markings, thus making driving after dark very difficult because it is difficult to see the road.
It’s not safe to drive at night. Outside Kampala, there are lots of people walking and running on hard shoulders after dark, and it is almost impossible to see them with head lamps as they typically don’t wear any reflective gear. Take caution, many of these are highway robbers.
Another big driving hazard is you may come across lots of animals walking along the roads including herds of goats and cows wandering on the road. Additionally, some highways go through National parks where we expect animals to cross at any point including huge ones like Elephants.
Speed Limits in Uganda
As a tourist, you must watch your speed while driving in Uganda. There is traffic police on every highway with speed guns. It will be a bad day for you if you caught exceeding the speed limit. Speed Limit varies frequently, for instance, in towns/trading centers, it’s between 30 – 50km/h, and then 70 – 100km/h on highways.
Generally speaking, most highways are very good with good tarmac. However, some parts have marrum with much dust especially in dry season. You will find bad roads in rural areas with dust, potholes and without road markings. Access to most national parks is difficult and only 4×4 cars are highly recommended, for instance, the most frequented National Park in Uganda; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda.
Fuel Station stops
Petrol stations are available frequently on major highways throughout the country however, do not allow your gauge to go below quarter tank. The stations are less frequent in rural areas, therefore, you are advised to fill your before leaving major towns because you never know where to find the next gas station forexample if you are going to Kidepo Nationalm Park Uganda, you are advised to fill your tank in Kitgum town if going to Kidepo National Park, and if possible, keep some gas in a jerrycan.
The station attendants can help clean your wind-screen, check your oil, tire pressure and water. Credit cards are accepted on a few petrol stations in major towns.
Parking Security of self-drive hired cars
Most places have parking attendants to look after your car and luggage. You will always feel very comfortable to leave the rental car and your property in presence of a parking attendant. A small tip of 1000 – 10000 Uganda shillings is recommended depending on how long you have been there.
- However, in case you don’t find a parking attendant around, you are advised not to leave your valuables such as cameras, phones, laptops and money in the car. Even a visible charging cable is enough to increase the risk of a break in.
23. When you park on streets or super market, make sure you lock the car and never leave any valuables unless you able to monitor the car from a distance.
Driving outside Uganda
Self-driver car hire rentals Uganda, an organ under Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd offers cars for hire in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya. If your trip goes outside Uganda, inform us in advance so you pick up your vehicle with a letter and other documents to authorize you to enter Kenya or Rwanda with the rental car. These documents are key requirements at the borders.