Uganda, also known as the “Pearl of Africa” is a land filled with wonders characterized by inspiring beauty in all its corners. It is one of the most sought Africa safari destinations by tourists all over the globe. One of the most popular ways you can immerse yourself in Uganda’s beauty is by choosing to visit Uganda for a Uganda safari or for a Uganda safari tour. If you are good with driving, you can choose to do a self-drive Uganda tour to any of National Parks in Uganda including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga gorilla National Park popular for their mountain gorillas that attract tourists for Uganda gorilla safaris. There are several packages that guarantee you visit the best places in Uganda like the 3 Days Uganda gorilla safari, 4 Days Uganda wildlife safari, 8 Days Uganda gorilla & chimpanzee trekking safari, 13 Days Uganda Rwanda wildlife safari among the many.
With a good car rental company like self-drive car hire Uganda under Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd, self-drive car rental Uganda is an efficient form of travel mainly because it is all about your comfort zone. You don’t need to have your attention split between the attractions and other tourists or guide but rather on what you want see, at your own pace and your own time.
Now, driving is in essence the same in every country you go with a few variations depending on governance and road networks. In case you are planning a self-drive safari in Uganda, here are a few things to note so you make your experience even better and your journey free from disturbances.
Speed restrictions in any country are the most strictly enforced road rules and this is purposely done for a good reason. More than 40% of road accidents in Uganda occur because a drive was over speeding. This would be more than unfortunate if you were to become part of this statistic. Consequently, we advise you to watch for speed limit signs along the highways and other major roads in the country. Save your life as well as other people’s lives.
As stated earlier, driving in every country is basically the same in every country with a few minor differences for instance which side of the road to drive on. In Uganda, all drivers are supposed to drive on the left hand side of the road. In case you are not accustomed to this manner of driving or find it difficult, you are advised to hire a car in Uganda a chauffeur driven car (a car with a driver) so let us know during your process of car hire in Uganda with us. Hiring a car in Uganda with a driver guide from the same car rental company is cheaper than hiring a car and driver separately.
Traffic police is an arm in the Uganda police force instructed to ensure there is proper road usage of roads and help road users in general including yourself. So in case something happens to you while you on the road, do not hesitate to find the nearest police officer in white uniform. In the same manner, do not be alarmed if stopped by traffic police for they are just doing their job of ensuring road user’s safety. Once you’re caught in wrong, don’t attempt to bribe the police officer for this only worsens the situation.
Take regular stops
Some people may beg to differ, but we believe that a journey should be as remarkable as its destination. Based on this impression, we would advise you to set off early every day and drive at a moderate speed to absorb as much of Uganda’s beauty as you can through your windscreen and this will also allow you to have regular stops to take pictures or refresh yourself. The main aim of doing this will be to arrive at your destination unfatigued and ready to be impressed by the wonders hidden within the Pearl of Africa.
With the zeal for self-discovered adventures by many youths on Uganda safaris, many have opted for self-drive safaris through the country a reason as to why we are here to give you driving guidelines for self-drive tourists in Uganda. Depending on the season, the roads in Uganda are fairly good within all towns and could be dusty or muddy during the dry and wet seasons respectively.
For international tourists on Uganda tours, a holder of a valid driver license issued by his/her country of residence is permitted to drive in Uganda. However, this is valid for only three months if the driver license is in English and after that period, the driver will be required to obtain a Ugandan driving license.
If your country driver license is not in English, then a driver should have an approved notarized translation of his/her driver license. A better alternative is the driver may obtain an International driving permit before traveling to Uganda.
Now that you know what is required of you, here are some of the Driving rules to follow in Uganda;
Ugandan road traffic rules:
- In Uganda, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle or safari vehicle without a valid driver license.
- The minimum age for driving is 18 years.
- All throughout the country, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08%.
- The speed limit on highways is 100 km/h (62 mph), outside built up areas-80 km/h (50 mph) and 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban built up areas.
- The driver and all passengers are required to wear protective seat belts at all times.
- All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear protective helmets.
- Valid third-party insurance is mandatory for all motor vehicles.
- At intersections, drivers must give way to traffic from his/her right-hand side.
- Use of a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal and can lead to penalty.
- A rear-facing baby seat must not be fitted into a seat protected by an active frontal airbag.
- For non-residents on Uganda wildlife safari tours or any other trip, the driver must be at least 23 years of age and should have held a valid driver license for a period of not less than 2 years.
- In case of an accident during the drive, in not less than 24 hours, the driver must report the accident in person to a police station. You should give to the police officer, your name and address, name and address of the owner of the car and the number of the registration plates of the vehicle.
- Any police officer in uniform may remove any vehicle from a metered parking place if it is not less than two hours from the time at which the vehicle first appeared to have been parked in contravention of the regulation.
Procedure of getting an international driving license
- The applicant should go to the offices of Automobile Association of Uganda and pick application form for an International Driver’s License/permit (IDP)
- The applicant then fills the form
- The applicant proceeds to a designated bank and pays a fee for acquiring the license
- The applicant then hands in a filled application form together with a valid Ugandan driving permit, passport photos and evidence of payment of fees
- The applicant then waits for a few days for the International Driver’s license to be processed