Getting Around

By Boda-Boda

Boda-Bodas are bicycles, small mopeds, motorcycles, or scooters that are fitted with cushions at the back and are a cheap mode of transport in Uganda popular among the locals. Although convenient to get around in, ample care must be taken while riding them, as they are frequently involved in accidents. Nevertheless, they are a fast and fun way to get around Uganda.

By Bus

Two types of buses make up the Ugandan public transportation system. The so-called ‘taxis’ are in fact commuter vans or minibuses that run on fixed routes, while the ‘real buses’ run at a lower frequency and usually leave Kampala pretty early. Buses operated by several companies leave more or less from the same area.

Getting around Uganda’s major urban centres by bus is an inexpensive way to travel. Buses however do not always run on time so unless you have time to spare, depending on the bus system is not a sound idea. Backpackers with time may find getting around Uganda by bus a good option.

A bus trip between Masindi and Kampala is covered in about four hours and costs about 8,000 shillings. It is important to remember that neither the buses nor the ‘taxis’ run on fixed timetables, they leave the bus terminus when full. The official full capacity is 14, and buses on major routes leaving from Kampala must abide by this rule, but once out of view of the scrutinising eye of city officials passengers are packed in like sardines, making for one hell of a ride.

By Taxi

The matatus, which are minibus-type taxis, are the most convenient way to get around Kampala and the nearby towns. Although rather crowded, they are efficiently managed and are cost effective. They run at high frequency along scheduled routes and stop frequently. They pick up and drop off people at any point along the route.

Then there are the special hire taxis, which are the regular type of taxis. They are easily available in most towns. It is best to agree on a price before embarking on any long distance trip.

By Car

Ugandan road conditions are similar to those in most Sub-Saharan African nations. The main roads are largely metalled with a few bad patches here and there, though some badly pot-holed sections are common too.

Smaller roads and side roads are made of murum, which is hard packed earth. When graded, such roads are reasonably good and quick. Heavy rains however completely damage such roads and wash boarding is a common phenomenon.

Under the wrong conditions, driving in Uganda can be rather uncomfortable. Therefore opt for a Uganda self drive if you have ever been in Uganda or have ever driven in Africa.

Airport Shuttle

These are private taxis that are specifically licensed to operate in  Entebbe International Airport.