Uganda Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia, Africa and parts of South America where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.
Driving in Uganda
You can drive on the licence of most countries for up to 3 months after which time you need an International Driving Permit, though some websites make reference to getting your licence endorsed by the Uganda Road Traffic authority before you can rent a car- I’d advise to check this with the rental company. I didn’t do this bit did take an IDP with me. Uganda drives on the left hand side of the road. Main roads in and around Cities are usually in good condition but can be congested. Kampala in particular is a traffic nightmare with gridlock for much of the day.Minor and rural roads will generally be in a worse condition but are usually passable without a 4WD in good weather. If you’re heading to Bwindi National Park to see the gorillas, the roads are in generally good condition but after rain, expect flooding and landslides. I know that people stay at Lake Bunyonyi and drive to Bwindi on the morning of their trek but this journey took us 6 hours after rain so I personally think thats a risk. Better to stay near the park. Roads through Queen Elizabeth NP are all paved and generally Okay except for a few pot holes.
Travelling on the roads in Uganda can be hazardous, particularly outside the main cities. Generally I found that driving standards, for Africa were quite good, with two exceptions. One is buses who will overtake at speed and in the face of oncoming traffic, particularly on roads with hig volumes of slow moving trucks. Second are Government motorcades. These are especially prevalent on the roads from Entebbe airport to Kampala. They will be heralded by flashing lights and sirens and will drive down the middle of the road forcing other vehicles out of the way. Pull over if you heard one approaching.
Other road users may be driving without lights and livestock roam across the roads. The Jinja – Kampala and the Kampala – Masaka roads are particular accident black spots. The road to Jinja is a major truck route- in my view, though it looks a lot longer, you’re quicker coming off the road at Mukono and going up through Nagalama, Nakifuma,Bukoloto,Nazigo and following the loop down to Jinja. Many accidents involve matatus (minibus taxis), boda-bodas (motorbike taxis), buses and trucks which are often overloaded. You should drive with caution at all times and avoid driving at night. There may be restrictions on travel warnings in force for certain parts of Uganda and you should check your Goverments website before driving abroad in Uganda .
Uganda Car Rental –
Hertz and Europcar have branches in Kampala
This company offer self drive, I used them and they were very good. The vehicle was slightly worn, with a few dents etc but in my view, you don’t want a shiny new rental vehicle in Africa!. They will allow vehicles to be taken to Rwanda and will also do one way rentals. I had the vehicle dropped in Kigali, Rwanda and returned to Entebbe. The owners responded quickly to emails and I was very pleased with the service. -http://www.selfdriveuganda.com/
This company offer self drive safaris in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania –
This company offer self drive safari in Range Rover vehicles –
This company’s website mentions hiring cars with a driver but I believe they also arrange self drive.
Uganda Self Drive Rules
It should be possible to take the car into neighbouring countries if you rent from one of the big firms. Hertz say you must have prior agreement to do this. As stated above, SelfDriveuganda allow cars to go to Rwanda.