Self Drive Safety Tips for Uganda Visitors

Self Drive Uganda

Getting on the wheels to explore Uganda on your own is the new normal. Travelers are getting the courage to drive and explore the country’s different tourist sites. These expeditions are commonly known as self-drive safaris.  Self-driving in Uganda is a safe option because of the tight security rendered by the security organs in the country.  You can drive Uganda from south to north hardly encountering any safety-threatening incident.

The main danger which can compromise the traveler’s safety on a self-guided expedition is unprecedented, that is to say, road accidents. Road accidents are majorly attributed to road users, so it is upon travelers to be critical and careful to elude them.

Because most clients that hire cars for self driving in Uganda are international travelers who are unfamiliar with the roads and way of driving in the country, they have to be extremely cautious to have an innocuous experience.

Road accidents cause lots of trouble and losses, for example, a traveler can get injuries or even die. More so, when a client gets into an accident and is found guilty, they are liable to meet the expenses incurred to repair the damages on the car. In the worst-case scenario, the client can be imprisoned for the offense. All these predicaments hamper the client’s self drive in Uganda.

Therefore, to avoid the aforementioned plights, below are the tips to have a safe and secure self driving experience in Uganda.

Follow the Speed Limits

Adhering to the speed limit is lifesaving while driving in Uganda. According to the road accident report of 2022, over-speeding contributed to 60% of motor accidents in Uganda. The roads of Uganda have potholes and are narrow hence making it easy to roll over or collide with another car when driving recklessly.

80 km/hr is the recommended speed on highways and in towns and places with settlements, 40km/hr is the speed. In the national park, you’re authorized to drive at a speed of 40km/hr. The speed can even go down depending on the road or prevailing traffic situation. Also, the speed limit on road signs must be observed and these can be above or below the aforementioned usual said speed.

Do not drink and drive:

Do not drive a car under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Remember these impair the brain and one loses his/her judgment as one can never know the right speed to drive and also the other road users around him. Drunk driving is one of the major causes of road accidents in the world. It is also a crime to drink and drive in Uganda.

Do not use a mobile phone while driving:

Do not use your cell phone while driving. All the attention will be carried to the phone and lose focus yet driving in Uganda requires maximum concentration.

Restrain from driving on the edges of the road:

Ugandan roads are narrow and have no demarcations to indicate pedestrian and bicycle paths, you can easily knock people, animals, and motorcyclists that are always moving on the margin of the road. Additionally, driving on the shoulders is driving on the blind side of another motor. Thus, in case of a change of direction, an accident is highly likely to happen. This is why driving on the shoulders is prohibited.

Observe the Road Signs:

Follow the signposts and radars stationed on the roads. These offer the best guidance on how to drive on a certain road. The good news, these road signs, and radar are no different from your home country because they are universal and well-printed in English. Observing the road signs zeros down the chances of getting into any trouble on the roads of Uganda.

Leave a 5-meter gap between Cars:

Avoid a bump-to-bump situation when self-driving in Uganda. Motorists are always instantly braking to dodge a pothole on a road and some do not turn on indicators when making a turn or leaving the road. So, a 5-meter distance between cars is advised to have room to know the decision the front motorist is making. Bump-to-bump driving is one of the major cause of car collision in the country, especially in Kampala and other cities where traffic jam is the order of the day.

Additionally, it is advisable to lower the driving car when you draw near another car or passing by it.

Heed to the authorized driving period:

Most car rental companies in Uganda instruct their client to start driving at 6 am and stop at 7 pm since it is the most secure period to travel around Uganda. It is the time when the day is bright and one is full of energy and can operate at full capacity. During the day, a driver can clearly see what is ahead on the road. Ugandan roads are narrow, full of potholes, animals, and people walking on the edges and crossing, and also some vehicles are DMCs with no headlights, all the adversaries mentioned making driving at night extremely difficult.

Don’t stop or park in strange spots at night. There are lots of dangers out there such as wild animals or robber attacks.

Despite facing some unforeseen problems on the roads of which they are not so common, Uganda is one of the safest countries in Africa to enjoy a self drive tour as the road network is not complicated and the road signs are universal and easy to read that lead to the various tourism destinations.

Self drive tours in Uganda are also adventurous, interesting, and exciting as the traveler is able to encounter wildlife in their natural setting.

It is important to always ask whenever you are not sure. To enjoy the visit to the national parks while on a self drive, always hire a ranger guide in that particular destination who will show you around for they know the parks better.

Remember there are no road signs in the national parks that are well-pronounced. These rangers are also well conversant with where to find the different wildlife based on the previous days’ experiences. The cost of hiring a ranger guide is $20 although sometimes based on how well they have been, you might tip them as a gratitude for their good work done.

Plan for Healthy Risks

In respect to all the above criteria, before you plan to travel to Uganda consider planning for health risks in the tropics. Uganda is a tropical country that receives both rainfall and sunshine the whole year with tropical forests, savanna plains and woodlands. All the above harbor to mosquitoes that some cause malaria.

So when you plan a self drive trip in Uganda mind taking all the required necessities to cub various diseases.


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