Driving In Uganda : Tips For a Successful Self Drive


Uganda’s roads are generally in good condition. The tarmac roads allow for a smooth ride and the dirt roads are usually in good condition though slippery in rainy seasons. However, you are still driving in Africa. When you are in Entebbe, the most exciting things to do in Entebbe is exploring Lake Victoria; the largest lake in Africa. Entebbe sits on the shores of the lake, which makes it a resort city and also a commercial hub because it has Uganda’s international airport. There is a number of car rental Uganda companies which organize Entebbe excursions to explore and discover the hidden gems of Entebbe.

Here are interesting things to do in Entebbe during your safari with a hired car. You will visit Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre; Also known as the national zoo, this wildlife sanctuary takes care of orphaned and injured animals. Animals to see include lions, elephants, hyenas, leopards and a variety of bird species. Uganda Educational Centre is located on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens; the pristine 30-acre sanctuary was established at the start of the 1900s. It is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria. Animals and plants to see include birds, butterflies, monkeys and tropical trees. You will be driven and enjoy the boat ride / cruise on Lake Victoria; Boat riding is one of the best things to do in Entebbe. Cruise the idyllic lake that is shared by three East Africa countries. Fishing is one of the main economic activities in the region.

Even though most of the major highways in Uganda are tarmacked and in good conditions, many tourist attractions are only accessible via gravel/dirty roads. Some attractions like the Lake Mburo National Park are open to 2WD vehicles but if you are to venture into the Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls, Kidepo valley National parks, you will need to hire 4×4 car.

You will have to plan your route according to your vehicle and your driving skills. Most maps will classify the roads into tarred major roads; gravel major roads, gravel district roads and 4×4 only. The weather plays an important role as well. The rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December can make driving a lot more difficult. You might have to navigate along soaked gravel roads.

There are also great distances between towns and many of the roads are less than busy, so it might be a while before help arrives though at Travel 256 we have stationed ourselves in most parts of the country. The best thing is to be well prepared which obviously includes driving the right vehicle. There is a lot of wildlife crossing roads in Uganda especially near conservation areas. It is obviously not the most desirable thing to collide with any living creature, but having an antelope crashing into the driver’s cabin might cause more than a guilty conscience. Sharp corners, potholes and the wildlife might call for sudden changes in direction, which are even harder to manage on gravel roads. So slow down and enjoy the ride. Clearance and maneuverability are major issues and both are affected by overloading. So make sure you have the right sized vehicle for whatever you need to carry. If you go into 4WD terrain it is advisable to slightly reduce tire pressure. Just make sure to bring a pump and restore the status quo when you get back onto tarred roads.

Driving on dry gravel roads might get you caught in a cloud of dust. Switching on your lights might not increase your visibility but I will allow other drivers to see you. Speed limits and warning signs are there for a reason. So comply with the instructions, it’s that simple.


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