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Uganda Guide

Driving

Although it borders various other countries that have plenty to boast, Uganda was branded the Pearl of Africa by none other than Winston Churchill and has tried to live up to the claim ever since. Its main talking points are its diverse landscapes and endangered species of wildlife which are unique to this part of the world. By car, tourists can divide their time between beautiful outdoor areas, colonial towns such as the capital, Kampala, and the various islands located around north Lake Victoria.

Driving Tips for Uganda

Roads around Uganda are often pot holed but many minor routes are easy to drive on as they consist of hard packed earth. Because of this, it is advised to hire a four-wheel drive vehicle. Night driving outside of main towns isn’t recommended as locals often drive without lights.

Driving licences: a UK photo licence is sufficient for up to three months; an International Driving Permit or local licence is needed for longer stays.

Which side does Uganda drive on: the left.

Speed limits:
Motorways: 62mph (100kph)
Rural areas: 55mph (80kph
Built-up areas: 31mph (50kph)

Alcohol limits: 0.08 per cent; the same as in the UK. There are fines and penalties for drivers caught drink-driving.

Driving age: 18 years.

Seatbelts: compulsory for every passenger. Uganda is currently without child seat or restraint laws.

Mobile phones and GPS: mobile phone use while driving is strictly prohibited. Those with GPS are able to use their devices but many roads aren’t featured.

Cost of fuel in Uganda: considerably cheaper here than in Britain.

Car hire and fuel payment: credit card payments are accepted at the majority of petrol stations and by car hire companies. British card holders are advised to inform their supplier of their plans to use their card here prior to leaving the UK.

Insurance: third-party insurance isn't always included with car hire. Excess insurance is highly recommended.

Traffic and parking: traffic is congested around the capital, Kampala, especially in the morning and the early hours of the evening. Parking only in designated areas is advised.

Transport

Taxis
Most taxis around Kampala and other cities come in the form of minibuses which travel along fixed routes at fixed prices. Private taxis, referred to locally as special hire taxis, are available. Fares for both long and short distances have to be negotiated as there are no meters. Commonly, trips around Kampala cost between £1.20 and £6.

Buses
Uganda is among Africa's most serviced countries when it comes to bus travel. Several companies offer coaches from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Juba (South Sudan), Goma (Congo), Kigali (Rwanda) and Bujumbua (Burundi) to the capital, Kampala. Due to the distances involved, travel is often slow. Fares cost between £6 and £12 depending on class, with services supplied by Scandinavian Express, Busscar and Akamba. Domestic bus travel is mostly by minibus as well as larger buses that don’t leave until full. The ride from Kampala to Masindi costs around £2.

Ferries
Due to the country being landlocked, boat travel from foreign countries isn't possible. Domestically, it is possible to travel by ferry between Lake Victoria's Ssesie Islands from ports near Entebbe. Fares range from £2.50 to £3.50 for second and first class, respectively.

Airports
Around 25 miles or a one-hour minibus journey from Kampala, Entebbe International Airport is the main air arrivals hub. Every second day, it is possible to fly here directly from London-Heathrow with British Airways. The majority of other flights into the country are from African cities such as Johannesburg (South Africa), Cairo (Egypt) and Nairobi (Kenya). UK citizens must arrange a visa from a Ugandan embassy before travelling or can obtain a single-entry visa, currently priced at £30 per person, on arrival. Eagle Air and United Airlines currently offer travel from Entebbe to northern Uganda.

Explore

Exploring Uganda

The majority of visitors start their time here by first exploring Kampala, a typical bustling African capital that is also the country's only city. The main attractions are the Art Gallery, the National Theatre and the National Museum. Until they were damaged, the Kasubi tombs were the most popular draw.

Arua in the north can be reached by taxi or plane from Kampala and is home to some of Uganda's main outdoor points of interest. Within its confines are the Ajai Game Reserve and Murchison Falls National Park. Also popular are trips to river camps located on the River Nile.

Those visitors that wish to enjoy boat rides along Lake Victoria often head to Entebbe, near Kampala. The city is famous for its zoo and botanical gardens, in addition to various government offices that are among the most fascinating buildings in the country.

On Lake Victoria itself are the Ssese Islands, which boast isolated beaches and vast jungle areas. Boat travel to this region takes around 3 hours, 30 minutes from ports near Entebbe.

Those that enjoy African countries for their captivating national parks will most likely want to head to Mbara in the west. Gorilla lovers always make time for Kisoro, which sits close to borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, as it provides access to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi's Impenetrable National Park.

Weather

Uganda's climate isn't uniform due to changes in altitude. The south of the country is generally wetter than other parts and rain is constant most of the year round. Near Lake Victoria, the majority of rainfall is experienced from March to June and between November and December. In the north, the dry season falls from November to February and is when temperatures can hit 25°C.

All cities in Uganda

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