Self drive safaris in Uganda have become famous and new car hire agencies are ever on increase in most towns like Kampala, Kabale, Jinja, Mbarara and many more. Previously, guided tours were the order of day but now, most tourists have developed interest in self drive tours. The challenge with driving in Uganda is that most cars are old, remote and narrow roads and many more.
Below are the top 10 tips to safely enjoy a self drive holiday in Uganda
- Avoid driving at night
If you are taking a self drive tour in Uganda, make sure you do not travel during night hours. Avoid driving in areas without lights as they are highly risky especially with robbers. Driving at night is very challenging in case of any breakdowns it might not be easy for you to get assistance. Be security conscious to yourself as safety starts with you.
- Inspect the vehicle
Before driving the car, it is always advisable to cross check it. Check if the tyres are of better conditions and a spare tyre is available in better condition also. For long journeys, at least two spare tyres are advisable. As well, you make sure that you also check the level of oil, lights, wiper blades, water level and any kind of leakages. The service tag will indicate you when the vehicle was last serviced.
- Use Road map and GPS
Given that you are driving in another country, this means that you use a road map or GPS to help you navigate through the remotest areas in Uganda. Reputable car hire agency can offer you with GPS and road maps at no extra cost.
- Follow traffic laws
Following traffic rules and regulations is something important when it comes to driving in Uganda. It saves you from any dangers on the road. Among the notable rules to bear in mind include road signs, avoid drinking and then drive, put on your seat belt and the rest of members should also be on their seat belts.
- Have a rest, eat and fuel the vehicle
Breaks are the best way for you to refresh especially for longer journeys. It also helps you buy more fuel for the vehicle and saves you from being stranded in the remotest areas where there are no petrol or fuel stations. Do not drive away from the major town without filling the gas tank as you may not know how long it can to get another gas station. You can not get a fuel station in national parks and this means that you need adequate fuel that can take you to and back to the areas with fuel stations. Do not be among those who get stuck in the middle of the national park. Planning well and enjoy your safari.
- Avoid driving when you tired
If you feel sleepy or tired, please do not drive. It is better you park and get some rest or if you are traveling with your friends and they know how to drive you can give one of them to also drive provided he or she has a valid driver’s license.
- Be mindful of the weather patterns
While on safari, drive based on the nature of the weather. In case it is raining, the roads can be muddy and slippery especially in the remotest national parks and this means that your speed has to reduce. Driving on murram roads can be challenging and they can be dusty with potholes when it is wet season. To be on safer side, you must rent a 4×4 car in Kampala from credible companies to avoid disappointments.
- Be mindful of other road users
Most drivers tend to think like they are the only ones on road and yet it is not the case. Uganda roads are narrow and they come with pedestrians all using the same roads. This means you will be driving as motorists, cyclists, students, cattle all crossing the roads and many more.
- Follow the national park rules and regulations
The national park has its own rules and regulations for drivers to follow. You are not allowed to feed the wild animal, not to walk alone in the national park, keep yourself inside the tent and do not keep food items around the tent as they can attract hyena and lions. For any disrespect, you will be charged with shs.100000 for over speeding and $150 for off road driving in the national park.
- Mobile network coverage
Given the nature of area, most parts of the national park do not have clear network coverage and you are encouraged to come with at least satellite phones.
In conclusion, self drive safaris in Uganda are very flexible and allow visitors to enjoy variety of attraction within their convenience. Follow the above tips and you will enjoy your self drive tours in Uganda without any disturbance.