Today, many people who hire cars in both Uganda and Rwanda opt to drive themselves other than being driven by anyone else. This is because they want to control their movements and also have a different feeling while on a safari full of extra exposures and wonders.
In our company we offer self drive car hire services and allow our clients to drive themselves in any of our cars to any destination in Uganda or Rwanda without extra charges. However, most of them as they return the cars complain about traffic jam especially those that hire the cars for using in urban places. They say this affects their movements and limits them failing them to meet their programs in time. Traffic jam is a big problem in Africa and this because of the poor road planning and failure to come up with the most appropriate methods of reducing the problem on the major roads which are frequently used by people. Both Uganda and Rwanda suffer the same problem and it’s most common in busy places with many people and cars.
It is this reason that one should take note of some of the tips to dodge traffic jam while on a self drive to Rwanda and Uganda and below are some of them;-
- Travel earlier than others. Since there are specific times when traffic jam in Uganda and Rwanda is intense called the rush hours, then one should make sure that he travels before this time reaches. In the morning when most people are going to work traffic jam especially when entering the urban places becomes intense and in the evening when people are leaving work for their homes. We always encourage our customers to avoid driving during these times and make sure they drive at least few minutes to these times. If you know that most people leave home for work at around 7:00 am, the start driving from your home atleast 20 minutes to 7:00am. Same applies to evening hours when people are leaving work. Start travelling atleast 20 minutes to 5:00pm when most people leave their offices to home .this will help you avoid traffic jam that is hectic.
- Know other routes that can lead you to the same destination; – knowing the various roads in urban places which can lead you to the same destination is very important when avoiding traffic jam. In case you find that one road is hit with traffic jam then you can use the other that is better off. This will save you the burden of keeping in jam for hours. We always encourage our clients to especially foreigners to use the maps well and also travel with a guide to help them overcome jam by helping them locate alternative routes.
- Lastly, keeping in the correct line on the road while driving helps to avoid traffic jam. Impatient drivers on the road always create other lines trying to move faster and in the end they create traffic jam. This is common in Africa where roads are not monitored well by the police. You can find that 3 lines have been created and it’s difficult to select which one to use but we encourage you to pick out the correct one. This is always in the middle in circumstances where 3 have been created. Correct lines move faster since the traffic officers care about them and less of the others.
Be assured that by using the above tips, you will never be stressed with traffic jam with your rental car in Kigali or Kampala! Enjoy the best self drive experience on your road trip while adventuring through Uganda or Rwanda.Read More
While on a Self Drive in Uganda, it is vital to have a local phone number that you can simply purchase in the shops or service centres in major towns around the country. There is a wide range of networks to choose from that is MTN, Airtel, Orange, Vodafone, Uganda Telephone, and most recently Smart Telecom. There is wide network range coverage for MTN, Airtel and Uganda Telecom although most people have a preference of Airtel for easy communication followed by MTN. Most importantly is even when you cross the border to Rwanda, the same sim cards will work there although if you require to communicate easily with the local Rwanda people, a Rwanda sim card would be the best option. Purchasing a local sim card should not cost you more than 5,000 Uganda shillings.
A local phone number has far much more advantages as opposed to your international number while on a self drive in Uganda safari. Most of the roads in the country are not really that tarmac especially if you get off the usual highways and it is very easy to communicate with a local phone number to ask any body or your car rental agency for say help with regards to directions with much ease because they can always call you back to find out where you are or how best to get from point A to point B.
Because of the nature of the roads very often it is easy to get a mechanical problem with your rental car of which it is no guarantee but just in case it happens to you, it is very easy and efficient to communicate using your local phone number to your car rental company and they can easily walk you through what to do and how best to go about your issue than having an international number which can take a lot of money to communicate and with less airtime. It is very easy to communicate to a mechanic nearby and also with your rental company for a quick fix of the problem which actually might not be that big a problem.
Not only is it easy to communicate with your car rental agency but also with some other suppliers with in the country at a much more cost effective rate. Remember no body wants to spend much more while on holiday so a local phone number is an automatic saving scheme especially on calls within the country. There are cheaper cell phones in the country too that you can buy at about 30,000 Uganda shillings to serve the purpose while on your holiday. Most notable brands for cheaper cell phones include; Techno and Itel. For instance it is very cheap to book a boat trip in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth or Lake Mburo National Parks using your local phone number or liaise with a Ranger in case you are going for a Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
There are very many things that can move smoothly with easy communication and easy communication is a very important aspect for a success of your safari holiday. When there is an international number involved, your local rental company may not easily communicate the changes in say weather at different areas on your safari trail because of the expense involved in communication. Also some times lodges require phone numbers for the guests before they get to the lodge so as to prepare in advance what you would wish to have, say if you need dinner at the lodge or not, it is easy for the lodge to call you using your local phone number as opposed to an international number some time of which the staff at the different lodges may not have the knowledge of how to dial. Unless you are going to have a guided tour, then your safari guide will have a local phone number to easily communicate but for a self drive safari, I would urge you to endeavor and get a local phone number upon arrival either at the airport or any major town in the country. You can as well talk to your local safari operator to purchase the sim card for your and upon arrival you get it as the car is handed over to you. By so doing, I guarantee you will have a wonderful experience on your safari.Read More
Uganda has relatively good road infrastructure, large vehicle hire fleets run by international and local rental companies, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery – which combines to make self-driving a viable and enjoyable option. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips to enhance your trip shared by Sula Mbaziira an expert from Uganda Self Drive, one of the car rental agencies based in Kampala.
Most car rental companies have various branches throughout the country and at the only airport found in this country. So Vehicles may generally be picked up at any company at branch and dropped at any point within and outside the country after negotiations, subject to a fee.
It is advisable to take out the insurance offered by the vehicle rental companies, unless you have specific cover in place. All major credit cards are accepted.
Any valid driver’s license is accepted in Uganda, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed or authenticated in English.
However, vehicle hire companies may also require an international driver’s license. It is worth confirming requirements with your travel agent or the vehicle hire company when making your booking. This holds for additional drivers as well, who must be identified when you hire your vehicle. Remember to carry all your documentation with you when you travel as traffic officers will expect to see it if they stop you for any reason.
Keep left, belt up, think kilometers
Keep left, pass right. Ugandans drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are therefore right-hand drive vehicles, the gear shift being operated with the left hand.However,we at Uganda car rental, we also have left-handed vehicles that we give out as well on your requisition. This is due to the fact that we have clients who rent cars to travel to Rwanda where they keep right.
All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are marked in kilometers.
Wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law – use a vehicle phone attachment or hands-free kit if you want to speak on your mobile phone.
Drinking and driving is prohibited. The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1 000ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml. But how do you know if you’re over the limit?
The general speed limit on Uganda’s national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph). On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph). In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph), unless otherwise indicated. Check the road signs.
If you’re in a hire car and get a speeding fine, the car rental company will pay the fine, and will charge that amount plus an admin fee to your credit card.
Various types of petrol stations are located and evenly distributed throughout the country. All the country’s high ways have them on the road sides so whenever you run short of it you just branch and stop at the station for refueling. These are open 24/7 and their prices are always the same since they are oligopoly firms and they use cut-throat method in determining prices.
Ugandan petrol stations are not self-help: an attendant will fill the car, ask if you’d like your oil and water and tyre pressure checked, and offer to clean your windscreen – a service for which they are generally tipped for.
When it comes to paying for fuel, you can pay cash or use your credit card. Historically, filling stations used to be cash-only operations so some smaller stations may still not accept cards. Check with the attendant what payment method they accept before filling up. Many filling stations have on-site ATM machines.
Driving around the country
Our road infrastructure is relatively good, so driving between cities and towns is a viable option – and, given the stunning scenery in many parts of the country, a highly enjoyable one.
However, Uganda is a huge country not easily traversed in a day, so plan your journeys carefully. If you’re not used to driving long distances, rather break the journey, as fatigue is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents. While most national roads are tarred and in good condition, the more rural the road, the more likely it is to be pot-holed and poorly surfaced.
Road info, maps: Current information on the conditions of roads can be obtained through the traffic police of Uganda. This very institution also provides invaluable guides for road users in the form of strip maps tailored for specific destinations and information for tourists on accommodation en route.
Traffic signs are generally pictorial or in English.
Uganda has a high rate of traffic accidents so drive defensively and exercise caution when on the roads – especially at night – and keep a wary eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.
Drivers of minibuses and taxis can behave erratically, and often turn a blind eye to rules and road safety considerations.
All Ugandan roads are not fenced, so watch out dogs, chickens, sheep and even cows on the road. These can be particularly hazardous at night.
Large wild animals can as well cross over into the road especially in areas where the road passes through a national park or game reserve like Mburo national park can also pose a danger – if you see road signs depicting animals, take it slowly, especially towards evening.
Never stop to feed wild animals – it is dangerous and you can incur a hefty fine if you do so.
In general, be aware and keep your wits about you. It’s a good idea to drive with your doors locked and windows up, especially in cities and at traffic lights.
Don’t ever stop to pick up hitchhikers. If you are worried about someone on the side of the road, report it to the police station in the next town.
Ensure your car is locked when you park it and do not leave anything in sight. Lock things away in the trunk – known as the boot here – or the glove compartment (cubbyhole).Read More
Explore Uganda and Rwanda in style, with a delightful car rental option from Uganda Self Drive one of the most trusted car rental agencies in Eastern Africa. Let nothing stand in your way; navigate the scenic pearl of Africa national parks in a powerful 4×4’s. Rent any type of car with us, located at Najjanankumbi opposite Kenjoy supermarket. We late you drive yourself although if you need a driver we can offer one who can drive you with a lot of care to any area of your interest. Affordable car rental deals and the best car hire options are Gorillas and Wildlife Safari’s for the customer. We deal with very many travel agencies and we can assist you with any travel and touring arrangements, so don’t get worried about your safari we are experienced car hire service not only in Uganda but also in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi and we are passionate with what we are doing. We are also good in organizing safaris including gorilla tracking safaris, wildlife safaris, bird watching tours and short tours.
We have a good fleet of cars for rental in Uganda including safari customized 4×4 (9-seats) safari vans with a pop-up roof top. They can carry over 7 people and many can stand in the pop-up roof to see wildlife at the same time in a cross distance. Vans are available at only USD$105 dollars per day and this price includes a driver but excludes fuel and gas to any part of the country.
4×4 Extended Toyota land cruiser we hire them at USD $150 per day this with driver. It’s a very comfortable car which can take up to 9 persons comfortably and have enough leg space and leg room, plus enough luggage space.
We also rent 4×4 super custom safari vans we hire it at $95 per day with a driver to any destination in Uganda or any other part either Rwanda, Kenya or Tanzania . It’s good for any activity including wildlife viewing. They have a full time 4×4 wheel-drive system.
We also have smaller 4door Rav4, suitable for up to two people we hire it at USD$ 50 per day without a driver and Fuel. Book with us any type of vehicle or safari at a very good discount rate.Read More