Many travelers the world over ask themselves, how do I travel to Uganda? or how do I get to Uganda for my safari/business trip or even just for a friendly visit? well, in this document we have put together for you the various means available for you to travel to Uganda for whatever reason you wish to visit Uganda and the simple detail of where Uganda is located.
Where is Uganda located? Uganda is a country in East Africa. It lies astride the Equator between Longitudes 29 East and 35 East and between Latitudes 4 North and South, at an average altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level.
Uganda is also landlocked with no access to the sea. Uganda’s main cities; Kampala and Entebbe are located near Lake Victoria in the Central part of the country.
There a number of International airlines that fly to Uganda but below are the major ones;
Uganda bordered by five countries;
Of these, many visitors cross in or out of Uganda overland from Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda but the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan are largely off-limits to casual travel. Uganda’s land borders are generally very relaxed, provided that your papers are in order.
Traveling between Uganda and Kenya could not be more straightforward. The pick of the direct coach services between Kampala and Nairobi which departs from Kampala Oasis Mall 2 times a day and docks at the rough (River Road) end of Nairobi city center from which, it is safer to take a taxi to your next destination.
You can also do the trip by stopping at the likes of Jinja and Busia in Uganda, and Kisumu, and Nakuru in Kenya.
The direct rail service between Nairobi and Kampala founded years ago, but it is possible to take a trail from Nairobi as far as Kisumu.
Plenty of public transport runs on from Kisumu to the Ugandan border at Busia, where buses to Kampala tend to pass through in the early morning, but matatus run throughout the day. You can also be picked from here by a Uganda tour operator to your next destination to Uganda.
The only direct route between Uganda and Tanzania connects Masaka to the port of Bukoba, crossing at the Mutukula border post.
It is possible not to travel non-stop between Kampala and Bukoba, but far easier to take the direct Friends Safaris bus from their office in Old Kampala.
These leave at 05:00 and 14:00 and tickets cost around US$10. Friends Bus also runs to Mwanza (US$18)(though it is more interesting to leave the bus in Bukoba and take the thrice weekly ferry cross Lake Victoria).
If heading from Kampala to Arusha and Moshi it is quicker and more comfortable to travel via Nairobi. Regular shuttle buses run between Nairobi and Arusha and take around 5 hours.
Two main border crossing connects Uganda and Rwanda. Cyanika lies 15km south of Kisoro while Katuna is 21 km south of Kabale.
It is perfectly straightforward to drive yourself so long as you remember that the Rwandan authorities expect vehicles to drive on the right, have appropriate insurance, and carry breakdown warning triangles.
Jaguar Executive Coaches run four buses daily from Kampala to Kigali from their stage on Namirembe Road, 500m uphill from the main cluster of the bus and taxi parks around Nakivubo Stadium (at around US$12).
Visa if required can be obtained at the border, but countries are covered in the East Tourist Africa visa that can be bought on arrival at Entebbe or Kigali.
There are several routes between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. From north to south, the main ones are Arua-Aru, Ntoroko-Kasenyi (a boat crossing on Lake Albert), Bwera-Kasindi, Ishasha, and Bunagana.
Of these, only the last sees much in the way of tourist traffic, this being the most convenient crossing for mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park, and visiting other locations such as Nyiragongo Volcano. Bunagana is 8km from Kisoro and served by daily buses from Kampala.
Flying has never been an option for most visitors on a Uganda safari though some more luxury safaris now use flights to cut the driving time between Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks.
Kidepo Valley National Park is the only Uganda safari destination that is reached by air almost as often as it is by road. This is because it is very difficult to drive up from Kampala or Entebbe to Kidepo in one day.
Self-drive safaris are not so common in Uganda but when you decide to undertake a self-drive tour in Uganda, you are advised to have an updated map, and not drive at night on main highways.
Potholes are common, although roads are generally in good condition. Be warned things can get very messy come rainy season.
Most roads in Uganda are unsurfaced and tend to be variable in conditions from one season to the next, with the surface being trickiest during the rains.
A 4X4 is the best vehicle for use on Uganda Safaris and other long journeys
Also if you decide to rent a self-drive vehicle, check it over carefully and ask to take it for a test drive.
Check the conditions of the tyres and ensure that there is at least better two spare tyres, both in good conditions to be used if the need presents itself.
Ugandans follow the British customs of driving the left side of the road.
The following documentation is required at all times:
Your own domestic license is acceptable for up to 3 three months but is a good idea to have an international driving license.
The speed limit is 100km/h on the open road and 50km/h in built-up areas.
If you don’t have a valid insurance sticker or any other transgression, you will be presented with a charge sheet to clear at the bank within 28 days.
Filling stations charge around US$1.20 per liter for petrol and slightly less for diesel. Shell and Total stations are the most popular and both have at least one outlet in larger towns.
Car-hire prices in Uganda tend to be expensive compared to other parts of the world. Most tour companies will charge around US$100 Per day for a 4×4 with driver but excluding fuel. However it is possible to get good deals.
Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd have affordable cars for hire in Uganda no matter where you’re traveling to Uganda.
Our 4×4 safari Land cruisers and safari vans for hire feature the strength to negotiate the challenging landscape including the Kigezi highlands and Karamonja landscape.
Because of varying landscapes and the nature of the connecting murram roads at times, it is not advisable to drive yourself in Uganda especially if you are new in the country.
We have an expert driver-guide who offers the themed interpretation and you through challenging road section carefully and safely as they have the expertise in this.
This is a lovely attempt that will offer you a safe and trusted leisure and educational tour exploring the pearl of Africa in detail.
Coach and bus services cover all major routes and are probably the safest form of public transport in Uganda.
On all trunk routes, the battered old buses of a few years back have been replaced or supplemented by large modern coaches that typically maintain a speed of 100km/h or faster, allowing them to travel between the capital and any of the main urban centers in western Uganda in less than 5 hours, generally at a cost of less than US$10.
These white minibusses. They generally have no departure time, but simply leave when they are full. Taxis tend to charge slightly higher fares than buses, and the drivers tend to be more reckless, but they allow more flexibility, especially for short hops. The terminal where they depart is called a taxi park.
These offer one of the most popular ways of getting around in Uganda. They are called Boda Boda because they originated as a means of smuggling goods from border to the border along ruler footpaths.
They are a convenient means of suburban transport and also great for short trips where no public transport exists.
Fares are negotiable and affordable—a fraction of a US dollar in most towns. If you are reliant on public transport it is inevitable that you will use a body at some stage. When you decide to use a Boda boda, try to identify a sensible-looking operator, ideally of mature years.
Old riders are generally better. Tell your driver to go slowly and carefully or even to stop for you to get off if you don’t feel safe. You should ask for a helmet.