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Driving in Uganda: Road Rules & Traffic Speed Limits

Located in East Africa, Uganda is a hidden secret. Its incredible transport system including good roads is one of the reasons for the rapid growth of its economy.

This nation has multiple highways which start from Kampala to border points in various regions. Apart from trade, tourism is another industry that generates more revenue for the country.

When you start to name the top countries for an incredible road trip in Africa, Uganda can’t miss the list. Most of the roads in cities and other nearby places are tarmacked and well maintained.

If you wish to know about Uganda’s road rules and traffic speed limits before you sit at the back of the steering, this guide to driving in Uganda is for you.

Road rules & Regulations

What you have to know first is that in the pearl of Africa, all motorists keep left. For any person to be allowed on the road you must be eighteen years and above with a valid driving license.

Once you are found driving without the approved permit, just know you will end up in Jail. If you are a person who doesn’t own one and wish to apply, here is our guide on how to get a driving permit in Uganda.

Other rules include avoiding over speeding and loading, not driving while speaking on phone, don’t drink alcohol, and drive. Moreover, make sure to follow the traffic lights.

These lights are found on all roundabouts in major cities and town centers. The red light means stop, yellow – get ready and the green one allows you to go. Be keen and avoid mistakes because you may cause accidents if you don’t mind about the lights. Make use of your side mirrors. Lastly, don’t ignore the road signs.

Speed Limits

Distance yourself from exceeding the limits because you will expose yourself to penalties. Please know that most roads in Uganda have traffic officers who are there to monitor and stop all those who are over speeding.

The regulations require you to maintain 100km per hour on highways, 80kilometers per hour on murram roads, and 50km/hr in urban areas. For those who are hiring the car for Self-drive holidays, know that you are not allowed to drive at night.

Road Users

Roads in Uganda are used by many people including car drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bikers. Try to reduce the speed when you reach the zebra crossing. It is left for walkers to cross the roads. Heavy trucks like trailers and small cars all use the same paths.

Try to distance yourself from these trucks because the drivers most of the time don’t mind those service utility vehicles.

How to Dodge Traffic

Most roads in Kampala and those that move out of the city experience traffic congestion daily. There is no way you can avoid it if you don’t make plans for your trip.

If you hope to use some of the busy roads in Kampala, be sure to have your drive in the traffic-free time.

This is during noon and after lunch. Morning and evening hours are worse. Don’t hit the road in this period if you are allergic to traffic jam.

If not that you can join the road during this time but mainly use the express highways and bypass. For example, those who are coming from Entebbe, Namugongo, Seeta, Munyonyo, and a lot more.

During the Rainy Season

Uganda has urban areas and villages. Some of the paths in the villages are not yet tarmacked. During the season of heavy rains, these routes are muddy, slippery, and hard to pass.

Therefore in the wet season don’t ever risk visiting a certain village or tourist place like national parks in a two-wheel drive. My friend, you will get stuck or even sleep on the way. A 4WD is more perfect for the adventure.

Is it Safe at Night?

It is not safe to drive in Uganda at night especially on the highways. Thieves target motorists in the dark spots and go away not only with their assets but also with their lives.

So it is better to do it during the day. Within cities like Kampala and nearby areas it is safe but try to keep your door mirrors up and put in the center lock. While in the traffic jam, put your gadgets like phones in your pocket and be alert.

Things to Avoid.

While driving in town or out of the city and someone stops you claiming like your car has a problem, please do not stop. This is common in hubs for car repairing garages like Kiseka market and along the highways.

Don’t give lifts to people you don’t know. Sometimes those locals along the roads pretend to be humble but when there are thieves.

If someone knocks me what next?

Remain in the same place and negotiate with the person who has caused harm to your vehicle. He or she is supposed to pay for all the costs required for repairs.

If the traffic officer is nearby he or she will also help you to sort out the issue. If the person damages your car and fails to stop please report to the nearby police.

Mind about this

Most roads in Uganda have humps and potholes, so try to focus your eyes both on the ground and in front especially at night such that you don’t hit them hard. You may cause mechanical problems to your Car.

Source of Fuel/Gas

A car consumes fuel to move from one place to another. It is not free of charge. You have to visit one of the gas outlets and refill.

In Uganda, operators like Shell, Total, Stabex, and more provide fuel at affordable rates. Don’t hesitate to visit one of their stations along the various roads once your car gas light warns. The fuel rates in Uganda depend on the seller.

Nature of the lanes

There are two types of roads in this nation, and these are one-way and two-way paths. A one-way road is designed to direct traffic in one direction, while a two-way allows vehicles to travel in both directions.

If you know how to drive safely in Uganda, nothing can limit you from enjoying your road trip in this amazing nation.

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