Transport in Uganda


Public buses and matatus (shared minibuses) are the most popular form of local transport within Uganda. For travellers with limited time who wish to maximise their stay in Uganda’s parks and reserves, chartering private vehicles with a driver may be a better option. Certainly colourful, Ugandan buses are often overcrowded and uncomfortable for long journeys. Matatu’s on the other hand can be dangerously fast. Daily passenger services on coaches with seat belts, speed governors, reclining seats and entertainment systems do operate between Kampala and Nairobi, Arusha, Arua, Koboko and Kigali (such as Regional Coach Services).


Taxis are pretty much available only in larger towns. In smaller towns and villages mopeds and bicycles (boda-bodas) can be hired, with a single seat available.

Car Hire

Self-drive is an option in Uganda, and several companies hire out cars and 4WD vehicles. Hiring a vehicle with a knowledgeable driver/guide is another option. If you have any doubts at all about your experience or ability then hire a driver/guide.


Driving is on the left side of the road. Like many African countries, driving in Uganda can be pretty hair-raising, with a high accident rate and careless and negligent drivers all too common a sight. Bicycles, domestic animals, wildlife and other vehicles all provide plenty of potential hazards to a driving experience in Uganda.


Uganda’a rail network is composed of an east-west branch line, which connects the country with the East Coast of Mombasa, Nairobi and extends to Kasese close to the Congo-Zaire border. Only the Nairobi-Mombasa link is currently operational.


Uganda Railways Corporation operates three ferries on Lake Victoria between Port Bell, Jinja, Kisumu (Kenya) and Mwanza (Tanzania). These services are mainly used for freight, although some passenger capacity does exist. Connection between the islands on Lake Victoria is by small boats mainly owned by fishermen. Water transport generally remains undeveloped.


Do as many Ugandans do, hire a bike and travel by pedal-power!

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