While on a self-drive experience in Uganda, always ensure to be safe so you can have a great experience of your safari. We advise on a few tips to keep safe while on the road in Uganda on your self-drive.
Self-drive in Uganda is a new foam that tourists have adopted to explore the country, especially on their own with any car rental company offering this service. This also comes with very many advantages as travelers get the privacy, independency, and luxury to travel at their or her pace without the intervention of the drivers.
However, renting a 4×4 for self-drive does not mean you have your full own ship of the car and more so touring around the country on your own doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the road guidelines. The vehicles that are used in self-drive are very expensive so in case of any damages, there are lots of costs incurred to have the vehicle back on the road. So, all in all, if you get a rental car from any car rental company you have to be very careful, especially with the road guidelines.
Please note that if the traveler causes an accident while driving the rental car, he or she is in charge of the damages caused. In addition, accidents kill and are a criminal offense in Uganda if found guilty. To minimize all the common road accidents and not get in trouble we give you tips for safe self-drive in Uganda and these include;
Observe the road signs.
Please observe all the road signs while driving in Uganda. These are the best guidelines to help you lead you on road safety on the road since they are put with the purpose of avoiding unforeseen problems like accidents. Uganda has universal signs which are all written in English so that all travelers can understand and interpret them. The borrowers are also advised to consult their car hire companies about the road signs they don’t understand.
Adhere to speed limits.
It is very important to observe the speed limits while driving in Uganda because overspeeding is the number one cause of road accidents in Uganda and once caught you are charged with a premium fine or go to prison.
The speed limit in Uganda is 80km/hr along the highways, in areas with settlements or urban settings drive speed is 50km/hr, in the National Parks and other protected areas the speed limit is 40km/hr. These are the common speed limits in Uganda, however, there are some other special cases where you will need to drive in accordance with the speed indicated on the road signposts.
Do not drink and drive.
Drunk driving is one of the major causes of road accidents in Uganda and in the world. Do not drink while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, these impair the brain as one loses his or her senses and ends up failing to know the right directions to take which causes accidents with other vehicles. It is also a crime to drink and drive in Uganda which leads to imprisonment.
Keep distance from other vehicles.
In Uganda, the recommended driving length is 5 meters away from another vehicle. This helps you to know what your counterpart is going to do as some of them fail to through indicators showing where they are going and end up roaming into another car. Driving close to another car also is one of the other causes of accidents, especially during traffic jam situations in Uganda. So, keeping a distance helps with all these hustles.
Stick to the recommended driving times.
It is recommended to drive between 6 am to 7 pm in Uganda because this is the safest time to drive before it gets dark. There are several reasons why these 4×4 Car rentals should stop operating by the stated time. Ugandan roads are narrow and others with potholes, so when it is dark it’s very easy to hit the potholes or get off the road which may land you into trouble.
During night time also, do not park in strange areas because not all people are good or friendly meaning anything can happen in search places like robbery and killings. It is also very important to note that not all vehicles on the road are in good mechanical conditions, some have no indicator lights or faulty headlights which becomes easy to run into them when you drive at night.
Do not drive on the shoulders.
Most of the Ugandan roads in Uganda are narrow and there is always car parking at the endings. so do not drive on the shoulders because most of the pedestrians move along the shoulders so when you drive on the shoulders you may bump into one thus causing an accident. It is also a criminal offense in Uganda to drive on the shoulders because it is stated as reckless driving.
Do not drive while on phone.
Do not speak on your cell phone while driving as you may be distracted by the person you are speaking to on phone and end up running into another car or property along the way causing an accident.
Make the right car choice.
Do not select a car depending on its high price or low price before considering your destination. Some cars especially salon cars like wish, and Premio are not suitable for destinations with rugged terrain and off-road trips. Small cars are better on paved roads while off-the-beaten-track journeys require 4×4 vehicles.
In addition to those tips, it is also always important to ask if you do not know or understand something which could land you into trouble. For example, if you want to enjoy a self-drive in the national parks, you need to hire a ranger guide in that particular destination because they know the park and its wildlife better. Remember there are no road signs in the national parks that are well announced so the ranger guides know where to find the wildlife and other tourist attractions.
Despite facing some unforeseen problems on the road though not common, Uganda is the safest country in Africa to enjoy a self-drive tour with car rental as the road network is not complicated and the road signs are understandable and readable.