Guide to Drive a Manual Car for Tourists in Uganda

Though the number of manual transmission cars are gradually decreasing per year, some old school people or even people who love challenge still yearn to drive them. It really takes some craft to drive a manual transmission. In Uganda, people who normally drive manual transmission cars are considered experts and many people would love to be attached to the attribute. Henceforth some people still rent them for self-drive safaris. By knowing the nature of the road transport system of Uganda, it really takes some work to drive a manual transmission car especially when you are visitor.

Here is a guide to drive a manual car for visitors or tourists in Uganda

Know Your Way Around

A manual transmission requires a diver to act by shifting the gears as per the driving situation is in. it is best for a driver to know and anticipate the situation he/she might get in while on the road other than being caught off guard. Manual car is driven by instincts and technical know-how.

Know where the pedals are

Most of the manual transmission cars the pedal are down, the gas pedal or accelerator on the right in the middle the brake and clutch on the left. The clutch helps in shifting gears and keeping the engine on especially when the gas pedal is not pressed. The brakes are for stopping the car and the gas pedal or accelerator for the car movement. But the technicality on the clutch pedal is- some of the are hard to press while other are soft so one needs to find that balance while driving a manual car.

Starting the engine

Starting the manual transmission car engine is very tricky. Some experts say that the driver should first put the gear shift in neutral then the engine hits while pressing the clutch and put off your foot gradually on it as you get the other on the gas pedal as shift the gear to the number one. The popular one is press the clutch and the brake as you get to gear number one then put your foot off the clutch pedal gradually as you press the gas pedal. When the car starts moving then put your foot completely off on the clutch pedal and then good to go.


Parking is one of the easiest thing to do while driving a manual transmission. All you have to do is; as you nearing to park the car get your foot on the clutch and the brake and then shift the gear to one. The car should always park in gear one.


Self Drive Uganda-5 Tips To Drive Without Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most worrying problems people who drive cars face. This comes as a result poor sitting posture, bad seats and also sitting for long hours while driving. Back pain is really some discomfort that can even go for a lifetime. This is a major problem for long distance travelers since they spend long hours while seated.

Many people who rent cars in Uganda go for self drive safaris to different national parks that are located far away from the city. After the safari, many complain about back pain and here are the 5 tips to drive without back pain.

Have some breaks while driving

Driving a car for a long distance is a very hard task that comes with immerse fatigue for both the mental and physical faculties. It is advisable to take some refreshment breaks for 10-30 minutes. When having a break do some stretching of the limbs and the entire, have some drink and a bite. It is best if you take breaks after every two hours of driving.

Make some stretching as many times as possible

While the seated, the human body system is not at its full operation and thus leading to the contraction of most muscles in the body. Most of the times, muscle contractions come with body discomfort or pain. Therefore while driving get some time to stretch your muscles or body to avoid contraction thus avoiding back pain. You can even stretch in your car while in traffic jam. There are very many stretching ways when sitting.

Carry an ice pack with you

Ice is one of the best reliever of pain. When you place ice on a hurting place especially caused by body inner complications like muscle contraction and body malfunction, it relieves it instantly. It commendable to carry an ice pack in the trunk to treat yourself in case of body hurting problems like back pain arise.

Ensure that your car seat is in the correct position

As the car is driven, the seat is likely to shift its position over some period of time. Therefore, when getting to a self drive safari ensure that you put the seats in their right position or your favored position.

Getting the right position of the seat is one of the most effective remedy of preventing a back pain as most of the back problems come with bad seating posture.

The ideal seat position in car is the angle between the back of your seat and the base of your seat should be between 110-130 degrees.

A good seat position can help a traveler prevent more that 50% of back pain while traveling.

Do body exercise regularly

This is not something that should be tipped off to any human being. It is mandatory for every person to do some work out since the body needs some stretching to burn some fats and expand some muscle to be at full strength to operate well. If you do body exercises regularly, you are likely not to have body pain.

How to Stay Away of Road Dangers on a Uganda Self Drive Safari

Is driving your passion or just drive for the sake of reaching another destination? Besides that, do you think of the dangers of driving whenever you hit the road or not.

If not you are doing the right thing in a wrong place. Your life is at risk, for safety precautions it’s often advisable and paramount.

You may recognize yourself a good driver, but that doesn’t guarantee you powers of controlling the different dangerous incidents which may occur on the road. It’s something uncontrollable, therefore being careful is the first preventive action to take.

Planning a Self-drive in Uganda?. It’s our pleasure renting you a Car at affordable prices, drive safely by our tips below and enjoy your road trip in Uganda to your fullest.

Survival Tips for Uganda Driving Incidents

Do you prefer being involved in an accident or a fierce brawl on the road? Smilingly am sure the answer is no. But, this is sometimes inevitable. Nevertheless, these survival tips fit best for your own protection whether it’s a crash or a serious road rage.

Drive defensively to avoid unexpected accidents.

Notwithstanding the fact that a defensive driver can have a bad day, careful driving honestly reduces the risk of road crashes. Other precautions to take are: wear the seat-belt, use both hands on the steering wheel, park somewhere to answer a call and keep a distance from the car in front as well.

Don’t get involved in a Road Rage

Usually, it’s of less concern being part of someone else’s anger. Although violent raging incidents are rare in Uganda, managing your temper is the key to avoid something nasty such as an injury.

If the other party is furious, it’s advisable you handle the situation by posing a laid-back attitude. If it’s your fault or just an accident, defuse the situation with a mouthed apology.

Keep Your Distance

Don’t rush, take your time and keep a reasonable distance from a car upfront especially when you are waiting in traffic.

This doesn’t only limit you from unexpected Car scratches and heavy damages but also provides room for maneuvering a way to the roadside in case of an emergency car passing like an ambulance.

Don’t Lose Your Composure

This is probably the most important of survival tips for driving incidents in Uganda. Remaining calm will help to get out of a critical situation without much harm. Whether it’s road rage or accident, keeping your head cool sounds better.

If you hit something on the road or lose control of the vehicle, keeping up the control will allow you to apply the brakes, accelerate, or whatever necessary to recover the damage.

If you are caught in a brawl, apologize and leave the place as soon as possible. Even if the other party uses abusive words and gestures, please just neglect them.

Drive Away

Just drive away from the scene to somewhere you fill safer like a nearby police station in case of any threatening road rage.

Never open the door for a dispute most especially when it’s a crowd. You can be beaten to death or even setting the Car to fire.

Car Rental Uganda: Qualities of a Good Driver

Renting a car in Uganda has become the norm of the day for many travelers in Uganda. Travelers rent cars for different reasons like leisure engagements, business transfers and political events. Cars in Uganda are majorly rented by foreign travelers due to their convenience, safety and privacy. The foreign travelers are people who do not know much about the country so thereby most of the times needing to hire a car with a driver. However with car rental services, you do not just get any driver for the client, there has to be some qualities you have to look for.

Below are some of the qualities of a good driver for car rental services

Qualified and experienced

The driver should have all the required tools making eligible to drive a car in Uganda. He/she should have a driver’s license and above the age of 21 years.  On top of that he/she should have some good years on the spin while driving in Uganda. He should at least have a three years’ experience. Experience come with confidence on the wheel and hence making less mistakes on the road. Safety is paramount for every traveler and an experienced driver guarantees you some safety on the road.

Punctual and reliable

Time is a variable of traveling because each and every event or activity done while traveling or tour is done at a specific time. Therefore a driver has to be always on time in case the client needs his/her services. He should also be available at any time the client wants to travel.

Informed and knowledgeable

Most of the people who hire cars with a driver are foreign traveler who do not know much about Uganda. Therefore a driver should be have vast travel information about Uganda i.e. the routes leading to various places, climate, money and other currencies and current affairs. He/she should also be fluent in English. English is one of the most used language in the whole world and most of the travelers who come to Uganda at least can speak English so the driver should be in position to communicate in a language the clients have a clue at.

Good hygiene

No one would like to associate with a dirty person. It is very irritating to hang out with a person who has a noxious smell and with shabby and dirty clothes. The driver should always be clean and smartly when with the client. He/she should keep the car clean and organized while driving it. It commendable to wash regularly.


A driver should also be able to interact easily with the clients. Most of the times the traveler would wish to travel with someone they are well conversant with. This forges trust and friendship between the traveler and the driver.







How to Stay Fresh on Long Trips in Uganda

In the world of travel, Africa is known for safari trips. In a common language, safari trips are expeditions that commands for traveling for long distances and staying there for some days. The long trips in Uganda normally involve getting to the national parks which are located in the remote areas of the country.

Therefore, engaging in these travel expeditions sometimes your hygiene and body freshness is comprised in some way or the other since most of the times you are on the road which are most times dusty.  One of the most discomfort moment one might ever get is not being fresh. When you are not fresh enough you feel out of order both physically and emotionally. This can even ruin your trip since traveling requires a person to be in his/her best mood of life.

In order to avoid ruing your trip in Uganda due to your body discomfort, here are some tip on how to stay fresh on long trips in Uganda:

Wear light or athletic clothes

Uganda is a tropical country straddled by the equators which means that it receives and sun and rain throughout the year. It experiences an average temperature of 26⁰C in year which makes it a hot country. This is why most travel tips in Uganda indicate that you have to travel with one layer clothes or athletic clothes. Such kind of garments allow some aeration and somehow minimize the over sweating of the body thus keeping one fresh on the trip.

Avoid heavy perfume or cologne

When traveling on a long trip, bathing becomes very minimal. So the body will not be at its best freshness and when the body is not at its best freshness, it is not commendable to apply heavy perfumes or colognes. This is because body irritation will increase and more so one developing an obnoxious odor. It is advisable to use a deodorant which is anti-precipitant and light.

Furthermore, you should also carry moisturized wipes since they can relatively cool down the body if it gets some irritations.

Indulge in hygiene whenever you can

It is at times hard to get involved in bathing while on a long trip. But when you get a chance like relaxing at your lodge, please try as much as possible to get a shower. There is no better body refreshing mechanism like watering your body.

It is very hard to stay fresh on a long trip but the above tips are really lifesavers if put into consideration.

5 Symptoms of Unbalanced Tires to Discover on Uganda Road Trip

Balanced tires is one of the top aspects of keeping your Car in a good condition therefore driving a car with unbalanced tires just know that you are putting your life into danger.
Unbalanced tires are usually characterized with a lot of problems which can even limit good performance of your vehicle.

Many people do not pay attention to this issue and that’s why they find themselves into difficulties. Listed below are some of the symptoms to identify this under looked mechanical problem while on your discoverable Uganda Road Trip.

Problems with Steering

When you start experiencing the challenge of steering your vehicle limiting you from turns on the road, just know that your vehicle is characterized by this problem of unbalanced tires. So it’s recommended that you react to the problem before it worsens.


The vibrations from steering wheel are one of the earliest notifications to identify the unbalanced tires. Even a minute unbalance in your tires can cause these vibrations in the steering wheel.
Initially, these vibrations would be limited to the steering wheel but mind you, these can grow higher and reach to the entire front cabinet, if not fixed earlier. After some time you will come to feel the vibrations even in the front and back seats.

Degrade Economy for Fuel

An action of driving a vehicle with unbalanced tires exerts extra pressure on the engine and this will completely destroy its performance and functioning.
Additionally, the resistance generated while driving with unbalanced tires causes a higher force exerted on the engine to function in the inappropriate manner. Due to this, the engine’s fuel consumption increases.
To avoid bigger expenses which may occur like buying a new engine, its better you attend to simple problem of unbalanced tires once it appears.

Uneven Wearing

Most drivers don’t take it as a point when it comes to checking the Car tires for wears yet it’s an important issue to pay attention. Usually uneven wear in your car’s tire is a clear indication to unbalanced tire level. Thus, many automobile experts suggest having a visual inspection of your car’s tire often.
Other features to indicate this problem include having tires worn than the others, threading and more.
Replacing these tires is the best solution but you can also rotate the tires as a temporary fix in some circumstances. And don’t forget to balance out the tires as soon as you replace the new ones.

Bearings and Bad Shocks

These are also one of the clear indications towards the unbalanced car tires, these bearings and shocks usually occur under extreme conditions or when your car’s functioning is under high stress.
It’s advised you take some immediate actions against these symptoms of unbalanced tires in order to prevent other damages to your car.
These sudden shocks will also limit the performance of the car along with decreasing its mileage. You might end up spending a lot for replacing many parts of your car if you do not attend to the problem in time.

Rules to follow while driving in wildlife parks of Uganda

Uganda is ranked among the best safari destinations in Africa with over 10 national parks filled with some of the most iconic wildlife species in the world. A Uganda self drive safari through the national parks offer the tourists a chance to explore at their own pace and freedom. Apart from Bwindi forest and Mgahinga, rest of the national parks in Uganda are easy to adventure with well defined game tracks , entrance and exit points that will definitely make your road trip a safe and exciting adventure. Below are some of the tips to follow when driving through the national parks on any safari.

Always drive slowly; this is one of the vital safety driving tips which apply to all destinations and roads. All the parks in Uganda require you to drive at a speed of 40km per hour to avoid collisions with the animals or car flips. The other good thing about driving slow is that you also get a chance to see variety of species which you could have missed when over speeding.

Always travel early; many safaris in Africa need you to get up so early as it gives you a chance to see early risers and other wildlife going to hibernate after a night’s hunt. Uganda national parks all open gates art 7am and most lodges serve breakfast as early as 6 am to ensure you can get on the tracks by 7. So when on a road safari, forget about walking up late, you have to get ready by 6 to see many wildlife species and if lucky, watch the sunrise from the fantastic park land scape.

Get a safari Guide; the guide will help you with direction inside the park since you don’t know the game tracks and best route to take, you will always find problems exploring any park if you don’t have a driver guide. You might also not need anyone to drive you to the park but you will definitely hire one to take you around the park. UWA employs many experienced and well trained guides with adequate knowledge about the park routes, wildlife and accommodation hence you will be assured of a safe journey through the wild. He will provide you with the information you need to know about the national park including the history, animal facts, and can help you out in case of a break down. The guide can be hired at $30 per day in the park.

Always avoid night game drives; driving through the park at night might seem like great but it’s so dangerous to venture. The game drives at night disturb the peace of mind of the wild animals resting in the night and chances of colliding with an animal are so high. Kidepo and Ssemuliki national parks offer night game drives but only under the supervision of a trained game ranger.

Always keep on the track; always keep on the available game track when driving through the park to avoid accidents and unwanted fines. The tracks in the park offer nice views of the wildlife and land scapes so there is no need to get off the road and enter the virgin land. It’s one of the most important park rules and should be followed with extreme caution to avoid any problems.

Remember to not blow the car horn; avoid the horn when inside the park as this can scare the animals away killing yours and other tourist chances of seeing wildlife animals which isn’t good. In case another car distracts your view or your way, you just have to shout at them instead og blowing the horn.

Don’t litter inside the park; this is another vital tip not only because it’s a regulation but also because it’s a good environmental practice to preserve the park and also the animals living in it. The used items like the bottles, paper bags and polythene bags among others should not be through outside of the car rather kept and dispose off at the lodge or outside the park.

Always remember to Fuel up; before you start any safari to any destination, it’s important to fuel up and carry extra cans of fuel. Visit the gas station before you hit the road and pay for a full tank to be assured of no interruption when in the park. Getting stuck on a game track in the forest is a very scary adventure and also adds to your expenditure as you have to call police or Rental Company for a backup which is expensive.

Ideal Points to Observe For Pick up and Drop Off of a Rental Car in Uganda

Below are the vital points on picking and dropping of a vehicle;

Always get the best car option; it’s said that when you book a rental car in Uganda, because the make and model you get is down to what the company has available, it’s always important asking what your options are. You may be able to choose what you drive. It’s vital to ask for different varieties and then make a decision.

Don’t be afraid to bargain; you might be offered a better car for more money. But don’t forget what you have already paid, to work out the true cost. In case you are interested, bargain on price. You could also get a great deal. Decide what’s important for you, a bigger car might need a bigger deposit or excess and more fuel.

Always sort fuel and Mileage; Many of the car hire companies in Uganda have got a full to full fuel policy. However the tanks can be half full or less, so compare the gauge with the paper work. Ask if your car takes petrol or diesel. Check if there is a mileage limit. Some unlucky drivers get charged extra because they drove over a limit they didn’t know about.

Always get secured with insurance; Basic cover is included with the car but it’s not comprehensive. The staff will also encourage you to buy their extra cover. You might find a cheaper insurance online. Always be clear and comfortable with what you are covered for and what you are not, just in case anything goes wrong.

Always be clear on charges; sometimes you will pay extra charges when you arrive, these include local taxes or the additional driver fees. Check what you are being charged for so you don’t pay twice for extras.

Always read the rental agreement; don’t feel rushed; take your time to read the rental agreement, so you are happy with what you are signing up for.

Sort out your return trip; remember to check where to drop the car to avoid stress at the end of your safari. Ask for directions to the nearest petrol station, so you can fill up before you drop the car off.

You are set to go, give it a once over, take some photos, check the fuel gauge and switch the sat Nav to English in case you have one. Then you’re ready to start your holiday. Have a great trip!

Always check your route and traffic before you go; looking up your route the night before you go will give you a chance to plan your journey. The online maps will tell you what the traffic is usually like when you will be driving, so you can leave in good time.  Car hire companies do charge penalty fees if you drop off the car late, so it’s definitely worth getting organized before you set off.

About the drop off of the car rental;

Always identify the best filling station; in case your car has a full to full fuel policy, you will need to bring back the car to the counter with a full tank of fuel. It’s also good idea to spot where to fill up the tank before dropping off the car.

Look out for signs; when you get close to where you are to drop the car, look out for the signs showing you where to go. In case you don’t see any signs, head towards the place where you picked the car from and drop the car there, some time the counter staff give instructions when you are picking up the car.

Take some photos; once you have packed up; take a photo of the fuel indicator and the mileage. Then step outside to photograph the car’s front, rear and the sides. These will come handy in handy when you are given un expected charges for any additional damage, mileage or missing fuel.

Always gather all your things; as well as the boot, check the glove box, door buckets, underneath the seats, and back seat pockets. Apart from your own belongings, it’s also a good idea to keep your rental agreement and any other paper work the counter staff gave you. These documents can be very handy if anything comes up after your rental has finished.

In case there is any agent in the car park; if there is a representative from the car hire company in the car park, wave at them to come over when you are ready. These will check the car with you, give you the end of rental paper work and take the car keys from you. Once they are sure everything is fine, they will also give the order so your security deposit is unblocked or refunded.

In case you can’t see any agent at the car park; look out for a drop box for car keys, this will have the company name and logo on it. This is useful for when there aren’t any staffs available and when the office is closed.

Best Places to Visit on a Uganda Self Drive Safari

Uganda is located in East Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Sudan, DRC, Tanzania and Rwanda. The country is famous throughout the world because of the presence of the presence of the huge Lake Victoria in its southern region. Winston Churchill called it the pearl of Africa; the country offers some of the most breathtaking wildlife terrain in the world. Uganda’s most famous tourist places include; Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga national park, kidepo national park, Murchison falls national park, queen Elizabeth national park, kibale national park, Ssese Island, and the Rwenzori mountain national park. Below are some of the best places to be visited on self-drive safari in Uganda.

Kidepo valley national park; the park is located in north east Uganda. The park was opened in 1958 and is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. The nearest town to the park is that of Moroto a t a distance of about two hundred and twenty Kilometers. The Park borders the country of South Sudan. To major rivers; the Kidepo River and the Narus River both flow through the park. Game viewing is one of the most famous attractions for tourists in the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park; the park covers an area of 1978 sq km and its located in Uganda’s western side; the gigantic park covers Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri districts of Uganda. The park is just 370km from Kampala. The national park was opened to tourists in 1954 and has been named after Queen Elizabeth 11. The park is home to 95 different species of mammals and more than 500 bird species. The park is manged by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Kasubi tombs; These tombs are the burial site of the 4 kings of Buganda and are located in Kampala known to be UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2010 many of the building were destroyed by a fire; however the Government is committed to restoring the tombs as soon as possible for tourists; as the place was an impotent tourism destination.

Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria; these are groups of eighty four Islands in Lake Victoria. The Islands are divided into two visible groups, the Bugala group and the Koome group. The bantu people occupy these islands. Tourism industry is rapidly growing on these islands with more and more infrastructure being developed. The islands are among the top best tourist places in Uganda.

Kampala city; this is the largest city in Uganda. People are very friendly and it’s a very peaceful city. You will get to see tourists walking around in the city even in the early hours of the day. Some of the places that you must tour while in the city are The Uganda Museum, the Nommo Art Gallery, the National Theatre, The Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals, The Gaddafi National Mosque, the Wamala Tombs, the Bahai Temple and the building of the Parliament of Uganda. Owino market and Nakasero markets are two of the main markets of the city; both of which are always bustling with tourists.

Lake Mburo national park; the famous tourism spot of Uganda, the park is located in the western side of the country in Kirugura district. The national park is at a distance of 300km from the city of Mbarara. The park has got more than 300 bird species and has a huge variety of animals like the impala, zebras and the wild buffaloes. There are many luury tented camps that are inside the park for tourists who tour the park.

Lake Victoria; this is Africa’s Lake and largest tropical lake with an area of close to 70000 sqkm. It’s the second largest fresh water lake in the world besides North America’s Lake Superior. The lake falls in the territory of three countries with 45 % of its area under the control of Uganda. The Lake is a tourist magnet and one of the best tourist places in Uganda.

Rwenzori mountains national park; this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Rwenzori mountains in southwest Uganda. The national park is famous for its amazing plant lie; it’s filled with waterfalls, many small lakes and glaciers. Eco tourism is rapidly increasing in the park.

Murchison falls national park; the park is known as the Kabarega National park located in north western Uganda. The national park is well known for its amazing wildlife despite being ravaged by poachers. The park is home to four of the big five animals including the elephants, lions, and the leopards. The park was also home to Rhinos but they became extinct due to poaching and hunting during the sixties and the seventies. However Rhinos are again being bred to be introduced in the park. Other animals that are present in the park include Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Antelopes, Uganda Kob, Hartebeest and Oribi.

Bwindi impenetrable national park; this is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the top best tourist places in Uganda, its located in south western Uganda. The national park is one of the richest ecosystems anywhere in the world with many different species of birds and mammals. The park has got 200 different species of butterflies, colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds. The park lies in a remote area and travelling to the area is hard task because of the poor condition of the roads. Despite this thousands of tourists visit the park annually that being because of the unique Gorilla tracking facility provided by the park.

Six supplementary rental car tools for Uganda on self drive safari

When renting a car for a self drive safari in uganda, there are some additional tools to get in order to enhance your journey. Some traveler solicit for them while others do not but all in all these tools are very vital for a self drive safari especially in a country you are unfamiliar of like Uganda

Below are the 6 supplementary rental car tools for any self drive safari in Uganda;

Camping gears; whether you are on a budget, like the outdoors, or just don’t want to have to book your accommodation ahead of time, self drive safaris with a set of camping gear in the back of the car gives you a great sense of flexibility. The main camping equipments include; folding foam mattresses, blanket or sleeping bags, camping chairs, table, cool box, storage box, gas tank & burner, plastic cups, plates and cups, pots, frying pans, knife and the cutlery set, cork screw, strainer, coffee percolator, cutting board, washing line and pegs, dish washing set, headlights, solar table lamp.

GPS; this tool will help you with direction and finding of different routes to different tourist destinations. This can be hired at a cost or you can use your smart phone to locate different destinations in Uganda.

Child car seats; this applies only when you have a child or kids that might need them. It can be hired at a cost from the car hire company; it’s always important that your child has the safest journey possible when you choose a rental car. Different companies offer range of child safety seats that are suitable for babies and children at all rental car locations. In case the seat is mandatory, the counter will advise you at the time of rental.

Strollers; Save yourself the hassle and extra expense that comes with packing your own stroller or renting one from a theme park; instead, conveniently add   one to your rental when you pick up your car! Our strollers are lightweight, collapse for easy storage, and sanitized after every rental. Ask one of our rental agents for more details when you arrive at the location.

The accessories; these are items that help you in day today life, like the charger. in case you don’t have it, there are accessories and much more available at the rental companies; you can buy a wall charger, car charger, USB cords, head phones, battery packs and phone holders upon your arrival at the rental offices.

The Spare tyre; the hired car rental must have a spare tyre in case of a break down. You must also have some know of changing a tyre because you might experience a breakdown in a far area without any assistance nearby.