Find out how to keep safe while on a self drive experience in Uganda. 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 form that tourists have adopted to explore the country more on their own, with any companies adopting and offering this service.
This comes with very many advantages as the traveler gets the independence, privacy and also the luxury to travel at his/her pace without any intervention from the driver.
However, renting a car for self drive does not mean, you have taken full ownership of the car and more so touring around Uganda on your own, does not mean you do not have to follow the road guidelines. The vehicles that are self driven cost lots of money so if damaged there are a lot of costs incurred to repair it and on to another serious matter are the road accidents a traveler gets if he/she is not so careful on the road.
Note that if a traveler causes an accident while driving a rental car, he/she is liable to the damages caused i.e. the damages on the cars and the other third party property damaged along the road. In additional accidents kill and also are criminal offenses in Uganda if found guilty. To avoid/minimize all the common plight of road accidents, we bring tips of self driving in Uganda.
Adhere to the Speed Limits:
It is very important to observe the speed limit while driving in Uganda as over speeding is the number one cause of road accidents in Uganda and once caught doing the act you are likely to go to prison or pay a premium fine.
The speed limit in Uganda is 80km/hr along the highways, areas with settlements or with an urban setting drive at speed of 50km/hr and the national parks or other protected areas it is 40km/hr. These are the most common speed limits however, there are some special cases where by you have to drive in accordance to the speed indicated on the road sign posts.
Avoid driving on Shoulders:
Do not drive on the shoulders of the roads, most Ugandan roads are narrow and there are always cars parking at the ending and also pedestrians moving along the ways so when driving on the shoulders you are likely to bump into one and thus causing an accident. Worse still, it is a criminal offense to drive on shoulders as it is stated as reckless driving.
Observe the Road Signs:
Please observe all the radars and the road sign posts while driving in Uganda. These are the best guidelines to lead you safe on the road since they are put with the purpose of avoiding unforeseen problems like accidents.
Uganda has universal road signs and all of them written in the English language so in case you are not well conversant with a few road signs ask your car rental company to help out.
Keep a distance from other vehicles:
Drive at the length of 5 meters away from another car as this is so important you never know what your counterpart is going to do as some of them fail to put up indicators that they are stopping or making a turn and end up running into another car.
Driving so close to another car is one of the main causes of accidents most especially in the urban towns of Uganda during the traffic jam situations. It is also very commendable to low the car lights when passing by or come near another vehicle.
Keep to the recommended driving times:
It is commendable to drive in Uganda between 6am to 7pm as this is the safest time to drive a car in other words, always endeavor to drive before it gets dark. Uganda roads are narrow and some have potholes so when it is dark, it is very easy to hit a pothole or get off the road since one loses some of his/her sight in the dark.
Do not also pullover or park in strange places at night, not all people are friendly and good so anything can happen in those places like robbery and killings. It is also very important to note that not all vehicles on the road are in very sound mechanical conditions. Some vehicles have faulty headlights and if you drive at night, there are higher chances of running into such vehicles.
Do not drink and drive:
Do not drive a car under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Remember these impair the brain and one loses his/her judgment as one can never know the right speed to drive and also the other road users around him. Drunk driving is one of the major causes of road accidents in the world. It is also a crime to drink and drive in Uganda.
Do not use a mobile phone while driving:
Do not speak on your cell phone while driving as you can get carried away by the person on phone and lose your focus on driving and end up running into another car or property along the way.
Despite facing some unforeseen problems on the roads of which they are not so common, Uganda is one of the safest countries in Africa to enjoy a self drive tour as the road network is not complicated and the road signs are universal and easy to read that lead to the various tourism destinations.
Self drive tours in Uganda are also adventurous, interesting and exciting as the traveler is able to encounter wildlife in their natural setting.
It is important to always ask whenever you are not sure. To enjoy the visit to the national parks while on a self drive, always hire a ranger guide in that particular destination who will show you around for they know the parks better.
Remember there are no road signs in the national parks that are well pronounced. These rangers are also well conversant with where to find the different wildlife based on the previous days experiences. The cost of hiring a ranger guide is $20 although some times based on how well they have been, you might tip them as a gratitude for their good work done.