Renting a car in Uganda while coming from Europe for Self Drive is easy in case you follow the following steps. Be keen to avail yourself with one or more of the below details so as to enjoy your vacation to Uganda. The below guideline is especially important from visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia, France, and Spain, to mention but a few.
Manual versus Automatic transmission: There is a different mix of vehicles available for hire in Uganda with manual and automatic transmission cars available. The most rented vehicles are Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Toyota Land Cruiser VX, Toyota Land Cruiser GX, Toyota Rav4, and Toyota Hiace Vans. Almost all the Land Cruiser Prados, Land Cruiser VX, and Rav4 are automatic transmission while the Land Cruiser GX and Hiace Vans are manual transmission vehicles. Be sure to specify what you would wish to hire with your rental company such that they deliver accordingly.
4 Wheel Drive versus 2 Wheel Drive: We would always recommend that you hire a 4 wheel drive for your travel around Uganda. Most of the highways linking to major towns and cities are well paved with the 2 wheel drives moving easily however, the rural Uganda still has a lot of work to do with regards to the roads and we would always recommend 4 wheel drive vehicles which can easily maneuver through the impassable roads.
Side of Driving: In Uganda you are supposed to always keep left except if you are overtaking. It is against the law to drive on the right hand side on the highway as this would cause accidents on the road. This law might differ in the rural areas where the roads are not well paved and motorists tend to swing to their opposite sides making the car pass on the better road side however, this might only be acceptable for short spells on the road. It is important to note that whoever drives on the right hand side of the road has the right of the way.
Speed Limit: The speed limit in Uganda varies from place to place. In the National Parks which are the most visited destinations by visitors, the speed limit is 40km/h and while in the parks, the animals have the right of the way irrespective of your speed limit. In case you knock wildlife, you are liable to a hefty fine. On the highways, the speed limit is 80km/h and in the major towns of the highways, the speed limit is 50km/h.
Road Signs: There are road signs mounted on all major highways in Uganda showing speed limits, distances to major towns, and also directions. Note that there are always road constructions taking place in the country and these road signs are always taken off so be keen in case you are driving on a relatively newer road. On the not paved roads, there are limited or no road signs so be keen to always as the people on the road for direction. Uganda is generally a friendly country and anyone would always be willing to help you out.
Traffic Police on the road: You are likely to find the traffic police on the road while driving in Uganda. The traffic police are dressed in Kaki uniform with white sleeves as well as white caps. They are always asking for your driver’s license and checking whether the vehicle is road worthy especially motor third party insurance. They are equipped with speed guns so, be sure to always try as much as possible to keep within the regulated driving limits.
Medium of communication/ Language: Generally the population in Uganda’s urban centers can speak English and in case they cannot speak English, they would always try to find someone else who can help with the translation. English is the official language in Uganda and it is the language that is used in schools so, be sure that you will be helped while using English to communicate. If using any other language other than English, you might not be easily helped.
Parking the car: In case you are staying at a hotel, you would not be liable to paying any parking fees. There are other places where parking fee is mandatory to be paid for instance at Entebbe airport, you are given a parking ticket that is paid for when you are ready to leave the airport. In the shopping malls, the same applies where a parking fee is charged especially in instances where you are given a ticket at the entrance of the mall. In major cities, there are parking attendants who issue tickets as soon as the car is parked, be sure to pay for your ticket before you leave otherwise a hefty fine awaits.
Before starting your rental car in Uganda especially if your are coming from Europe, be sure to keep a keen eye on the above notes so as to enjoy your Car Rental in Uganda.