Kampala Transport, Taxi, Bodaboda, Special Hire and Buses

How do I move around and about in Kampala Uganda?

A number of the most disorderly experiences in my life consist of: getting swindled by a man having a pistol within Guatemala City, being robbed at machete point within Kampala, battling an attacking group of dogs having a snorkel tube within Belize, as well as working out the Kampala-transportation system. I’ll be concentrating on the latter in this posting.

Although there are several very economical transportation possibilities available within Kampala it may be challenging working out which one is perfect for you. Actually Kampala is a rapidly expanding town center in East Africa where human population estimates are presently at 1.9 million and this is expected to improve almost 5 times. As a result, the road infrastructure presently in place is inadequate to meet the high transportation needs of the massive and rapidly growing population. In case you are traveling during rush-hour, you might end up being in traffic for several hours. Therefore obtaining familiarity with the different transportation possibilities, understanding the peak times of the traffic, and determining shortcuts is excellent knowledge to possess.

What is the best means of Transport while in Kampala Uganda?


Throughout your keep in Kampala you are certain to cherish Japan’s remarkable gift to this country, a large number of run-down white Toyota vans. These dastardly bits of machinery are locally referred to as “Matatu” a Kiswahili name  that means “for three” that means the price in local shillings it goes for to travel across the roads in Kenya back in the 1950’s. On The Other Hand I think a much more liable translation could be “reckless abandon” since this is usually the model in which the vehicles are actually driven. In case you can ignore the chaotic driving behavior and crowded seating, Matatu’s are usually some of the most inexpensive of alternatives for making your way around town and cross Uganda.

To take a matatu into the city, simply climb onto the side of this street and wait for driver to raise his hand, stop, or honk at you. It feels uncomfortable at first however don’t get worried, you are an expat therefore everybody thinks you don’t know. Request the conductor (he is the guy who holds the money, leans out of the vehicle to get passengers as well as opens the door in case they are heading to the taxi park. If that’s the case, jump in. You will pass your taxi fare to him close to the park. Look at your change.

To get a matatu from town, you will have to take a very deep breath before going to the taxi park. There are 2 taxi parks, the old and new (this is under construction). At first look, these parks will feel terrifyingly chaotic and simply the idea of stepping into them could make you wish to hyperventilate. Be assured, they are truly very organized. You will find small signs which all the taxi’s group under, look for the sign of the area you are going, move straight to it, and begin asking people nearby where the taxi to your place is. You’ll be lead into a taxi, when you are in, ask confirm with the other people within the taxi whether it is going to your destination. When they say no, move out and start all over with the earlier procedure. However If yes, then good! Now what you need to do is simply sit and wait until the taxi fills up with people.

Matatu or taxi park tips: It’s not all that the taxis to the various destinations can be found in these two parks, ensure that you are at the correct place. In case you are in a matatu all on your own for over a couple of minutes, leave and get another heading to the very same place with some people in it. The Matatus will seriously hit you but soon or later you will finally reach your destination.

How much does it cost to use a bus as means of transport in Kampala Uganda?


Not too long ago introduced to the public transportation system of Kampala, the UTODA Buses are a really good option to use in town. You can recognize these buses by their green color and huge size. They look like city buses back in the UK or the U.S.

The way these buses function is comparable to the matatu system although they are a lot more organized. The conductors together with the driver are adorned in beautiful clean uniforms. The service is really professional and even friendly. You will find established bus stops across town, which minimizes the sudden starting and then stopping. And maybe the good thing of all is the regular fare of 1000 UGX regardless of the distance you travel.

How much is hiring a special taxi in Kampala,Uganda,how flexible is it?

Special Hire Taxi

Most likely the most secure and quickest way for a team of 4 – 5 people to go in Kampala is using Special Hire Taxi. Although these taxi’s are the most costly of alternatives, they can turn out to be reasonably priced by squeezing in more people.

On the whole, white / yellow Toyota Corolla’s appear to be the quasi-taxi of preference, and they may be recognized by the “taxi” sign right on top of the car or may see some men yelling out of their windows at you. You’ll find so many taxi stage’s in town as well as at Garden City, Pioneer Mall or even the National Theatre. However in case you are in a hurry you can simply flag down a passing by taxi.

How safe is it for me to use Boda Boda within Kampala and on the city roads? Is i the fastest means of transport in Kampala?

Boda boda

Using a “boda boda” motorcycle taxi in and around Kampala is, in my view, the most unsafe thing to do here. Although this is the fastest method of getting around town it might not be worth a chance. The majority of organizations (which includes mine) clearly discourages and forbid their employees plus volunteers from using them due to their absurdly high injury as well as mortality rates. I have regrettably known a number of expats plus Ugandans who have died as they were riding these, and actually have personally seen a terrible accident.

Boda boda motorists, although many could be the most legitimate and nice people you could ever wish to meet, have a bad reputation for participating in most of the syndicate crimes in Kampala. Some things to pay attention to are: never jump on a boda boda which already has another passenger on the back, as instances have occurred where the first “passenger” is an associate of the motorist and when they reach an isolated area, the two will overpower and even harm or rob their victim. In case you totally need to take a boda boda during the night, at all times use extreme care as most motorists drink and turn out to be intoxicated. In addition, there have been cases of intoxicated passengers driven to a remote place then attacked or robbed.

Possessing and driving your Private Vehicle On the contrary, I’ve had great experiences with the boda boda motorists. Among the most joyful and amusing guys I know is actually a boda boda cyclist, and he in fact shares a house with a number of my expat friends.

After buying a car with my girlfriend a few months ago I have got yet to figure out if this investment was worthwhile or not. When having a vehicle you will have various main advantages such as mobility, security, and increase in number of friends, and even street cred, it is also really stressful. Being a vehicle owner within Kampala you have a lot of responsibility plus risk. In case of an accident insurance won’t assist, you will have to handle your own expenses of repairing the vehicle or even buying another one.

You might also need to be extra careful about theft, I am aware of an expert that who had most of his vehicle stripped-bare while out one evening for dinner. Repairs plus maintenance are a large expense as the rough roads as well as dust can easily take a price on your car. High fuel prices are as well a discouraging factor to possessing a vehicle here, since petrol is commonly available twice the price you will pay back in the US. Minimal parking availability in the majority of places, the traffic jams, and being a target for being stopped by the police are only a couple more things to think about before deciding to buy a car.