Transport in Uganda Print

Entebbe Airport

 

Entebbe International Airport is situated on the outskirts of Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria. The Airport is around 40km from the capital of Uganda, Kampala.

 

Several international airlines fly to and from Entebbe namely: Emirates, British Airways, KLM, Sabena, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Air Tanzania and Egypt Air.

 

Road Transport

 

Whilst traveling from Entebbe to Kampala and around the country you can expect to find it slightly overwhelming. Uganda has prospered recently and there has been a significant increase in the number of vehicles on the roads. Uganda follows the left-sided rule of driving.

 

As well as the many private vehicles, including many 4x4's, look out for the following means of public transport:

 

  • Taxis “matatus”: The matatus are 14-seater minibuses, often white with blue stripes. They usually drive along predetermined routes and only leave when they are full. They are fast, numerous and, outside Kampala, are often overloaded.

  • “Special Hire” vehicles: These are taxis according to the Western understanding. These can be hired to take customers to a specific destination.

  • Boda Boda cycles: These can be either bicycles or motorbikes although, in the larger towns, motorbikes are more common. The name originated from when persons traveling between the border posts of Uganda and Kenya would take a bicycle taxi. The owners of the bicycle would attract customers by shouting “boda boda” (border border). The boda boda drivers drop customers at their destinations. They, however, often do not wear helmets and don't always follow traffic regulations.

  • Public buses: These vary from large international buses traveling between Kampala and Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam to seventy-seater buses traveling between the larger towns in Uganda and to and from Kampala. Although some of the services are safe and reliable, many of the buses drive at terrifyingly fast speeds.

Other road users include:

 

  • Pick-up trucks: These are often overloaded with big bags of charcoal, big bunches of matooke (green bananas) – Uganda's most important food staple - or long-horned Acholi cattle.

  • Container trucks: These large vehicles are especially seen on the main routes between Kenya and Kampala.

  • Animal-drawn vehicles: Two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen or donkeys are used commonly for farm transport in rural areas.

  • Pedestrians: Pedestrians, some pushing heavily-loaded wheelbarrows, also use the roads as there are no pavements on most roads.