Is it safe to self drive in Uganda?

Safety is a word that covers a lot of fields. It is very unlikely to do justice if we only give a yes or no answer without first looking into the different fields it covers. For that matter we have to consider safety in terms of Transport, accommodation, meals and walking in the community at any given time.

How is it like to Self Drive in Uganda?

You cannot set out on self drive without a map. Whether you are using a GPS, google maps or a hard copy map, your first priority on a self drive safari will be map reading skills.  Assuming you already have that skill set, here is how it is like to self drive in Uganda in regard to safety.

Transport Safety

There are mainly three things to consider in transport safety; your car,  the road condition and recommended speed. Speed trackers are not very common in Uganda; though this doesn’t mean that you will never get in trouble with traffic police for over speeding.

Speed Limits

You are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 50km/hr in towns while high way maximum speed is 100km/hr.

Regardless of the speed limits, you are likely to find other road users going against these set speed limits. However when it comes to self drive; the biggest challenge is not getting caught by traffic police, rather getting caught in an accident while driving outside the set speed limits. By doing so it implies; you have blown your car insurance cover making you solely responsible for all the damages that happen to the car.

Road Condition

You might find some Uganda highway roads in good condition but this should not tempt you to put your guard down. It is very common to find a pothole in the middle of a highway, therefore it is recommended to let a stranger’s car take a lead as you keep your distance. Whether they know the road very well or not; this will help you to give yourself enough time to reduce speed where necessary, take precaution in case the car in front of you hits a pothole.

Regarding the rough roads, you are recommended never to go above 40km/hr. Again you might see other road users over-speeding but this should not tempt you to attempt the same. Some of these road users are very familiar with the roads, attempting to drive at their pace might be a gateway to turn your car upside down.

With the above precautions at the back of your mind, it is quite safe to drive in Uganda

Your Car Safety

Your road safety on a self drive safari in Uganda starts with your car. By car safety we mean the condition of the braking system, the steering wheel, wheel alignment, and car stability on the road. These are things that your self drive in Uganda agent should make sure that the car passes all test in regard to the above.

With a proven Uganda car hire service providers like 4x4uganda, your self drive car safety is catered for ensuring your trip is not simply memorable but runs smooth beyond your expectations.

Land cruiser V8 Self Drive Uganda

However in all this; it is recommended to leave room for disappointment since most self drive clients are mainly lured by prices not the quality of service they are signing up for. They are likely to run away from standard rates offered by reputable service providers like 4x4uganda, road trip Africa among other reputable self drive brands in Uganda only to sign up for a service that ruins their itinerary.

In other words, with the right car hire service provider, well maintained cars, knowledge of the road conditions and watching the speed limits, it is very safe to drive in Uganda.

Accommodation Safety

Whether you are planning to spend your nights in car, night club, a lodge or camping somewhere; it is important to understand how secure accommodation can be in a Uganda road trip.

Lodges and Campsites

There are lodges and campsites well known for tourists. They tend to be more secure in terms access and against regular break-ins. Unless you wish to attempt a non common path, we recommend you to spend your night in places that are used to dealing with tourists. There are several portals to help you identify where to spend your night during your stay in Uganda.

Self-drive Camping

Self-drive Camping

Whether you are considering lodges in Entebbe for your first night in Uganda or other Uganda safari lodges to consider on your Uganda road trip; there are several portals such as gorilla safari lodges,, TripAdvisor among several other portals which can help you in getting the best lodges at relatively friendly prices.

When it comes to lodges, your safety rotates around your budget. You should not expect to be as secure as a person sleeping in an up market lodge. However there might be an exception in tourism driven towns such as Entebbe, Jinja, Kampala, Kabale, Kisoro, Fort Portal among other popular tourist towns.


You might be wondering what food safety is! but by food safety, we mean a meal that is not likely to cause you food poisoning. If there is anything you should avoid on your self drive safari in Uganda, do not try to save on meals. Eat from the recommended outlets such Cafe Javas, designated stopovers, and lodge restaurants. Sometimes the meals in big hotels are not fresh which is not commonly the case with lodges and stand alone restaurants.

Bar and Restaurant

Walking Around At Night

Unless you have a local guide, you are not recommended to drive around town beyond 9:00 pm. If you are considering a visit to a night club, you might have to hire an Uber or cab since most of the self drive car hire terms and conditions do not allow you drive beyond 9:00 pm.


It is secure to walk around the community during the day but the help of a local guide would come in handy to best explore the communities as well as understanding the cultural heritage of the community.