5 Mechanical Tips For Your Self Drive Safari in Uganda

Owning a driving license does not mean you know about the car mechanics. Even though you are not aspiring to be a mechanic; there are a few mechanical ideas that you should have at your finger tips while driving an off road car in Uganda. It is not very common to encounter mechanic issues if you are careful on rough roads. But what happens when you encounter some minor mechanical issues? Here are some tips that might come handy during your self drive safari to Uganda.

Checking the Battery Terminals

It is very uncommon for the car to simply lose all the power in the middle of your drive. But with continuous off-road bumps, the battery terminals can become loose making the car dashboard to simply go off in the middle of your drive. Sometimes the steering wheel also gets absolutely hard to turn. Once this happens, you should not panic; you simply need to open your bonnet to confirm whether the battery terminals are intact.

To unlock your bonnet; you need to simply check below your steering wheel, the bonnet unlock is well labeled. You will simply need to pull it to open your bonnet. However that is just the first step in the process. Once you try to lift the bonnet, you will realize that there is still something that is stopping the bonnet from freely opening.

Stand in-front of your car, look at the license plate to locate the mid point of your bonnet then try sliding your fingers to the left and right from the mid-point to locate the final handle that you will have to push up while trying to lift your bonnet.

Ask For Jumper Cables

Driving a manual gear car comes with the bonus of jump starting the car even without the help of jumper cables. But this is not the case when it comes to automatic cars. You will need to have jumper cables for your rescue just in case your battery gets flat in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes it is just because you forgot the lights on throughout the night and other times it is simply a dead battery.

Even though the battery suppliers offer warranties, what you will need in case of a flat battery during your trip is not a battery warrant note rather someone to jump start you so that you may get back on the road again. For this reason, it is wise to always ask for jumper cables when hiring an automatic car.

Puncture Fixes

Punctures are one of the top menaces for self drive safaris in Uganda. Getting a flat tire in the middle of your safari can be so frustrating. Whether it is a hot day or a rainy day; there is no such thing as a favorable moment for a flat tire.


To ensure that you get a smooth trip; it is recommend to drive a car with inflator fluids in their tires. They save you from the effect of millimeter holes in the tire. Alternatively, you can carry an inflator can to help you get back on the road in case you get a flat tire in a very remote place. However, you will have to first confirm with the car rental agency on whether they permit inflator can.

Some people prefer doing the tire repair and replace to the spare-wheel at the gas stations. Without an inflator, you have to keep monitoring your tires to avoid running out of pressure. the help of  a can inflator, you can get enough pressure to get you to the next gas stations for  a quick tire repair.

Tow Rope

Quite not very necessary in the dry seasons. But during the rainy seasons, it is recommended you carry a tow rope on your self drive safari in Uganda. Some parks like Queen Elizabeth national park have some slippery parts that a rescue by a tow rope will come in handy. However, it should be noted that you can complete your self drive safari in Uganda without need for a tow rope. It is only recommended for emergency purposes.

Fueling The Car

This might not sound like a mechanical issue until it turns out to be one. In Uganda, you always have an agent to help you fuel your car. Even after directing them to fuel your car with either diesel or petrol depending on the car engine. They might do contrary.

It is therefore recommended that you keep a keen eye to confirm that you are taking in the right fuel type. Cleaning up the car after taking the wrong fuel can cost you between 3 hours of your trip and a whole day depending on where this incident happens.

Important to note regarding fuel: Total and Shell are the most recommended gas stations due to their quality of fuel. In the rainy seasons; some gas stations’ fuel ends up being mixed with water due to poor underground fuel storage. In case you wish to be extra cautious with fuel; always fuel from gas stations located on hills not those located in the valleys.