Public transport in Uganda.

We visited Uganda in April 2015, and travel through the country in public transport. 
Main roads in Uganda are now tarred and in quite good conditions (in some parts, works are going on). All the side roads are dirty roads, quite muddy in the rainy season.
From Kenya to Rwanda, only asphalt! 

Petrol prices in Uganda: 2.800 Sh/l diesel and 3.200 K/l for unleaded (around 1€/l), in average, more expensive in remote places.
Entering Uganda by car you have to pay a tax fee (no list of prices at the border post).
You don´t really need a 4WD, except if going to remote places or inside the parks in the rainy season. Public vehicles are normal cars and vans.

Rent a car in Uganda: not very popular with travelers as it´s expensive and limited mainly to Kampala-Entebbe. Expect to pay around 100 € for a small car.
Some people book car+driver or van+driver, but this is not exactly for tight budget travellers and it´s better you are a group of people at least.


   MOVING  THROUGH  UGANDA  BY  PUBLIC  TRANSPORT   

It´s easy to get almost everywhere in Uganda by public transport. It´s cheap but the quality is not always the best with old buses and packed vans and cars, but correct. We never had any porblem. We patient as they do many stops and many vans/cars leave only when full and it can take a while in Uganda.

Usually prices are fixed and they don´t try to charge you more cause you are a tourist ... except to reach some tourist places, like Sipi or around Buyonyi.

BUSES:

Different bus companies, all over Uganda, with similar buses and prices. Buses are usually quite old but we also saw a few new vehicles so maybe in the next years buses will get better.
In the main towns and routes, they are usually at least 2 or 3 companies, with departures every 2 hours.

Usually, prices are fixed, no difference between companies and they don´t try to charge you more. Prices vary quite a lot depending on the routes. Around 5.000 Sh/h (less than 2 €) for 50-80 km.
Some drivers like to drive fast even if the bus is old!
Normally, no bus stations in towns, buses stop in front of the offices, in the center, close to the taxi park.

Also international coaches, going from Kampala to Kigali, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, Goma. Long trips.

Post buses: 
They leave from the post office of the towns and are usually a bit cheaper than the normal buses. Only Kampala-Soroti/Gulu/Kabale/Hoima and sections between. One bus a day, departure around 8:00 (not on Sunday). Ask and book the day before at the post office. So probably not so convenient for the travellers.
More information at:  www.ugapost.co.ug

VANS OR MATATUS OR BIG TAXIS:
 
Toyota Hiace vans, most of them old but also a few new ones. Usually leave when full, all day long, that means at least 14 people but they will even carry 20 passengers (very packed). Prefer the front seats if free as only 2 travellers seat there. 

Sometimes, it can take a long while to fill (one, two or more hours), easier if you get one on the way, they will always make a room for extra passengers. Expect many stops. Even if full packed, some drivers like to drive fast! Prices are usually similar or a bit more expensive than travelling by bus. 

Prices: around 5.000 K/ hour (around 50-80 km). Try to ask first about the price at the guesthouse to have an idea as sometimes they try to charge you extra money.

SHARED TAXIS 
They have an “X” sign on the front. Same concept than the vans but carring less passengers (at least 6 +driver, but even 10!). For smaller routes, to get to villages. Always ask for the price first.
Also possible to get a special hire, you rent all the car, much more expensive.

BODA - BODA OR MOTO TAXIS 
 
No helmets, sometimes 2 or 3 passengers+driver. 

They can be quite dangerous in roads with heavy traffic or in Kampala or on dirty roads. But they are the way to get quick to everywhere and are cheap.

Prices 3.000-5.000 Sh for 5-10 km (1-2 €). 

Always agree about the fare in advance.


Bicycle-taxis (just a cushion on a bike):
Just for small distances, and in rural areas. Not very convenient.

Ferries lines in Uganda:
Just a few ferries on Lake Victoria, going to the islands. It seems that there´s no connection with Tanzania now (Mwanza).

Flights in Uganda:
Not many big airports except Entebbe, internal flights are quite limited. 
Eagle Air is the domestic company, but they don´t fly everyday. www.flyeagleuganda.com
Kampala´s flights with the Middle East are increasing. And it´s an important airport in central Africa.
You can see at  SKYSCANNER to find cheap prices.

Train in Uganda:
There were trains but not working anymore. There are building the new Mombasa-Nairobi- Kampala. So maybe soon...

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