Driving in Uganda for the first time can be adventurous. Uganda is a spectacular country, and it is best to explore it while driving. This is possible provided that you have a valid international driving permit. Dubbed the pearl of Africa, Uganda is located in East-Central Africa, and it is a small landlocked country with unique attractions ranging from wildlife, primates, and mountains to cultures.

Driving around Uganda is a great opportunity to explore and experience its hidden treasures. It leaves you with a lasting memory, and there is a lot to learn. However, driving in Uganda for the first can be overwhelming and terrifying, more so for guests with no idea about this nation or the destinations, they plan to visit. This guide to driving in Uganda plays a significant part and it comes with a complete list of road rules/etiquette, driving license requirements, tips, and more.

Learn more about driver’s permit

If you are visiting Uganda for a self-drive tour, a valid driver’s/driving license is required. Guests from a foreign country on a safari to Uganda need a valid driver’s license written in English/an International Driver’s permit that translates your local driver’s license to the country’s language. You also need an IDP to avoid any inconveniences while driving in Uganda.

Do I need an International Driver’s permit? When visiting Uganda, an international driver’s license/permit is required. Whereas the local license allows you to drive a car back in your home country, an international driver’s permit translates your local license to Uganda’s authorities for you to be permitted to drive while in Uganda. An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) at hand can save you from inconveniences while on a road trip in Uganda.

How can I get an IDP in Uganda? An IDP serves as a translation of your own local driver’s license into different languages. This is important if you are visiting different parts of Uganda with different languages though English is an official one. You can apply for IDP and your car hire company/agency can assist you. Note, an IDP can be valid for 3 months, and after this period, you can obtain a Ugandan driving license.

Hiring a car in Uganda

The easiest way to get around Uganda is by using a rental car. Finding a rental car in Uganda may come with some challenges, especially for first-time travelers. There are many car hire companies and a long list of rental cars to choose from. Some of the best rental cars to consider hiring for road trips in Uganda include 4×4 Toyota Rav4, Toyota Hilux, Safari Land Cruiser, Coaster Buses, Super Custom/Hiace, Land Cruiser Prado, Tourist/Safari Van, Nissan Patrol, Land Cruiser TX, and others depending on the number of people you are traveling with.

Cost of hiring a car

The cost of hiring a car in Uganda varies depending on the rental car type, when you plan to rent it, and how long you will be using it, plus other factors. A 4×4 Toyota Rav4 can be hired at USD45 per day depending on the car hire company, Land Cruisers USD70-USD250 per day, Coaster Buses USD80-130 per day, Land Cruiser with rooftop tents USD90-150 per day, etc.

Age requirements- to be allowed to drive around Uganda, you should be 18 years and above. To hire a car in Uganda, some companies accept persons above 23 years and a valid driver’s license is a must-have with at least 2years of driving experience.

Road rules

  1. Don’t drive with no valid driver’s license in Uganda
  2. No use of mobile phones while driving
  3. 3rd party insurance is required
  4. Wear seat belts when driving
  5. Use a licensed vehicle
  6. Don’t drink & drive
  7. Respect the road signs & signals
  8. Be aware of the pedestrians
  9. Respect the driving limit (rural speed limit 80kph, urban 50 kph, motorway speed limit 100 kph).


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