Kampala Transportation

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Best Rated Transportation in Kampala

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Boda-boda

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 2, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you stay in Naalya, like I did, which is situated in the outskirts of Kampala, sooner or later you'll have to use boda-boda. Boda-boda is motorcycle transport, available around the clock. This boys are permanently on the roads vaiting for a clients.
    I had to used it one sunday night, around 11:00 am, because at that time and that day neither matatus or taxis were available. To tell the truth, it wasn't comfortable and I was scared like never before because the night was very dark (power was off) and the road conditions were very poor. This part of the road, from Naalya to nearby Ntinda where I could get a taxi, is full of holes but boda-boda boys don't care much about, they just drive as the road in a perfect conditions. Fortunatelly, I was lucky and reached Ntinda in one piece.

    boda-boda boys

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Boda-boda inside the town

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 2, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In spite of huge and very frequent traffic jams, I never used boda-boda for transport inside the city area. You should only see them driving in a permanent slalom between all those cars, trucks and especially matatus who do not care much for others. In fact, as I was told, there are many accidents with boda-bodas and lots of them with tragic consequences. Use it, if you dare to, but its not recommndable.

    boda-boda in Kampala city area

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Matatu

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I was first time in Kenya, in 2006, I thought those matatu boys are the craziest city drivers in the world. Wrong, comparing them with Kampala matatu boyz they look like a babies. During rush hours, but not only, the traffic in Kampala look alike to combat zone. If you still remember those road scenes from "Mad Max" than you know what I have in my mind.
    Kampala matatu boys are very skillfull drivers, the best in public transportation I've seen so far. I have use their service many times, during my stay in Kampala, and was perfectly safe. Not of less importance, matatu is faster even than taxi (which is here called special).

    Matatus

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Bus

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although equally cheap, the bus cannot compite to matatus especially inside the city areas. Locals use it for far distant outskirt destinations and surrounding villages. Most of such a buses are in pretty bad conditions offering all but comfortable ride. Besides, as much as I could see, this buses are constantly overcrowded.

    bus

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Car renting

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 6, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had two problems to resolve because I never done it before, driving on the wrong side of the road and doing it by automatic car. The fact is, I get used on "wrong side" more easily than driving in automatic way. First day or two I wasn't able to find out which is the proper way for breaks.
    My intention was to rent 4x4 car but first, it wasn't available and second, the price (not negotiable) is 100 dollars per day which is far too much.
    I rented car for 55.000 shillings per day, which is about 25 euros and it is more expensive than in Europe. The cars are in very poor conditions, actually my first car has to be replaced. The second one was Vento again and it was in poor conditions too. Red light, indicating lack of oil, was permanently on but the guy kept telling me its all ok with the car.
    The major problem, however, are the road conditions. I never saw so many and so deep holes on the roads. It makes normal driving almost impossible and very dangerous, especially if one is not used on such a conditions. Therefore I quit using car after 5 days only.

    rental car

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  • muguruki's Profile Photo

    Kampala Coach

    by muguruki Updated Jun 17, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of many companies that pound the pot-holed road from Kampala to Nairobi but having the added advantage of leaving Kampala from across the road from where I stay and arriving in Nairobi spitting distance from where I usually stay.

    Nowt wrong with door to door service!

    Cooper Complex, Kampala to Duruma road, Nairobi!

    As well as locations in Kenya, Kampala Coach can take you to Juba, Kigali or Bujumbura.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    MOTORCYCLE TAXIS - WHERE TO FIND THEM

    by DAO Updated Feb 26, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    Although they usually find you in the street, the easiest place to find Motorcycle Taxis is at the Caltex on Kampala Road and the Kampala Casino on Kimathi Avenue – in that order. Why do you want to find huge hordes of these guys? It makes it easier to literally name your low price. If 5 guys refuse, one will take you for the price you want. Works every time. Bizarrely there are few of them at Garden City, so negotiate a pick up time and reconfirm the same price to return. They will come back for you!

    KAMPALA CASINO CALTEX KAMPALA CASINO CALTEX
    Related to:
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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    MOTORCYCLE TAXIS

    by DAO Updated Feb 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It costs about $1-2 to get just about anywhere with the motorcycle taxis. They will always try and charge you more, but just tell them what you will pay. Most are very safe and it’s also a lot of fun. Cheaper and quicker than the car taxis. You can also hire them by the hour for about $5-7.

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  • maharaja_joe's Profile Photo

    Entebbe to Kampala: Dont have to use a taxi

    by maharaja_joe Updated Mar 27, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are backpacking to Uganda, then taking the $25 taxi from the airport to Kampala is an absolute rip-off. The cheapest, but slightly time-consuming way to do it is to take a taxi to the matatu stand, which is cost around USh 5000. If you share the cab with someone, then the price is obviously cheaper. The matatu that takes you to Kampala will cost USh 1000. Once in Kampala, take a motorcycle or bicycle boda-boda to your hotel/venue. If the venue is within the city, then the motorcycle boda-boda should not charge you more than USh 1000.

    This trip could be time-consuming because the matatu waits till it is full to depart from Entebbe to Kampala. I was the last customer, and they immediately took off after boarding. So, I do not know what the standard waiting period is.

    NOTE: There is an forex counter in the airport, and I did this trip with a lady there. She was very helpful, but I forgot her name. Maybe she can tell you what the waiting period at the matatu stand is.

    A cheap way to do the return trip to the airport is the boda-boda. The trip from Backpackers to Entebbe cost me around USh5000. (less than USD 5)

    View of Lake Victoria during boda-boda ride
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  • maharaja_joe's Profile Photo

    Cheap rides around Kampala

    by maharaja_joe Updated Mar 27, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Matatus and boda-bodas are the easiest and cheapest ways to travel around Kampala is you are not constrained by time. Many talk about how dangerous/inconvenient it is to travel by matatu and boda-boda. While there is a certain element of truth in it, the fact remains that it provides the best bang for the buck, which is real good news for backpackers. Many of the backpackers in Uganda rely on these modes of transport. Basically, you get what you pay for.

    Someone told me that boda-bodas started while providing transportation across the no-man's land in the borders of the East African countries. The walking distance across no-man's land is about a few hundred meters, and some people started using bicycles to transport good from one border to another border, hence the name boda-boda. This eventually spread to the cities, and one can see bicycle and motorcycle boda-bodas all over Uganda. Basically, you sit behind the motorcycle or bicycle driver while he drives you to your destination.

    Matatus are mini-vans with four rows of seat, including the one for the driver. Each row can take about 3 people, but an additional foldable seat is welded in the passageway on to increase the seating. If a person in the back wants to get down, the people sitting on the passageway-seats have to get down first. In some cases, customers also sit in the narrow alley way between the door and the seat. While this could be quite unnerving to a European or American, remember that this is a developing country with no government-run public transport system. Hundreds of thousands of Ugandans travel by matatu every month. More dangerous than the in-city matatus are the inter-city matatus that race along the highways. Bus or shared taxi would be a better mode of transportation in such cases.

    If you have the money, and/or are not looking for adventure travel, then you can definitely go for a private hire (what they call "special taxis") or do the shared taxi thing.

    Boda-boda driver in front of Kampala Casino Matatu on road from Kampala to Entebbe
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  • maharaja_joe's Profile Photo

    Getting a visa at the airport

    by maharaja_joe Updated Mar 30, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can always get a single entry visa at the airport, except for citizen of Pakistan and Burundi (I think). The visa costs USD 30, and is given to you with no hassles. For multiple entry, you will have to get it from the consulate. The visa counter right in front of you as you enter the terminal building. 'Entebbe is a small airport .. very laid back.

    Try to fly to Kampala via Dubai if you can. The stopover in Dubai beats the one in Nairobi at any time. I extended my Dubai stop over from 3 days to one week. It was totally worth it. See the Dubai page for more information.

    Related to:
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    • Backpacking

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  • emeybee's Profile Photo

    Matatus, boda bodas and special hires

    by emeybee Written Jun 10, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To get around Kampala, you have to take a "taxi", and I use the word loosely, because a taxi in Kampala is a shared 14 passenger bus called a Matatu that bounces up and down bumpy roads spewing diesel exhaust. And by 14 passenger van, I mean one actually holding 20 people. Once in the bus you brave the Kampala traffic, where there are many cars and literally no stop signs, signals, or anything else resembling order. Just to get to the fun, you have to go through two roundabouts at a snails pace. On the plus side, a matatu is much safer than a boda boda, which is a motorcycle with an extra seat squeezed on... in other words you're now going through the Kampala craziness without even a semblance of protection surrounding you.

    If you can afford it, and enjoy your life and limbs, you might want to spring for a special hire, which is what we would normally call a taxi. These are expensive comparitively but why put a price on your safety.

    Joking aside, matatus can be an effective way to get around if you're a brave soul, but unless you're the savviest of traveler you'll want to have a local or someone whose been in Kampala longer than you show you the ropes the first time, because figuring out which Matatu is going where and when to tell them to stop can be pretty confusing.

    The Matatus I took went about 5 miles and cost 800 shillings for tourists, and 600 for locals. If you want to make a stink you can get the local price, but it might not be worth the hassle when you realize the difference is only about 10 cents.

    If I remember right, it cost me about $15 US to go the same distance in a special hire. I never braved a boda boda. And I have both my arms to show for it.

    Motorcycle=Boda Boda, White/Blue Van=Matatu The infamous parking lot... I mean roundabout More stop and go traffic.  Puts LA to shame. Brave, brave people.

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  • Nankani's Profile Photo

    Take A PRIVATE Hire

    by Nankani Written Aug 12, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most cost and time effective way to get around Kampala is to get a private hire. You can stand on any street hold your hand out and one will show up in seconds. Negiate a price before going and off you go. It is a bit higher than the Matatu's ( vans that run like city buses) BUT you don't have to wait and wait for one to where you are going and possible switch matatus 2 or 3 times to get there. PRIVATE HIRES take you to your doorstep and we get one that will wait for us while you exchange $$, shop or whatever. Depends on what you want. Get one to town do your thing and then hire a different to get back. Very convenient as Kampala is a BIG, bustling city and if you have lots of shopping to do it is nice to have a private hire espeically if you really don't have too much time. All I have had are friendly, efficient guys trying to earn a decent living so I usually tip them too. I am putting on a picture of the taxi park to show you why it is nicer to take a private higher. That place is a mess!! You sit and wait until the van is full before leaving it gets real hot and uncomfortable. Very time consuming too.

    Can YOU Find Which Matatu You Need ???

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  • muguruki's Profile Photo

    Another company to take you to Nairobi

    by muguruki Updated Jun 17, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you really like long journeys you could always hop on a Modern Coast bus to Nairobi and then on to Mombasa. Several companies do the journey even fewer do it all the way to Mombasa. Modern do it all on the same bus without a change at Nairobi.

    They have got a smart booking office and waiting room on De Winton Rd opposite the national theatre.

    It will cost you 77,000UGX first class and 65,000UGX business class on the Kampala to Mombasa route which departs every day at 12:00pm. First class from Kampala to Nairobi is 50,000UGX and Business class 45,000UGX

    The Modern Coast Mombasa office

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  • emeybee's Profile Photo

    Matatus, boda bodas and special hires

    by emeybee Written Jun 10, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To get around Kampala, you have to take a "taxi", and I use the word loosely, because a taxi in Kampala is a shared 14 passenger bus called a Matatu that bounces up and down bumpy roads spewing diesel exhaust. And by 14 passenger van, I mean one actually holding 20 people. Once in the bus you brave the Kampala traffic, where there are many cars and literally no stop signs, signals, or anything else resembling order. Just to get to the fun, you have to go through two roundabouts at a snails pace. On the plus side, a matatu is much safer than a boda boda, which is a motorcycle with an extra seat squeezed on... in other words you're now going through the Kampala craziness without even a semblance of protection surrounding you.

    If you can afford it, and enjoy your life and limbs, you might want to spring for a special hire, which is what we would normally call a taxi. These are expensive comparitively but why put a price on your safety.

    Joking aside, matatus can be an effective way to get around if you're a brave soul, but unless you're the savviest of traveler you'll want to have a local or someone whose been in Kampala longer than you show you the ropes the first time, because figuring out which Matatu is going where and when to tell them to stop can be pretty confusing.

    The Matatus I took went about 5 miles and cost 800 shillings for tourists, and 600 for locals. If you want to make a stink you can get the local price, but it might not be worth the hassle when you realize the difference is only about 10 cents.

    If I remember right, it cost me about $15 US to go the same distance in a special hire. I never braved a boda boda. And I have both my arms to show for it.

    Motorcycle=Boda Boda, White/Blue Van=Matatu The infamous parking lot... I mean roundabout More stop and go traffic.  Puts LA to shame. Brave, brave people.

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