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(work in progress)
Or, more precisely, which side of the road are you driving on? There are cynics who would claim that this is a moot point, as Africans drive in the middle of the road anyway (either because the road isn't good enough to have a choice, or because it's easier to mosey down the middle of the road) ... but I digress ...
The issue is that whilst Rwanda - having been a Belgian colony and thus following Francophone traditions ... nominally drives on the right, Uganda was part of the hige pink expanse of the pre-independence British Empire, and thus, still follows the British convention and drives on the left.
The upshot is that if you're driving across this border, on one side or the other, you'll find yourself driving on 'the wrong side of the road'. This can be disconcerting - especially if you're not used to it - and the simplest piece of advice that I can give to continually orient yourself is that the driver must remain on the side that is closest to the middle of the road.
If I might offer some unsolicited advice, if budget allows, I would strongly recommend hiring a driver wih your vehicle, even though I'm someone who usually self drives in most other parts of the world. A driver will be familiar with local road conditions and driving habits, will be best equippped to talk you through roadblocks and will free you up to enjoy the journey. Often it's not all that much more expensive than self drive when insurance is taken into account, and it's certainly worth it for peace of mind, especially if your driver also doubles as a guide.
Written May 31, 2013
(work in progress)
What changes when you cross over the Rwanda/Uganda border? Quite a lot, actually. For one thing, the side of the road that you drive on, and in addition, the time.
Rwanda was a Belgian colony, and so drives on the right hand side of the road, whereas Uganda drives on the left hand of the road, as befits the British colonial influence.
Moreover, the two countries are in different time zones, with Uganda (being on East African Time, and GMT+3) being a hour ahead of Rwanda (Central African Time, and GMT+2). This works in your favour as you're crossing from Uganda into Rwanda (in which case you 'gain' an hour), but can be problematic going the other way, as you 'lose' an hour - this is particularly important if you're heading towards somewhere with a defined closing time.
Updated May 31, 2013
All this pictures were taken in the city of Kampala and its outskirts. What you see is what you can expect if driving in Uganda.
I rented car, on my ariving, but never left Kampala with it! The roads in Kampala and its outskirts, where I stayed, are in disastrous conditions. The very first picture indicates very clearly what is the main problem on the roads, such a huge pot holes, one after another, which normal driving render impossible. Trust me, it is worst than a nightmare and extremely dangerous. Besides pot holes, one have to watch the matatus and boda-bodas because they drive madly, violeting all driving rules, and respecting nothing and nobody.
Updated May 4, 2012
My friend from Kampala have book a house for me, it is in the outskirts of Kampala in small and peacefull place called Naalya. There excist a standards for the houses which could be rented to a foreigners, must have high walled fence with barded wire on top of it and very solid iron doorentrance.
Poor houses do not have fence around, probably because people cannot afford it, but even some houses which aren't looking poor do not have a fence. As I was told, most locals don't like fences around the house, especially not those walled, even if people can afford them. On the other hand, midle class and rich people are building kind of fortified walls around their houses in order to safe hidding themselves behind the walls.
There are residential block-houses in the close outskirts of Kampala which are guarded by the security guys, whom to me doesn't look alike trustfull security. I have noticed that they usually sleep on a doorways.
Updated May 4, 2012
Facts are bitter but true. Despite Ugandas´ sucess story, as the one and only country that has undertaken the strongest campaign in controlling AIDS; you shouldn´t take chances.
STICK TO SAFE SEX IF AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: Tel: 256 41 273538 OR 273231
On any bus or shared taxi in UG on a journey of a reasonable distance you will inevitably stop for a quick break. Sometimes this will be a toilet break other times it will be for food. Even if you stop at a place that is not recognisable as a food stop hawkers will appear from nowhere to shove all manner of food into your face. Sometimes the hawkers will actually board the bus
to sell their goods only to scamper off as the bus begins to move.
I don't mind the odd piece of gonja but I am never keen to have a skewer with bits of liver shoved under my nose.
As well as the precooked food on offer in some of the remoter areas you will be offered fruit. I remeber between Lira and Soroti on a bus being offered a carrier bag full of oranges for 500 UGX.
Updated Jan 14, 2011
Ah, electricity is great when it is there but Uganda can have a real dodgy electricity supply. Kampala these days has a pretty much 24 hour electricity supply but once you get out of the capital and hit the smaller towns the supply can be very erratic so it is best to charge phones and cameras as soon as you can as you never know how long you will have electricity for!
Written Jan 11, 2011
TVs are spreading across East Africa like a plague. They are cropping up everywhere they appear in bars, saunas, there is even a huge one by the side of Entebbe Road in Kampala just keep your eyes off the traffic. The last time I entered UG from Kenya there were two TVs in the immigration office one on the punters side and one on the officials side and the young lady who gave me a visa and stamped my passport found a need to keep up with a south American soap opera as she was processing my visa!
Written Nov 29, 2010
As in many other African countries Uganda has a very high rate of AIDS and other STDs. Organisiation such as soft power are involved in educating people. I loved this poster of Condom Man. If its not on its not on!!!!
Written Oct 29, 2009
Itchy and scratchy they are and are also a pain in the backside to get rid of.
Not only found in beds but can easily be spread around from infested clothing so they can be picked up almost anywhere. I have seen bedbugs climbing up the back of chairs in bars in Uganda as well as being bitten by them on a long distance bus journey in the country. If you see some creepy-crawly and think it may be a bedbug but you are not sure squeeze it between your fingers and smell, if it stinks then it looks like you have got bedbugs.
Once when sleeping in a cheap hotel in Uganda I got seriously bitten and the things even got into my pack and so all my clothes were infested with them. For some reason they liked climbing up the inside of my mozzie net and congregated in the top most corners of the net.
I bought an insecticide spray that kills them (not all insecticides do) emptied ALL my clothes and pack into a very large plastic bag/bin bag and sprayed the can into the sealed bag. I waited awhile before I felt safe enough to get dressed again with some bug free clobber and found a new hotel.
Written Oct 12, 2009
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