Moving around Kampala
Matatus operate all over Kampala and are easy and cheap for getting around (between 500 and 3000 USH) for a journey within Kampala to its outskirts. Matatus leave from the old and new taxi park and other pre-determined points around the city and will also stop to put down or pick up regularly along the way. It is advisable to always aslk the touts about your area or destination and most will be able to point you to the correct place to board your taxi and others, once on board, will tell you when to get off.
Similarly there are taxi points to get special hire taxi around the city. These will cost between 10,000 and 100,000 USH depending on where you are going.
There are also motorcycles (boda boda), which you can hire to take you around the city for between 1000 for shorter routes and 5,000 USH. Although they can get you places faster, they can be dangerous. Some universities and insurance providers will not allow you to use these motorbikes and you should check before leaving.
Tips For Traveling Around Uganda
Travelling in Uganda is basically trouble-free but you definitely need to keep your wits about you. You should follow these simple rules to avoid getting into trouble:
- Never carry anything you can’t afford to lose and don’t look like you may have valuables or a lot of cash. Expensive designer clothes can put you as much at risk as flashing your wallet or jewellery about.
- Listen to the advice of your locals on unsafe areas and general safety tips.
- Where possible stay in groups and avoid deserted areas
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home. People often behave differently abroad, doing things they wouldn’t even consider doing at home. Before you do anything, stop and think “would I do this at home?”
- Don’t leave your possessions lying around, as it only takes a minute for someone to walk past and pick them up. Don’t leave your wallet on the table, your bag on the floor etc.
- Always keep money (and an emergency card) in two places, e.g. some in your wallet/money belt and some in your pocket.
- Female travellers should take particular care to dress responsibly (i.e. don’t attract attention to yourself), and look confident wherever you go as the impression you give can be a deterrent to crime. Observe the local women and do as they do. Avoid stares and continual eye contact from men as this is often considered as a come-on. Also stick to places where there are lots of people.
- As a female traveller, being stared at constantly in Uganda is, unfortunately, something you will have to get used to and is often out of curiosity.