Uganda has an extensive network of paved and unpaved roads.
Most paved roads radiate from Kampala, the country’s capital and largest city. Uganda’s metre gauge railway network measures about 1,250 kilometres (777 mi) in length. Of this, about 56% (700 kilometres (435 mi)), is operational. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu and Pakwach. The only railway line still operating however is the Malaba – Kampala line.
Lake Victoria is the principal waterway with commercial traffic. In conjunction with train services, the railway companies of Uganda and Tanzania operate train ferries on the lake between rail-head ports of the two countries and Kenya. These ferries load rail coaches and wagons. Jinja and Port Bell, on a 7 kilometres (4 mi) branch line from Kampala, are the rail-heads for Uganda connecting to Mwanza and Kisumu. Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s largest and busiest airport.
People traveling around Uganda have access to a number of transport opportunities, with traffic in the country having increased significantly over the past few years. There are several buses available for transport between different areas of the country, including international and domestic public buses that are particularly popular with backpackers as they provide swift transport to major urban parts of the country. All cities in Uganda are linked by bus. The bigger coaches are preferable compared to the smaller shared taxies regarding security and comfort. There are also international connections, for example to Nairobi or Kigali.
The main vehicles of the public transport in Uganda are small mini busses, which are called here “taxis”. These are approved for 14 people and low priced. Nationwide they are distinguished by their blue chequered markings. These taxis are driving on fixed routes, mainly through the cities and from their centres to the suburbs. It is not that easy to tell which taxi goes where, so it is best always to ask. You can get them in and off everywhere and the payment is done after the ride as it depends on the distance. You pay when you alight the co-driver at the rear door. Always carry enough small change with you.
Motorbike taxis (or boda-boda) are another popular form of transport you can find just about anywhere, although in some smaller towns, such as Mbale and Kabale, you can still find them in bicycle form. The boda bodas are used for the destinations off the main roads, instead of walking home some kilometers from where the taxi stops. Within Kampala the main advantage of boda bodas is that you save time during rush hours. You reach your target by boda boda quickly, while others have to wait in the traffic jam. Boda bodas are very cheap. For a distance of some few kilometers you pay only 1000 Ugandan shillings.
Some people in Uganda may also choose to rent their own car complete with an experienced driver, or hire a ‘special taxi’. A standard vehicle for 4 persons + driver, who drives you wherever you want. This works very well, and the drivers are friendly, helpful and they know one’s way around. The fee does not depend on the distance or the duration, but its negotiated before you start.
One should have it in mind that there are no trains you could use in Uganda. Only a few connections exist in the whole country, but they are used only for transport of goods.
Travel within Uganda is either by public commuter mini-buses, taxi cabs or self drive cabs. In and around the towns, the quickest means of travel is by boda-boda cycles (motorcycle taxis). These easily get around the notorious jams especially in Kampala. They are however quite dangerous as they are involved in most accidents.
There are several options for those looking to using private cars in Uganda. There are “special cars” that you can use for your travel.
For those who would like to hire a car in Uganda, there are several car rental agencies that you can use for your next trip in Uganda. Listed here are the most reliable car rental agencies that you can use.