First of all, this is not for the faint-hearted. Do not assume that it will be easy, but it will definitely be fun. You will not leave this city without a story to tell your friends back home. Spending a day getting up and about in this city will only make you want to do it again.

Private Hire (Cab)

Taxis are mostly available within the city centre. They may try to overcharge you but this is where your negotiating skills come in. Here’s the trick, when you map out your itinerary, note the distance between the different sites, for example Ntinda to Acacia Mall is about 3 kilometers. Try to drive the price down to about $5 for every 3km. The closer you get to this, the better the price. If you are ever unsure, remember to ask at the reception for taxi rates and stick to your guns. Don’t be alarmed if traffic seems stagnant, you’ll get there soon enough. This mode is relatively reliable if you have appointments if a time cushion is allowed.

Taxi Matatus/Buses

Do not use this mode of transport if you are on a time crunch! Taxis and buses are the most affordable way to get around, unfortunately they are also the slowest and the least reliable. Taxis tend to stop for long periods of time looking for passengers. They also tend to overload so your safest bet is to sit in the front seat with the driver. This way you avoid being uncomfortable and you may get to enjoy a conversation with the driver.

Matatu illustration; source unknown
Matatu illustration; source unknown

Motorcycle Taxis (Boda Bodas)

Boda bodas are the quickest means of getting around this breathtaking city. However you will need to summon your inner daredevil. The boda bodas take to the roads at incredible speeds, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, sometimes on the sidewalks, avoiding city council officers as they go. The safest way to use a boda is through the Safe Boda app. This app links bodas with passengers using GPS technology. Safe Bodas, unlike others have a second helmet for their passengers and are not allowed break traffic laws.


There are very few traffic lights and zebra crossings in Kampala. Traffic is mainly controlled by the traffic police. Be extra careful when crossing the roads, bodas tend to come out of nowhere when you least expect it.

Be sure to book your stay using, the hotel staff are always more than willing to help you figure out your most ideal mode of transport during your stay.

About Author

Consultant in Tourism | Conservation Enthusiast | Budding Travel Writer - banter and everything travel.

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