Getting Around in Kampala

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Arrival

Visitors flying into Uganda will arrive at Entebbe International Airport, on the Lake Victoria Shore, and abut 40km from Kampala.  Special hire taxis from the airport cost about $25 USD (50,000shs) into the city, although you can take a shared taxi for about $7 (14,000shs).

There are three ways to get around Kampala: taxi, boda-boda, and mini-bus

In Kampala

The best way to get around the city is by shared taxi or boda-boda (motorcycles). Shared taxis often squeeze five to seven passengers and cost anywhere from 500shs to 3,000shs depending on where you are going in the city and how well you negotiate. These taxis, however, often sit in traffic upward 30 minutes, so if you are in a hurry, get on the back of a boda-boda. You may pay 500-1,000shs more than you would in a shared taxi, but you will save time. Boda-bodas can squeeze through traffic very quickly and get from one side of town to the other in 15 minutes. If you are going for long periods on a boda-boda purchase a helmet for safety.

Reaching the outskirts of Kampala

If you want to visit a neighboring suburb of Kampala, a mini-bus is your best bet. They resemble the old VW buses of the 1960s and fit up to 15 passengers. Often these are more comfortable than the shared taxis. There are two places where you can hail a mini-bus to get to the suburban towns outside of Kampala. The first is the Kampala Taxi Park, located in the heart of the city market (Kampala and Jinja Road). The second, Central Taxi Park, is located on Masaka Road, 100m from Kampala Taxi Park.

Summary of Transport in Kampala

Boda-boda: 1,000-4,000shs

Pros: Motorcycles can weave through traffic and will get you to your destination fairly quickly

Cons: Some boda-boda drivers are still learning how to drive the motorcycles. Ask to see a license before hopping on one.  There are also more accidents on a boda-boda than taxis and mini-buses, so wear a helmet.

Mini-buses: 1,000-3,000shs

Pros: Cheapest form of transport and ubiquitous

Cons: You often sit in the taxi park for a half hour before taking off. Drivers make more money when they fill up all seats!

Taxis: 1,000-10,000shs (shared/special)

Pros: You can find these anywhere in the heart of Kampala. They are often blue or white. Stand on the edge of the road and wave one down. In a special hire you get away from the crowds and have more space.

Cons: You may find a little child sitting on your lap in a shared taxi. If you are uncomfortable being squashed, get on a mini-bus or hire a special taxi.

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