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Roads and Road Travel


In rural areas roads can vary from narrow tracks to wide open expanses with a number of 'lanes' across them, but all need to be treated with respect. Unless you have experience of African roads it is all too easy to become over confident when you find yourself alone on a track with no other vehicles in sight.

Remember that accidents happen on the best roads in Europe, and in Uganda you are 11 times more likely to die in a vehicle accident. Many vehicles aren't just poorly maintained, they aren't maintained at all. Mini-bus taxis will usually have started their lives in Japan, where they were used until they were beyond economical fixing, then they will have been shipped to Africa, driven hundreds of miles across country from the nearest coastal port, 'reconditioned' by mechanics with no formal training, and then put in the hands of drivers whose only driving qualification is a test you can pass even if you fail it. Being in a 4x4 or a small car makes little difference when you hit a lorry full of sugar cane, with no brakes, no lights and driver who passed his test by handing over a handful of cash.

The photographs below illustrate typical roads and road conditions in two main cities and in rural areas.

Read on for information about the main road vehicles you are likely to use..

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