The roads in Uganda - how are they?


Jan 13th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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The roads in Uganda - how are they?

Can someone tell me how scary the roads are through the mountains?

When I was in Peru I was terrified the whole time we were driving through the Andes. The sheer drops offs on one side of the road really scare me (I always seemed to be sitting on the wrong side of the bus and could see the terrible drop offs). Am I going to have to ride with my eyes closed the whole time?

Thanks, Joanne
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Jan 13th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Joanne ride relaxed.

Not all roads are paved but nearly all are in good repair & no scary drop offs.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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Uganda actually has good roads connecting Kampala with all the other major towns up country. Even roads between Kabale and Kisoro, for example, are very well paved. Same applies to the road from Mbale town to Kapchorwa/Sipi Falls, for example, where I went with Instinct Safaris on my last trip a few weeks ago. There is a very nice tarmac road right through Queen Elizabeth National Park, for example.

It only gets tricky/remains tricky on the road between Murchison Falls and Kibale as well as between Kabale and southern Bwindi.

Hope this helped you a bit. The only real road in the mountains is the one between Kisoro, Bwindi, and Kabale, as well as Lake Bunyonyi. Even though there are some 5-6 curves with steep slopes on the side, there is nothing much you should worry about when you have a good driver

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Jan 14th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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Thanks guys, its good to know I can keep my eyes open to see the scenery

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Jan 16th, 2014, 07:43 PM
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Road area not scary , as in steep drop offs. You can keep your eyes open. But the condition of roads isHORRIBLE in many parts. The road between QE and Bwindi comes to mind. Shame on the gov't for one one hand, encouraging tourism, but on the other hand , ignoring infrastructure. Comparethis to Rwanda, where tourism is encouraged , but roads really are in good repair.

A group of friends were in Uganda with their driver who , as they turned off the road from QE, bound for Bwindi Forest, said, "Bye by, good road!" They didn't get int...until 30 minutes had elapsed. Then...reality struck.

When i was last there-- Summer 2012--there long stretches of construction between the Southern border with Rwanda, and Mbrata, where the dust was so bad, visibility was zero. Hopefully the construction is now complete.

Sorry to sound negative but i wished when I was there someone had been more realistic about some of the uncomfortable , long, drives on poorly repaired roads. I love, love, love, Uganda, but i think it is better to go in with a realistic attitude. You know the term "African Massagef"? Well, the ones I had on the ugandan roads were far more intense than the more famous ones on the roads (?) of Kenya's Masai Mara.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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Thanks CaliNurse,I am (hopefully) prepared for the poor condition of the roads(I have been to Africa previously) but was more worried about drop offs, in Peru the roads really made it hard for me to enjoy myself. I was terrified the whole bus trip up and back between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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As others have said, the roads leading from Kampala out to many of the popular tourist destinations tend to be in good to great shape, and it seems like they're putting a lot of effort into fixing the main roads. For example, the Kampala-Gulu road (which kind of leads to Murchison) was absolutely terrible in 2008, and was fantastic in 2011.

It would be helpful for there to be a paved road from Masindi to Fort Portal, to get people from Murchison to Kibale and QE more efficiently. The roads through there are rough! But the area is beautiful.

A paved road from Kampala to Kidepo NP would be nice to have as well.

CaliNurse, were you/your friends going from the Ishasha part of QE to Bwindi? I've heard that's rough road.

I do think it's a bit unfair to compare Rwanda's good roads to Uganda's network--Rwanda is a much smaller country and I think it receives more aid than Uganda.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 12:18 PM
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Yes, the turn off was from Ishasha, which is particularly bad. And the roads through Bwindi--i was traveling between Buhoma and Nkuringo--are bad--rutted, fallen trees blocking the way, etc--especially after the rains.

I'm not making a statement about foreign aid, politics, or whatever, in comparing Rwanda and Uganda. There are plenty of other forums for that. I am comparing the condition of the roads. That said, I think a country that wants tourism on the hand , but keeps a blind eye to the infrastructure, is hypocritical. FWIW, in Bwindi I heard from local hotel folks that a gov't minister had indeed taken the road between QE and Bwindi, and claimed, "There's nothing wrong with it." HA!!
I 've also found that travel agents tend to poo-poo the condition of the roads. Either they are used to it, or have not been!
Also, the roads in the Eastern side of the country--Jinja, Mbale, Sipi Falls--are in much better condition.

Give me honesty while traveling. Tell me the good, but don't sweep the negative under the rug. Then i can decide for myself . To say for example, "nearly all roads are in good repair" creates a quite different impression in the mind of the inexperienced (with African road) tourist.

Apologies for typos in my earlier post.
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Feb 17th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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On the whole I love driving in Uganda, it can be fun – just expect anything to happen, at any time, from any direction!
You might enjoy my tongue in cheek advice about how to drive in Kampala:
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Feb 20th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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The roads are not so bad, i suggest that you take your time to enjoy the adventure, remember the mountainous areas have such a great scenery. I think from Kabale towards Kisoro is so great.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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I hate drop offs but found the road between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu to be fine. I guess we all see different things.
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