Top things to consider to have your self drive Activated in Uganda

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December 10, 2015

Top things to consider to have your self drive Activated in Uganda

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Top things  to note on a Self drive Vacation in Uganda in Rented Jeep

As self driving vacations are becoming more popular even among the luxury travelers that wish to explore the primates and Wildlife of Uganda & East Africa at large. Renting a reliable safari jeep from Uganda car rental is among the top list to take a note in order to enjoy the vacation holiday with 24/7 helpline in the wilderness of Africa with focus on national Parks for either Gorilla trekking or Wildlife spotting with a higher chance of crossing over to Democratic republic of congo for memorable Nyiragongo hike the world’s largest lava lake.

mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park

A vacation can be high lightened or ruined majorly with the mode of transportation. This is especially with the vehicle that one uses on the vacation most especially when it is on a self-drive vacation. So with a poorly maintained and DMC (dangerous mechanical condition) vehicle can ruin your vacation and on contrary a well maintained and good vehicle will reward you perfectly on a trip.

With the cost of living getting higher every year, it can be expensive to own a car and contrary there is no way you can come along with your own vehicle on a vacation. So the only option is to hire a vehicle from any reputable car hiring company around the country. Though the fuel prices are currently high, but you rather stomach that than embedding the horrendous fuss of the public transport means.

People shun from using public transport means after all its relatively cheaper, it might save you a bit of time if you can avoid traffic jams and you’re doing your part for the environment by cutting down on gas emissions. Well, the answer boils down to some simple facts, which we’re here to share.

Control and Convenience

Imagine you’re going out to a friend’s place, and you don’t have a car. What’s the next option? Find someone else who can pick you up. But no one’s nearby. Then comes the last and most dreaded option, public transport. This means you’ll have to get to either the nearest station or the closest bus stop. Either way, you’d have to plan to leave earlier, because the buses and trains don’t have a direct route to your destination. They also have a schedule to follow, meaning you’d have to take the next available transport if you miss your ride. Whenever you’re heading out, you don’t want to have to plan for the train, the taxi and for someone to drop you off and pick you up. It’s just too much hassle to plan. So the only significant option is to hire a vehicle of your convenience since it will be wherever you are and use at your own peril.

 A must for a car

road transport to Virunga National parkAside from the obvious fact that you can decide when to leave your house, it also gives you more control over your journey. Need to pick up something along the way? Just make a few turns and you’re there. You don’t have to make 5 stops and change a bus just to change your route. A closed road up ahead? Take a different turn around it. You can’t hijack a bus or a train to decide where to go. When there are so many things what’re unpredictable about Ugandan public transport, you’d want the easiest and most convenient way to get to your destination.

Does the feel of comfortable seats entice you? Do you want to enjoy your mode of transportation without being crushed by hundreds of other people? Do you like listening to your own sound system, without anyone to bother you? Well, then, you want a car. After all, when you have to spend hours on the road, you want to do it in something comfortable. Speaking of which, you also get working air conditioning pointed at where you want it without having to fight with your seatmate and the guy who is standing with his smelly armpits aimed at you.

Comfort

We’ve seen buses that are more than 10 years old always packed, late and filled with people who wouldn’t care if a one-legged pregnant lady walked through the door. At peak hours, you’d have to squeeze in with hundreds of other people who are escaping from their dull job, only to end up in another 2 hours of dull public transport. Once you get a seat, you realise that it isn’t the most comfortable of seats, especially if you’re sitting next to someone who plays their Nicki Minaj playlist way to loud and drools on your shoulder when they fall asleep. Then comes the incredibly skilled bus drivers who can make you feel like you’re on a space shuttle. They don’t really care if you’re thrown out of the bus when they slam on the brakes. As long as you pay your fare, anything can happen to you as far as they’re concerned.

 Safety

Have you seen the way buses are driven? The way they drive, you’d think that they were participating in a monster truck rally, battling it out for a championship. They charge into the next lane while speeding like your local mat remit without care or concern of the passengers or the other road users. How about trains, you say. They’re on a track, they don’t get into accidents much. Well, how about the pickpockets and molesters, we ask. There’s a reason why they had to add a ladies only carriage, and it isn’t because they want to feel like a princess. And you want to get to your destination without holding on to every valuable you have, in case of pickpockets. The taxis? While not all of them are bad guysUgandan taxi drivers do have a reputation for robbing passengers, overcharging, and sexual assault. Who would want to take a taxi in this case, especially when he knows where you’re going? Or if you’re heading home, where you live?

While there is a risk of car accidents with the amount of mad drivers around you, at least you feel sort of safe within the confines of your own car. Sure, there are still snatch thieves who break your window, or who bully you on the road. But there is still one factor that makes you feel a whole lot safer; there isn’t a stranger that’s right next to you. You can take control of where you’re going, without having to worry if someone’s about to assault you. There is also the fact that there is a whole lot of metal and glass around you, which makes you feel sort of safer.

If you live in the city, driving can be a horrendous nightmare. Yet, it’s unfortunate that we have to spend our lives on the road and all we can do is make faces at the car next to us. Here are the most annoying things you’ll experience when driving in the city.

Jamming It Out

Most of us buy a car so we can get to our destination quickly. That “quickly” is now as quick as the time it takes for politicians to fulfill promises. Within the city, what is normally a 10 minute drive can become an hour or two when the jam builds up. The traffic can become heavy at any point of the day, whether it’s the peak hour or not. Be it an accident, bad weather or for no obvious reason at all, traffic jams will build up and become the source for road rage at any time. And it’s our own entire fault. Look at the cars around you and count how many of them actually have more than a single driver. While you whine away at the lack of roads, honest politicians and unicorns, you’re actually part of the problem. Have you ever noticed that even with road expansion, it fills up in the next few months? Ironically, when we expand the roads, we are creating an induced demand that leads to even more cars and more traffic jams.

Vehicle-Kundelungu National ParkA license to drive doesn’t mean a license to be jerk. Every time you head out on the road, you’re bound to meet a driver who doesn’t use signals, weaves in and out of lanes and cuts you off at the traffic lights. The only thing more annoying than these people is the fact that you can’t punch them in the face when you see them, unless you drive a white Peugeot and use a steering lock.

A Broken Road and a Broken Suspension

Nothing wrecks your car, your patience and your dreams for great driving experience more than the potholes you find on the road. From deep ones that leave your tyres in tears to the ones that jerk your car like a jerk, no pothole leaves you unharmed.

  1. The Bumps of Death

Bumps are the bane of life, and your car. Sure they’re made to make the roads a little safer, but does anyone really need a bump every 5 minutes and a broken suspension? It gets worse in housing areas where residents make their own small bumps that seem to jerk your car even when you’re close to a complete stop. One day, we should all rise up and protest against the pure evil of bumps.

 When You See Red

Traffic lights are the reason everyone hates red with an undying fury, cursing it whenever we see it. Worse of all is when they don’t help traffic but make it horrible for anyone using the road. And then, there are the people who seem to slow down when it’s on green and speed away at yellow leaving you stuck behind and cursing.

Driving can be a dull thing to do in the city. After all, nothing’s fun when your destination’s work and your journey’s frustrating. So once in a while, it’s good to take a long drive on the highway. When you experience traffic jams and even more lousy drivers there, you’ll come back to your senses and realise that the city roads were beautifully perfect.

Accidents on the road can involve a range of scenarios. This could be from vehicle to vehicle, cars with pedestrians, trucks with motorcycles and much more. Of late, there have been many recorded accidents in Uganda with the latest news as a tragedy that has shocked the nation. These are accidents that could have been avoided as many are caused by human error and the complete lack of responsibility on affected parties. So notable below are most of the major causes of accidents in Uganda;

Over speeding in Uganda is the major cause of accidents especially when one drives beyond the limit. This becomes worse when it rains and visibility is low. Speed limit ranges between 80-100km/hr on highways and 50km/h on federal roads and could be at 50 or 60km/h on various other roads. You can be fined up of any speed limit and risk accumulating demerit points which can see your license revoked up to six months on your first offence or your license revoked at a third offence. Worse yet, if your license is suspended and you attempt to drive and get pulled over, you will incur another heavy fine or a six-month prison sentence.

Driving Drunk or Under the Influence

We probably don’t have to tell you why this is important. When you’re intoxicated, you shouldn’t operate machinery – whether it be an electric saw or a car. And when we say that many drive and ride drunk after hours, it is so common until the inevitable happens. Should you incur a breathalyser test and found to be over the prescribed limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath, it is a fine and may be spend some days in coolers. It is approximately about a little over two cans of beer or two glasses of wine. This also depends on the physique of the individual and alcohol tolerance. Take a taxi or get someone to drive you.

Using the Phone While Driving

This one comes almost as a no brainer. Why? Because using the phone while driving is one of two things. The first is that it distracts the driver from paying full attention on the road and secondly is because it takes one hand off the wheel. In fact an experimental test proved that using the phone while driving came out worse than driving under the influence because of the main two reasons above. Your calls and texts can wait. Oh and also using your mobile phone while waiting at the traffic lights is also a no-no.

Changing Lanes without Signalling

The reason why all vehicles have built in signals is not for show. It’s to provide the vehicles around you an indication on where you are intending to move to. Think of it, would you rather get into an accident when the only cause was not using that turn signal?

Driving an Unmaintained Vehicle

This is more of the lack of vehicle maintenance which could in turn cause an accident. Cars are machines that need to be up kept to ensure they’re at their best. If your tyres are balding, get them replaced. Check your brake fluid, turn signals and the works especially if your vehicle is equipped with the latest in tech as all these could fail over time.

 Irresponsible Pedestrians

Shortcuts cause accidents. Only cross the road when there’s a pedestrian crossing available and prevent yourself from jaywalking. It doesn’t end well when a moving car meets pedestrian.

Driving Without Good Judgment ( Impairment)

Being a defensive driver will most probably prevent you from getting into accidents in the first place. Always be alert to anticipate accidents – whether it be a child running across the street an oncoming vehicle beating the red light or even vehicles at blind spots and corners.

 Accidents can happen to anyone anywhere. This could mean that you’re at risk coming out of your home, backing up at the mall’s carpark or waiting at the traffic lights. The thing is, you could be the safest driver in the world, but when on the road, things can turn unpredictable at any time and get involved into an accident. What do you do? Follow these steps below, and you would have an idea on what to do next.

Stay Calm

Assess yourself. Are you injured? If you are not injured, exit the vehicle and assess the severity of the accident and the other party. If you are at the middle of the road and can move your vehicle.

Take down the details of the other vehicles and parties involved in the accident. This includes:

Car registration number.

Car model, model year and colour.

Driver’s Name, Address and Phone number.

Driver’s International C and Driving Licence number.

If you can, take pictures of the damage, and other details.

Witnesses’ Name, Address and Phone number.

 Is The Damage Severe?

Depending on the accident, you could come to an agreement with the other party on settling the matter should it be a minor fender bender. Also note that if your repair costs are under a certain value, you might not be able to make an insurance claim. But if the damage is severe, proceed to make a police report.

 Make A Police Report

Within 24 hours of the accident. The officer at the police station will inquire into the accident and conclude on who’s responsible for the accident and will issue a summons. You must pay the summons within a month.

 Call Your Insurance Company

Or their Assistance hotline soonest possible. They will ask questions on the accident and will advise, as well as assist in arranging a tow truck to the nearest authorized panel workshop. Failing to send your vehicle to an approved workshop might prevent you from claiming any damages from the accident.

 Insurance Claims

The insurance company will send a loss adjuster to assess the damage of your vehicle and find out who’s responsible. A conclusion will be made and the insurance company will be informed on how much you’d be able to claim from the accident. This will result in either a claim from your insurance or the other party’s insurance company.

 The No-Claims Bonus

Should you claim from your own insurance company, your claim must exceed the excess clause? The insurance company will then pay the difference. But note that once you claim, you will lose your no-claims bonus or NCB. The NCB is the number of years which you have not made claims on your car insurance policy.

 A Choice To Engage With A Lawyer

If you are comfortable engaging with a lawyer, note that you have a right to choose your own. He or she will be able to help you along the way in filling the claim and to advise you on various matters. You will be required to sign a warrant to act, a document that officially appoints him or her as an authorized person to act on your behalf.

This Article is prepared by the team of experts that have been working in car rental across the global and it will guide all the self drive travelers on what to do and the various steps  to be following when road tripping in the East Africa & Central Africa if deemed possible that your a great adventurous Travelers that can handle the terrains of the roads of Democratic republic of congo for the visit to the various national parks like Odzala National Park, Virunga National Park , Maiko National Park , Kahuzi Biega National Park and Upemba National park on a private guided trip although hiring a local guide may be  of Value .

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