The Buses of Kampala

Typed on the 20th of May, late-night as well.

So, there are two general modes of transportation here in Kampala. You can ride a boda-boda, which is a little motorcycle with room on the back – faster, maybe a little more dangerous, but more expensive. The alternative, which is what I’ve been using, is a mini-bus or matatu. Think of a regular van with the two seats in the front and three rows behind. It’s stripped down to the metal, and the seats are modified so that there are still regular seats in the middle and on the right, but the seats on the left are fold-able so people can step over them and the front passenger seat goes across the middle where the console would be. Now, take that van and fill it to capacity. There’s a driver and a toll-man (who spends the whole ride telling the people he passes where he’s going to try to pick them up) and 11-14 other people crammed into it. Usually a full van is 4 people across in each row and 2 by the driver, and the toll-man usually just sits on the very edge of his seat since he’s hanging on the sliding door anyways. That’s my primary mode of transportation! It’s pretty inexpensive, but being a muzungu, or white guy, they’ve tried to get more out of me. Going into town with Morris has cost me 500UGX, and coming back today cost me 800, but he said it was because I got them at the stop-off station, but I think it’s because I’m a foreigner. Word’s still out on the real reason.


2 thoughts on “The Buses of Kampala

  1. Scott: Can you believe I am reading my first blog. Your Dad is so TECHNO- SAVVY
    Makes a New York cab ride seem safe. When I meet up with Mom this evening I will get her to your site. Be safe. Dad

  2. Hi! My other favorite bud :). Dad and I miss you a lot. We are so glad to hear from you. This is nice that we feel very connected. We feel like being there with you on your adventure. If only our passports were here we might just surprise you. It is good that you get out and about seeing things and exploring all around you. We are so proud of you Scott for being so brave to take this trip. We sure hate to have you so far away yet we are delighted that you take this opportunity to fulfill your dream. Please remember to always be alert with your surroundings and keep tract of places you go so you know how to return home. We sure wish we could be there to guide or rather to experience with you through such strange countries. We love you and miss you lots. Keep sending your blogs. We will be looking for your blogs daily. Your stories have been very interesting and we enjoy reading all about your journey. I will share your blog with PoPo tomorrow when I take her to LA fitness. I am sure she will be very happy to learn you are adjusting well in your newly found strange town. Take care and make sure you enjoy every minutes of your journey. Get out and explore as much as you can.
    Love, Mom and Dad

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