Virtually our entire Ugandan journey has been via Public Transport, the exceptions being a specific safari vehicle hired to take us to and from Murchison Falls. The rest of our journeys have been on public coaches. Even our organised trip to Junja made use of hired coaches. This takes me back to the Summer of 2013 when Inaccompanied a group of sixth formers on a three wrk world challenge trip around Vietnam and Cambodia. In lots of ways it’s the same , though there are differences.
Coaching it has generally meant getting up early, tickets can be bought in advance, there is no allocated seating, but arrive early enough and you’ll be fine. Often we have been one of a small number of ex-pats or just ourselves. We have been careful where possible to use recommended coach companies, where not possible a quick glance at the exterior tells you a lot, the interior also.
Main luggage is stowed in low lockers. Hand luggage aboad, though we have been warned to keep it with us rather than stow away overhead. Once seated it can be a little cramped but no worse than an EasyJet/ Ryan Air flight! If the coach stops it is descended upon by tens of traders selling foods of all sorts, chicken on a stick, mishkaki, grilled cassava or plantain, chapati, fruit, sodas etc etc
At some locations a person might board the bus and walk up and down selling their wares. The most unusual combo to date was mobile phone vouchers and hankies! A few times one salesman has boarded and preached a sermon to the bus, before launching into a sales pitch for some medicinal product.
Most buses we have been on have not made loo stops, but for those who do it’s a bush toilet.
So far we have travelled from Mwanza to Bukoba, Bukoba to Kampala, Kampala to Jinja and Kampala to Mbale. Many hours on coaches gone and many more to come.
Having said all of this our coach today actually arrived 4 hours early! Unheard of!