Top-notch taxi in Kampala
Kampala is Uganda’s lively capital city where you can explore vibrant street markets, tour the Kasubi Royal Tombs, or take in one of the greatest lakes in the world, Lake Victoria. When you first arrive in Kampala, you may be confused by what is locally referred to as a taxi – a 12-seater minivan that operates along a loosely set route and is more similar to a public bus. There are over 15,000 of these taxis operating in the city centre of Kampala, distinguished by their uniform white colour with a blue stripe.
An actual Kampala taxi, known as a special hire, is a much safer, private and more convenient option for moving around the city. And since you won’t be sharing the vehicle with anyone else, it is also the quickest. A taxi in Kampala can easily be flagged from the street – just look for a yellow vehicle or a traditional taxi light on the vehicle’s roof. You can also take a cab from various locations throughout the city, book a private transfer in advance, or use an app.
Hand picked & english speaking drivers
Same price as a regular Taxi from the line
Drivers are always on time
24/7 Email & Phone support
(05:00 - 24:00)
(00:00 - 05:00)
Kampala taxi prices
Most special hire taxis will require you to negotiate a set fare before you jump in. Within Kampala city, a reasonable fare should be somewhere between €3.70 and €7.40 (UGX 15,000-30,000). If they do use a meter, your fare will be calculated based on the distance travelled and you can expect to pay €0.85 (UGX 3,500) per km. However, this rate may vary between companies. Both US dollars and the local Ugandan Shilling can be used to pay for your taxi in Kampala but be sure to carry cash on you as card payments are not widely accepted.
To enjoy a set-rate fee that won’t change and with no negotiation necessary, you will need to book a private taxi in advance.
Read all reviews
How to get a taxi in Kampala
There are two main types of taxis in Kampala; white and blue minivans that provide a shared taxi service and are known as taxis, and private ‘special hire’ cabs that operate as the more typical taxi service. To take a shared taxi you will need to have an understanding of where the taxi is going and that they depart from specific locations, depending on the route they are servicing, much like a public bus.
A special hire taxi, like in most cities, can be hailed from the street by waving your arm, or they may beep at you to see if you require a ride. They are generally white or yellow Toyota Corollas or will have a taxi sign displayed on the roof. There are also specific taxi ranks – or stages – located throughout the city where you can pick up a special hire. These are identified on Google Maps as ‘special hire taxi’ or can be found at bus and train stations, Garden City, Pioneer Mall, or the National Theatre. If it is late at night it is best to call a special hire provider directly, have your hotel phone on your behalf to arrange a taxi and negotiate a fare, or book one through an app.
The most well-known and reliable private special hire taxi company in Kampala is Yellow Cab Taxi (+256 31 226 2036 or +256 71 313 3331), although there are numerous companies that offer this service.
Booking your Kampala taxi service in advance
Kampala city is prone to extremely bad traffic congestion so the last thing you want is to be spending your holiday trying to find the right taxi service amidst the chaos, especially when it is late at night. Even if you phone a taxi company directly, you will still need to wait for it to arrive which can waste your precious time. Instead, you can pre-book your Kampala taxi service in advance with Welcome Pickups and enjoy fixed-rate prices, on-time pickups and 24/7 customer support.
Kampala taxi tips
- It is best to carry small notes and coins to avoid the driver not being able to give you the correct change.
- Tipping is not expected in Kampala for taxi journeys but it is always appreciated if your driver has been helpful.
- If your special hire taxi uses a meter to calculate your fare, they may also charge extra fees, such as waiting times.
Wheelchair-accessible taxis in Kampala
Unfortunately, shared taxis and special hire taxis are not wheelchair accessible in Kampala and the streets can also be difficult to navigate due to uneven pavements and holes in the road. Due to the overcrowding of shared taxis, a private special hire taxi would be the most practical option, so that you can place your wheelchair in the back and have the driver assist you to your seat.
Kampala taxi safety and complaints
Private special hire taxis are generally considered safe in Kampala, however, there are reports of drivers charging higher rates when it comes to tourists. While there is no official process in place to report such incidents, if you encounter any issues or if at any point you feel unsafe during your journey, you should note down the driver’s details and registration number so that you can make a complaint directly to the taxi company or the local police. If available, always request a receipt at the end of the trip for an official record of your journey.