The Boda-boda

Apart from the ubiquitous taxi as a means of getting around town, Entebbe in particular, is safe to walk around. However should you not want to to use either, throughout Uganda is the all pervasive motorbike or boda-boda as an alternative form of transport.

About to depart

About to depart

Anything goes

Anything goes

The name purportedly originated on one of the border crossings between Uganda and Kenya where there is a short stretch of no mans land between the two customs posts which must be negotiated on foot. An enterprising fellow used his bike to ferry passengers between the two posts and in order to let customers know the route he was offering the phrase of “border-to-border” was regularly called out. This eventually got truncated to border-border, and is now bodaboda. And the original bicycle has been mostly been superseded┬áby the motorbike.

Side saddle for ladies

Side saddle for ladies

Carrying supplies

Carrying supplies

Bodaboda is also used to describe the driver -as in “I’m a bodaboda driver”, or the motorbike they drive – “I drive a bodaboda”, or “You want a bodaboda?”

Two passengers are common but we did once see six!!

Two passengers are common but we did once see six!!

With helmet, a rare sight

With helmet, a rare sight

Not all are registered, hardly any use helmets, and the rate paid for a trip is negotiated beforehand. Depending on your own personality as to the speed they will travel. Drivers have been known to corner too fast and loose control, resulting in personal injury. However, it is possible to tell the driver not to travel fast, and in my experience they are amenable to this request. Most of the drivers are friendly, happy to chat as they drive, and often proud of their ability of being self-employed. Most drivers see the boda-boda as a stepping stone to eventually owning a car.

Not every driver is registered

Not every driver is registered

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>