Transport in Uganda

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Total: 1,244 km
metre gauge: 1,244 km 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge (2008)
note: A program to rehabilitate the railway started in (1995), however much of the railway is inoperative.

Railway links with adjacent countries, as of 9 July 2011 references to southern Sudan reflect the new nation of South Sudan[edit]

Couplings and brakes[edit]


  • Kenya and Uganda have decided to build new railways at 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge.[2] This decision seems not to mention variable gauge axles which would make gauge change much more easy.


  • On 6 September, further talks took place at State House, Kampala, between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and engineers from Germany concerning the new standard gauge railway they propose linking South Sudan's railhead at Wåw to Uganda and Kenya. Klaus Thormahlen, managing director of Thormahlen Holdings International and Jens Flachsbarth, managing director of the Ingeno Group, presented details of the scheme envisaged. Ugandan minister for works John Nasasira attended the meeting, as well as NEPAD Kenya Secretariat chief executive Grace Ongile, and principal economist Abdulrahman Ismail.[5]
  • Proposed link to Uganda west of Lake Victoria [6]



Towns served by rail[edit]


Total: 70,746 km
paved: 16,272 km
unpaved: 54,474 km (2003)

International highways[edit]

The Lagos-Mombasa Highway, part of the Trans-African Highway network and aiming to link East Africa and West Africa, passes through Uganda. This is complete only eastwards from the UgandaDR Congo border to Mombasa, linking the African Great Lakes region to the sea. It is commonly called the 'Trans-Africa Highway' in Uganda.

It cannot be used to reach West Africa because the route westwards across DR Congo to Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) is impassable after the Second Congo War and requires reconstruction. An alternative route (not part of the Trans-African network) to Bangui based on gravel roads and earth roads runs from Gulu in northern Uganda via Nimule and Juba, South Sudan and Obo in south-east CAR. This is used by trucks but sections are impassable after rain.

The route has been closed at times during war and conflict in northern Uganda (the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion) and South Sudan, but up to July 2007 had not been affected by the Darfur conflict and was the only usable road between East and West Africa. The security situation should be checked with authorities in northern Uganda, South Sudan and south-eastern CAR before use.


Lake Victoria is the principal waterway with commercial traffic. In conjunction with train services, the railway companies of Uganda and Tanzania operate train ferries on the lake between railhead ports of the two countries and Kenya. These ferries load rail coaches and wagons. The safety record has been poor in recent years. Jinja and Port Bell (on a 7 km branch line from Kampala) are the railheads for Uganda, connecting to Mwanza, Tanzania and Kisumu, Kenya.

The Port Bell ferry wharf is visible on high-resolution Google Earth photos at latitude 0.2885° longitude 32.653°. A ferry is shown loading truck and rail coaches while another waits.

Other ferries serve non-railhead ports on the lake.

Lake Kyoga and the Victoria Nile south of the lake constitute the second most important commercial waterway. There used to be a steamboat service between Namasagali, a railhead port on the Nile, going as far as Masindi-Port on the other side of Lake Kyoga.

Other waterways such as Lake Albert, Lake George, Lake Edward, and the Albert Nile do not carry commercial traffic to any great extent.


Main International Airport: Entebbe International Airport and Soroti Airport

46 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways[edit]

total: 5
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways[edit]

total: 41
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 7 (2012)

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.