Road trips in Uganda are usually full of fun and excitement. With its wildlife diversity, misty mountains, hospitable smiley people and the unique amazing cultures, the country simply offers experiences like no other destination in Africa.
Just a matter of fact, life doesn’t always guarantee joy, sometimes it is risked. And if in the jungle, a puncture shouldn’t be something to hinder the thrills that would have filled your heart already on a road trip in Uganda.
A flat tire is an uncertain situation that happens to most of us at the very best moments. It can happen in two scenarios, whether you wake up to only a shock of a flat tire on your vehicle parked outside your camping tent. Or even while driving in the jungle, whether on a game drive or transferring to another destination.
However, if this inconvenience happens to any traveler on a Uganda safari, here are the simple steps one ought to follow to peacefully escape the challenge.
Pull off the road. Driving through the different destinations in Uganda can mean to be full of fun but when the vehicle gets a flat tire doesn’t mean that is the end of the trip. When this incidence happens when in the jungle don’t panic just pull off the vehicle at the side in order to create space for other vehicles to pass.
Don’t force the brakes of the vehicle to gradually reduce the speed and eventually stop. When driving and suddenly notice the flap sound of an airless tire, it’s automatic that it’s a flat tire. But in such a case, don’t panic to force the brakes to stop randomly, leave the vehicle to gradually reduce the speed and stop.
In an occurrence of a flat tire while in the jungle, having stopped and pulled off the road, if with an armed park ranger, let him first move out of the vehicle to inspect whether the place is safe and free from dangerous predators before you all move out of the car.
If it was a self-driven game drive, it is then advisable to first call to the park headquarters to request for an armed ranger before moving out the car. This is to prevent any risky attacks from wild animals. Make sure you keep in the vehicle with windows and doors closed well until the ranger comes.
Place safety cones behind and in front of the vehicle as an implication to other drivers in the park that the vehicle is not in good conditions. This is only done after the ranger has confirmed the safety of the area where the car got stuck.
After placing the safety cones, now secure the car. Get some loads like big stones or rocks and place them behind the tires so that the vehicle doesn’t move during the process of changing the tire.
Change the tire. Having secured the vehicle, start to raise the car using the jack but make sure that there is no body in the car during the process of raising it. It is always advisable not to place the jack on soft grounds such as dirt, soil or grass. After raising the vehicle, remove the flat tire then place the new one on the wheel hub then screw in all of the bolts until hand tight.
If it was a self-driven trip, and not comfortable with changing the car tire by yourself, then call for roadside assistance and patiently wait for the mechanic / engineer in the car with doors and windows well closed.
When all the tire changing is done, pack your safety cones, clean up the place and then drive safely to the predetermined destination.
For safety measures, on any road trip in Uganda, whether self-driven or chauffeur driven, always ensure that you travel with a spare tire and a tool box that would be of help in case of an emergency like a flat tire. Also endeavor to carry with you emergency numbers that you can contact in case of a problem.