As expected the traffic conditions here are not like in Sweden. Even though Rwanda is very progressive when it comes to safety questions, there is still more to do.
In Rwanda both the driver of a Moto and the (single) passenger must wear helmets. These helmets are really plastic shells that provide no proper shelter whatsoever, but they still give a false sense of security and is a step towards the right direction safety wise. The traffic is generally not as hectic as in Kampala or Nairobi, yet Tg managed to get hit by a car while on a Moto. Don’t worry he’s fine.
Rwandan Moto driver
In Uganda, the first thing we did was to share a Boda for a 20 minute ride on a dirt road with no helmets. Luckily our driver spoke English and listened when we said take it slow. We also managed to film 10 minutes of that bumpy ride, although much of it is unusable due to shaky camera.
March 26 (3 days ago), the Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander held a press conference saying; Boda boda cyclists will be subjected to a fine UGX 200,000 or face two years in jail if caught carrying more than one passenger or carrying animals. The excess passenger will be fined as well. This is a huge step in the right direction and is implemented to save lives and organize the industry according to the Police Commander.
At every hostel stories of near death experiences are circulating; scratches and bruises are obligatory. Our trip to Kampala today included a short Boda ride, it wasn’t anything beyond expectations.
The origin of the Boda-Boda in the words of Wikipedia:
The boda-boda taxis are part of the African bicycle culture; they started in the 1960s and 1970s and are still spreading from their origin on the Kenyan – Ugandan border to other regions. The name originated from a need to transport people across the “no-mans-land” between the border posts without the paperwork involved with using motor vehicles crossing the international border. This started in the southern border crossing town of Busia (Kenya/Uganda), where there is over half a mile between the gates, and quickly spread to the northern border town of Malaba (Kenya). The bicycle owners would shout out boda-boda (border-to-border) to potential customers – not to be confused with poda-poda, which is a form of shared taxi in Sierra Leone.
Moto (Rwanda) = Boda (Uganda/Kenya) = motorcycle taxi