These days, 76% of the buses from Kampala travel at night, and it is vital that, the following tips be taken into consideration when taking the night bus.
1. Arrive early
Unless you’ve managed to get your hands on a ticket with a designated seat number, it’s worth arriving at the bus station early. Okay, you might miss out on another hour or two in town, arriving early helps you also calm down as you take your bus seat.
2. Keep your valuables close
Nobody is going to steal your dirty hankie, but cameras, cash, phones and laptops can all be attractive to thieves, who’ve been known to rifle through backpacks that are stashed out of sight in the luggage areas of long-distances buses. Often, travellers only notice that something is missing when they finally arrive – and by that time, the bus is long gone. Sling your big bag in the luggage area, by all means, but keep the valuable stuff with you at all times. And don’t automatically trust other passengers you’ve been put next to; some might be looking for a quick way to boost their travel funds.
3. Wrap up
How about you Keep a warm jumper handy throughout the journey, and consider taking a big scarf or shawl as well – even when you’re feeling nice and warm. They double as great covers and can be bundled up to create comfy pillows. Likewise, if you’re boarding the bus wearing shorts or min skirt, make sure pack a pair of jeans in case it gets cold.
4. Beware the late-night stop
Sometimes, after finally dozing off, the bright lights of some middle-of-nowhere bus station will wake you from a slumber. Before you step out to stretch your legs, remember to grab your valuables – and take a quick look back at your bus, honing in on something that makes it look unique. You really don’t want to get aboard the wrong bus in the middle of the night, just because you’re a little bleary eyed..If you get lost, check back on the ugabus app for details about the bus you booked.
5. Pack earplugs
You might be tired but the bus driver (quite rightly) wants to stay awake. Expect to hear local pop music(kadongo kamu) or badly dubbed action films played at deafening volume, sometimes right the way through the night. Add in the noise from squeaking brakes, ringing phones and other passengers’ conversations, and you’ll know that your cheap set of throwaway earplugs was well worth the investment.
Have you got more tips for surviving the overnight bus? Share them in the comments below. or bring the conversation to our WhatsApp group by following this link
Masha Cheptoek is a bus enthusiast who also works at Ugabus