First Boda Boda Crash Uganda

Bodo-boda is the main transportation mean in Uganda. It’s a motorcycle in translation. The term comes from border to border; before the motorcycle, they used the bikes to go to the borders of the other countries. The term got shortened and the bicycle replaced with second hand Japanese motorcycle.

Actually, my first ride on a Moto was in Vietnam, a couple of years ago; I was scared at the beginning but the sensation was great!

In Uganda you have 2 ways to travel cheap; by Boda-bodies or by matatu which stands for a crowded  minivan. Often I choose the first option because is much faster.  The problem here in Uganda is that 90% of the drivers are either illiterate and mostly did not take any driving lessons. Traffic is horrible in Kampala and decent in the small city like Fort Portal where I am located. Few drivers are having helmet and no of the passengers have. So imagine that the accidents are quite often and around 20 casualties are reported daily only in Kampala. I read that 80% of the accidents in Uganda do happen from boda boda cause.

I have been using it and till now had no problem at all; drivers are OK and only once happened to have a drunk one; he was drinking at the “wheel” but not have an ally; actually it was night and he drove quite slow.

Back to the real story now. I decided  to have a quiet weekend away from Fort Portal to Crater Lakes; an area with around 63 of those. From Fort Portal to there are around 20 km and decided to take a boda-boda. The road was mainly gravel and had many bumps and humps but I knew the driver so he was trustful driver.

Noticed the sign for my accommodation place and then suddenly the crash happened. I a second I was down, the wheel crossed a little over my chest, my hands were walking on the gravel! Managed to stand up in seconds and first was the damage control look. Head was in good shape, only a small bruise on the chest, the leg a bigger bruise but no bleeding. The bad parts where only the right hand and the elbow; both bleeding with some superficial cuts.

The hostel was close so decided to go by foot till there. I was looking for something to clean the woods. Unfortunately the hotels and guesthouses here do not have such things. Go to the clinic, they told me. I said, wow, there is a clinic in this small village. The clinic turned to be one small pharmacy. One had nothing I needed. So went the second one; I  was on a boda boda again. Luckily  the second one had wool,  some iodine and antibiotics

pharmacy in UgandaThe pharmacy

wounded arm

I managed before to wash with soap the bruises, but not completely because of the sting. On the spot, the pharmacist woman puts the iodine on the open wounds. To be honest, I did not scream or cried; but the pain was almost unreal and insupportable.

the wounded hand

The wool on my wounds

Went back to the guesthouse and David, the owner had a local plant for this kind of wounds; called enmabarasana.

after the local plant stuff


To be honest, the plant had a better effect than the iodized stuff. Things were starting to look better. Drunk a bitter lemon thing and just stayed and watched the lake in front of me; at least the view  was amazing.


Local medicinal plant for bruises 4h after

 The “problems” started while taking the shower or get dressed and undressed. Its very difficult with one hand and got tired very quickly. And I had after so much movement started to hurt. Eating was another difficult time. Managed to use my left hand for that; did a good job not getting dirty at all!


The night was not as I expected to be at the beginning of the trip; a 10 hours sleep and waking up fresh and ready for a working week. I was in pain and the wounds were burning a bit. I think I managed to get like 1-2 hours of sleep.

In the hotels 6 Germans were accommodated. 3 of them were actually doctors in Kampala so they checked my bruises and said every thing looks in order.

After the crash and the sleepless night I still decided to go on a 4 hours up and down the track. I was amazed how much ambition do I still have. And I lot of smiling, too.

safe and sound!

 Tracking the next day

On the way back without boda boda, decided to be on the safe side and took a shared cab. It is a small, normal car. They were 4 people in front. Including the driver and 4 behind. 3 of the ladies were very fat and all the road I stayed with my ass in the window! That was a fun way to finish the weekend away.

Back to the volunteer’s house and another round of putting stuff on my bruises. This time was even more paint foal. It was proxiline or something like that. The wounds were burning like hell! One volunteer was taking picture of me almost screaming; hope to have it soon. The pain after the appliance was getting bigger. And the crossed my mind; damn, some vodka would be great! And a voice was just saying: we still have a bottle! Jesus is alive and kicking I said in my head! Took a double shot of vodka and started to fell much better.

Next time when I will be on a boda-boda I will definitely wear a long T-shirt; the wounds will probably be minor. But I do hope this will first and last crush on a boda-boda.

Do you have any times on how to land while cruising from a motorcycle?

by Sorin

Sorin is a freelance travel writer. He is an experienced travel writer and traveller. Since 2012 he explored more than 60 countries on 4 continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Currently is based in Romania after spending the last 7 years in Myanmar.