Kenya to Uganda: Border Crossing Guide via Busia

Crossing borders between Kenya and Uganda? This is our guide to the border crossing between these two countries departing from Nairobi in Kenya to Kampala in Uganda via Busia Border Control by bus.

Kenya to Uganda: Border Crossing Guide via Busia

Bus Companies with routes from Kenya to Uganda and vice-versa

Mash East Africa

Mash East Africa departs daily from Nairobi to Kampala at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM. A bus also leaves Nairobi to Kampala and all the way to Kigali, Rwanda at 4:30 PM.

The bus fare between Nairobi and Kampala via Mash East Africa is KES3,000 -VIP Seat in the Mash Cool Fully Executive Class (5:00 PM); KES3,500 – VIP Seat in the Mash Cool Club Class (6:30 PM). The normal seat in both classes is KES2,500.

The Mash East Africa bus terminal and ticketing office is at Accra Road, Nairobi Kenya. You may call them at +254 723 463 685.

Modern Coast

Modern Coast also have daily departures from Nairobi to Kampala. The bus departs Nairobi at 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. There’s also a bus departing Nairobi at 5:00 PM to Kigali, Rwanda via Kampala. Another option is to take the Mombasa-Kampala via Nairobi. It usually departs Nairobi at 7:00 AM and 10:15 PM.

The bus fare between Nairobi and Kampala via Modern Coast is KES2,400 for the normal and modern executive buses and KES2,800 for the Oxygen Tourist bus that leaves at 6:00 PM.

Modern Coast buses depart Nairobi in their River Road terminal and booking center. You may call them at +254 709 897 000.

Easy Coach

Another bus option from Nairobi to Kampala and vice-versa is Easy Coach. It has two daily departures at 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. The bus fare between Nairobi and Kampala via Easy Coach is KES2,500. You may call them at+254 738 200 301.

Dreamline Bus

Dreamline Bus company has two daily departures from Nairobi to Kampala at 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The bus fare between Nairobi and Kampala via Dreamline is KES2,300 for a VIP seat, KES2,000 for a Business class seat, and KES1,800 for a normal seat. They have the cheapest normal seat fare for this route. You may call their hotline at +254716000100.

Travel time between Nairobi and Kampala on an overnight bus is about 14 hours including the border control process. Traveling during the day is usually longer. I personally took the 5:00 PM bus from Nairobi and arrived in Kampala around 7:00 AM the following day.

How to prepare?

It is highly recommended to get your bus ticket at least a day in advance by either booking online or going to their ticketing office. If you choose to book online, you must have a local sim card because the confirmation will be sent to your mobile number. I tried this option but unfotunately, I do not have a local number so I ended up going early to the ticketing office and bought my bus ticket the same day of my travel.

The good thing about MASH Poa is you can leave your bag if you arrive early at the terminal provided that your travel is on the same day. I left my backpack and spent the rest of my day in Java House coffee shop near the city market which is a walking distance from the bus terminal in Accra Road.

Departure from Kenya

The bus departed on time. It wasn’t full so I did not have a seatmate which made the journey more comfortable. There was a socket so I was able to charge my phone. The road condition was bearable and I slept almost all the time. The bus stopped in Nakuru around 8:45 PM to pick up passengers and allow other passengers to go on a short CR break.

Busia Border Control

The bus arrived in Busia after about 9 hours of travel from Nairobi. The border crossing was easy and straightforward. The Kenyan and Ugandan immigration officers sat side by side so it was very convenient. The bus will stop in front of the border control office and you only need to walk a few steps to fall in line.

  • First, you fall in line to get an exit stamp from the Kenyan Immigration Officer
  • Second, fall in line to get your entry stamp at the Ugandan counter. In my case, I already applied for a Ugandan Visa online and I thought it will be the same experience when I arrived in Kenya. It was different as the Ugandan IO has to make a sticker visa to be stamped to the passport which took a while. Nevertheless, it was easy and hassle-free.
  • Make sure you carry your yellow fever certificate (yellow card) as it is one of the requirements to cross the border. It is also advisable to carry a passport size photograph and photocopy of your passport just in case the IO asks for them.
  • You only need to carry your hand luggage. There’s no need to carry your heavy stuff while getting your exit/entry stamp.
  • After getting your entry stamp, you can proceed back to your bus. A currency exchange center is available near the exit. Make sure you exchange some currency to the local Ugandan Shillings.
  • The bus departed the border around 3:00 AM.

Arrival in Kampala

The bus that I took arrived in Kampala around 7:00 AM. There were private cars (taxi) waiting for passengers. The driver asked me to pay 25,000 Ugandan Shillings to drop me to my hotel. I knew it was too much but it was raining so I agreed to pay UGS20,000. Still too much as my hotel is less than 4 kilometers away from the bus station. You should not pay more than UGS10,000!

Nairobi

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