Saturday, 19 January 2013

Cancel the removalists. Relocating vía boda - you can do it.

Moving vía boda - yes you can do it.

I'm in snowy London at the moment. How on earth did I ever survive for five years in this city?

That's me above, on a boda, going not to the airport, but moving to my new place in Kampala just before I left for Entebbe on Thursday evening. As this blog has reported previously, some bodas have been known to carry everything but the kitchen sink. Shocking, that. So a medium-sized suitcase on the middle of a bike was never going to cause one to bat an eyelash, but then I am a mzungu (whitey).

Hey you, don't think you've got enough on the back of this bike! Put some more on!!

I moved my things in three stages, proudly using a boda every time (well I am doing a blog on them). The trip from my old place to my new place takes about 20 minutes and I paid on average about 6,000 Ugandan shillings ($2.25 USD). The first time was by far the longest (albeit most hilarious) as I packed up all my things at night and then tried to move sans hardly any street lights. I'm surprised my boda driver David got us there safely, as my large backpack was sitting on the handle bars of his bike for the entire journey.

I must have knocked on the gates of close to six compounds, saying to a score of bewildered faces, "Am I living here now?" as I pointed my torch. "No," replied all of them. Boy, they don't know how boring their lives are going to be. After all, I'd certainly got the entire neighborhood out of bed after getting lost; this could have been one of the most exciting nights of their lives. Who needs the X Factor for entertainment when you have stupid mzungus, out on the chaotic streets of Kampala, attempting to move house via a motorbike? In the end I found my new digs.

On the second trip though I was also loaded down with stuff and my suitcase (the same black one in the above pic) tied to the back of the bike by my old neighbor, Eric. We made it - without having to ask someone for directions and with my luggage intact. For a girl whose suitcase once burst on the conveyor belt of Gatwick Airport, revealing her underwear to half of Britain, it was an extremely risky move moving by boda, but I did it, thanks to my very loyal drivers. In London I had once used AussieMan&Van to move, but I'm pleased to report that UgandanMan&Boda are just as good, if not better. And their customers are probably even more demanding.

My removalist, David, aka UgandanMan&Boda.

I still have a few untold boda stories up my sleeve, so while I'm on my travels I'll be bringing them to you. But I can't help but wondering what's going to happen when they run out... Are there any bodas in Blighty? Have you got any tales of a bodacious boda? Let me know.


  1. If you're 'shifting' using a boda, where's the obligatory rolled-up mattress?!

  2. Oh my God, cant stop laughing reading about the adventure you had while on your first trip.It must have been scary knocking on unknown doors at that time of the night.You must get some more of these adventures from the Boda riders or other people who have used a Boda too and add them here,I reckon it will make for an interesting and hilarious read.

  3. Thanks so much both of you. If you have any good boda stories yourself or know of anyone else who does please let me know. And please let me know what you'd like to ask the boda drivers!

  4. I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post.Its a nice piece of information.We Man and Van London are a relocations company based in Outer London who offer fully comprehensive removals service through out the whole of greater London offering a range of different moving services.
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  5. Thanks so much for the comment - am so glad that you saw your mention!