Border crossing with a Rental Car from Rwanda is a very simple process when you have the right information beforehand. We at Rent a car Rwanda know very well that some clients need to cross over to the neighboring countries in Uganda, Congo or to Tanzania to extend their adventure. We understand the tourism business and very well know it’s easier for one to rent one car and not have to change for reasons of having to cross borders.
We desire to equip you with the necessary information and tip to cross the borders easily with a rental car, if you’re asking yourself whether it is possible to cross the borders with a rented car. The answer is yes, if you want to consider Border crossing with a Rwanda Car Rental will have no problem processing your request.
East African Border Crossing Essentials:
- Passport and Visas
East African passport holders resident to Rwanda do not require a visa to visit Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. However, should you be traveling with an emergency travel document?
- International Driver’s Permit or National Driver’s License
Although not compulsory this is recommended for everyone driving in foreign countries however The Local English driver’s license is recognized in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
- COMESA Sticker
If you’re traveling from Rwanda across borders vehicles should bear a Comesa sticker which designates that they are foreign vehicles.
- White and Red Reflective Tape
In Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, two small white rectangular size strips on the right and left hand side of the front bumper, as well as two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper is required.
- Vehicle Registration/Vehicle License Papers
A certified copy of vehicle registration/vehicle license papers is acceptable at the border posts. Must be accompanied with a letter from the company giving you authorization to take the vehicle across the border, and must indicate dates. Both the letter and license papers should be signed by the Owner. If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle, please carry an affidavit from the police giving you authorization from the Company /owner to take the vehicle abroad.
Whereas some car hire companies do allow border crossing with a rental car, most agencies on the other hand do not accept their vehicles to cross over to some countries more so to those countries that have political issues.
- Letter of authority
If you are traveling in a rented car or 4×4 across borders, you have to have a letter from the car hire Rwanda Company giving you permission to take the vehicle out of the country
You’ll have to get ready for the additional cost of a cross border fees, this is an extra fee to cover the extra insurance needed when you drive in a different nation from where you hire the vehicle. Some Rwanda car hire agencies just get for papers for crossing the border and even advise you on where to buy the insurance needed to drive in any country you planning to visit.
You should simply tell the Rwanda car hire where you’re anticipating going and they’ll advise you on how much additional you have to pay. They’ll require some notice, so ideally let the agency know your itinerary when you book the vehicle, and also before you arrive to pick the vehicle or before they deliver it to you at the airport or at the hotel.
How much do I have to pay to cross a border?
That really depends on where you’re going. Simply let the car hire Rwanda agency know which border you’re planning to cross with their vehicle and they’ll give all the information and papers you need to cross the board and how much you will pay for insurance.
You need to have in mind that that our car rental rates will go a bit above the usual car rental fees meant to cover cross border insurance fees, regional taxes, etc.
These additional fees also cover the extra insurance needed when you’re driving in a different country. We, however, will arrange the entire border crossing paperwork on behalf of the renters and include all the charges within the total costs for hiring the vehicle.
Why I have to tell the rental company?
In case you don’t inform the car rental agency before you drive into another country, you’ll void your insurance / protection. This implies on the off chance that you have an accident, or if your vehicle gets stolen or damaged in another country, you’ll need to pay all cost to the rental agency out of your own pocket.
Conclusion, Thinking of traveling cross borders this season for a vacation, business or leisurely tour, and still looking for the ideal provider to get you around? Simply approach Rwanda car rental to get helped. Thinking of traveling cross borders this season for a vacation, business or leisurely tour, and still looking for the ideal provider to get you around? Simply approach any preferred rental company to get helped.Read More
Whether it’s for a business meeting or a family touring, if you’re in a new city without a ride, you’ll need a rental car. Or, you may not even be in a new location; you may simply need one because your vehicle is out for repairs. Either way, before you sign an agreement with a rental company, there are a few questions you should ask to avoid problems like unexpected charges.
What Essential Questions to Ask Before Renting a Car
What fees are included in the rental?
When looking for Rwanda Car rental, the basic quote won’t include everything. Usually, they’ll omit things like taxes or fees. For example, suppose you’re renting at an airport rental desk. In that case, there’s usually an extra fee for that, compared to doing so at the rental facility itself. The quotes will also be missing details on extras like an infant car seat if you need it.
What are the terms of the return process?
Most rental car companies adhere to the same return process, but it’s good to confirm. Usually, they expect a full tank of gas when you drive it back to the facility. There, an attendant will take a quick look at the conditions to ensure there is no damage. If everything looks good, you’ll return the key and get a receipt in exchange. Car rental companies charge you in 24 hour increments based on the time you picked up the vehicle. Most companies allow a 45 minute grace period beyond your return time, but exceed that and you can find yourself paying for another day’s worth of rental fees.
Where am I allowed to drive the rental car?
Depending on where you book your rental car, there may be geographic restrictions. Generally speaking, you’ll be prohibited from driving into a different country, even if you’re close to the border. Aside from that, there may also be a daily mileage limit. If you return the car and you’re over the limit, you’ll be charged for the extra miles.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Finally, there’s the issue of payment. Like any business establishment, the rental car company may not take every form of payment. If you prefer to pay with cash or your debit card, make sure to ask them whether they’ll accept it from the get-go. If you’re on a tight schedule, you may end up wasting precious time going through the process.
What is my liability if I’m involved in fender-bender (or worse)?
A simple accident can be a big hassle and in some foreign countries could land you in jail, require a large deposit on your credit card or delay departure until the matter is settled.
Do I need extra insurance?
Most business oriented credit cards such as American Express and Visa Business Card offer added insurance. So does your personal automobile insurance policy. Each year it’s a good idea to call your credit card company and personal insurance and determine what coverage you have for both domestic and international car rentals.
What are the terms of my rental agreement?
It’s a good idea to call your car rental company or review their web site to determine the terms and policy of the rental agreement. Be sure to ask about who can drive the car, where the car needs to be park, what happens if you need to extended your rental, and if the rental company is responsible in case of a mechanical failure.
Where do I keep my rental contract?
In most cases the answer to this is in the car. The rental agreement is usually used as the car’s registration, providing ownership and liability information for peace officers.
What do I do if I have a problem with the car or need to keep it longer than planned?
When you pick up the car, be sure to find out the phone numbers to call in case of an accident, breakdown or rental extension. You can also call the companies toll free customer service number.
What are my fuel options?
Rental cars usually come with a full tank of gas with drivers responsible for returning their vehicle in the same condition. When you have a lot of driving ahead one option that can save time and money is the “Fuel Purchase Option” or “Fuel Service Option” this option allows you to pre purchase fuel at a price slightly under the average market price when you pick up the car. This plan is helpful when you have a tight schedule and know that you will use at least one tank of gas.
Is the car you’re renting suitable?
Not all cars are appropriate for all trips. Is it big enough for all your bags and passengers? Are you tackling a lot of steep hills or going off road? You might need to rent a 4×4 then.
Equally, some rental companies forbid you to drive certain car types on certain roads. If you want to drive those “forbidden” roads, you will need to rent a model suitable for them.
Why take a self-drive in Rwanda?
A self-drive gives you the freedom and flexibility to decide on where you travel and what you see and do at your own pace.
Do I require an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is proof that you hold a valid driver’s licence in your home country at the date of issue of the IDP. This should be carried with your domestic drivers licence. It is a very useful travel document and is required or recommended for many countries when hiring a motor vehicle. How do I receive confirmation?
What else is included in car rental?
Our car rentals come with GPS, guide books, travel magazines, free boxes of bottled water, travel map, meaning visitors on self-drive are covered too.
Car renting is more trending where now many travelers prefer going for the holiday driving on their own tunes. So before one can go for renting a car in Rwanda may have burning concerns about how to rent a car in Rwanda, essential requirements, pick up and return, hiring policies, terms, and conditions, insurance, and many more as we digested them above.Read More
Rwanda is small, and a relaxed safari destination. Travelers can discover Rwanda as an entire country on a safari that takes just 10 days. For all its diminutive size, a Rwanda Safari packs a punch in the wildlife stakes, and offers a rich cultural smorgasbord to boot. Seek out Gorilla, Chimpanzee, buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, spotted hyena and more. Enjoy an once-in-a-lifetime experience during Rwanda Safari that is tracking mountain gorillas.
Rwanda has three main wildlife destinations, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera National Park, each of which host a quite different fauna to the others. During Rwanda Wildlife Safaris Bird watching aside, wildlife viewing opportunities outside these national parks are limited.
- Volcanoes National Park is best known for its population of several hundred mountain gorillas.
- Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most bio diverse site in Rwanda with Chimpanzees.
- Akagera National Park is a more conventional Africa savannah reserve where all the Big Five might be seen.
Rwanda’s tapestry of habitats is home to a diversity of species including mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, golden monkey, hippo giraffe, zebra, leopard, crocodile and more than 600 species of birds. Ten percent of Rwanda Wildlife is designated as Important Birding Species.
Volcanoes National Park is where the mountain gorilla lives, along with 12 other species of primates. Ten habituated gorilla groups are open to tourist visits, with a maximum of 8 visitors to each group for a one-hour period per day. Nearly 200 of Rwanda’s bird species are also found within the park including 29 endemics, as well as giant forest hog, warthog, bush pig, forest elephant, buffalo, bushbuck, waterbuck, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyena, civet, genet, mongoose and tree hyrax.
Main Destinations in Rwanda with Wildlife
AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Akagera national park found in eastern Rwanda is a 2500 sq km of mainly Savannah land. The park is named after Kagera River that flows along Rwanda’s eastern boundary with Tanzania. The river feeds into Lake Ihema and other smaller lakes in and around the park.
The park protects an African Savannah landscape of acacia and bush with patches of open grassland and a dozen swampy lakes. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms a large protected wetland. Akagera national park is the only Savannah national park in Rwanda and the only place to sight most of the large mammals while on safari. Whereas there are forest elephants in the other parks, it is very difficult to sight them. Explore the park in the comfort of your safari vehicle while on a game drive.
Wildlife Game Drives
Game drives are conducted throughout the day in Akagera National Park, with the best times being in the morning and evening when you can see the most wildlife. On a game drive, you will be driven along marked trails across open savannah plains and woodlands in search of different mammals and bird species. The driver-guide will accompany you throughout the game drive to find places where animals spend the majority of their time during the day. You will be able to see all five of the Big 5 species, including the Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Rhinos, and Leopard, Other animals to see in Akagera National Park include zebras, hippos, roan antelopes, oribis, Defassa Waterbuck, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Topis, Bohor Reedbucks among others.
Another way to see wildlife in Akagera National Park is to go on a night game drive, which allows you to see nocturnal animals such as bush babies, hyenas, mongoose, owls, nightjars, civets, and leopard, this kind of experience is guided by an experienced ranger guide – night game drives usually start at 6 pm to 8 pm in the wilderness.
Akagera National Park has a checklist of about 480 bird species that have been recorded in the savannah forest woodlands of Akagera on the banks of Lake Ihema and the Akagera River. Excellent bird watching is a guarantee, there are many birds that dwell around the park namely purple crested turaco, shoebill, papyrus gonolek, black-capped night heron, crested barbet, red wing markings, white-winged warbler, crowned crane, red dwelled purple heron, grasshopper buzzard, northern brown-throated weaver, rufous bellied heron, marabou stork, red-faced barbet, spot flanked barbet, grey hornbill, black-headed gonolek, lilac-breasted roller among others.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is best known for mountain gorilla trekking but the park is also rich with many other exotic activities to engage in. This park is part of the Virunga volcanoes which are shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. This park is an evergreen bamboo forest with grassland areas, swamp and heath in other areas.
The mountain gorillas are the prime attraction in volcanoes national park with gorilla trekking happening all year round. Because of the high altitude it is generally cold, especially early morning and the evenings, you are advised to carry a light sweater for these times. The park is located only 2 hours from Kigali in the north of Rwanda.
These are the key attraction in volcanoes national park which attract the highest number of travelers from all parts of the world. Gorilla trekking is the best wildlife experience every travel should not miss on his/her safari to Africa.
Volcanoes national park shelters over 340 mountain gorillas, which have been habituated into 10 families available for trekking. A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs 1500usd, a must have for each traveler to see these endangered species. The high cost of a gorilla permit is one of the reasons why Rwanda’s is known as a luxury gorilla trekking destination. Gorilla families in volcanoes national park include Titus family, Kwitonda family, Susa group, karisimbi family, Amahoro family, Umubano family, Sabyinyo family, Agashya family, Hirwa family, and Ugenda family all available for trekking every day. Each family is visited by a group of eight people for an hour.
Volcanoes national park home to mountain gorillas but also the endangered the golden monkeys. The national park is one of the two destinations to we these endangered golden monkeys the other destination being Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda. Fortunately, golden monkeys are seen at a relatively low cost (100usd) which is an added advantage for travelers. Golden monkeys are exceptional species which are distinguished from other monkey species by a golden fur on their back. Golden monkeys are lively creatures, which continuously peep and tweet all the time. Unlike gorillas, which spend most of their time on the ground, golden monkeys spend most of their time up in the trees. The species are vegetarians, which entirely feed on vegetation, fruits, and shoots.
Volcanoes national park is also home to forest elephants. These are mostly seen during forest walk and hike to Dian Fossey grave. Much as no travelers go to the park intentionally to see forest elephants, a look at these giants is an opportunity, which adds on the final experience. Other animals to see in volcanoes national park include buffalos, black fronted duikers, bushbucks, bush pigs, spotted hyenas, black and white colobus, white colobus, baboons, and red-tailed monkeys among others.
Birds in Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is home to over 300 bird species, which has made birding safaris a success. The commonly seen animals include African marsh harrier, common moorhen, long-crested eagle, grey throated tit, paradise flycatcher, red-faced woodland warbler, archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, and handsome francolin among others. Experienced guides help to spot these birds and explain the unique features of each bird species.
NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
Nyungwe forest national park is found in western Rwanda and is one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine rain forests. It is dominated by a series of mountains, originating in northern Uganda and Congo, running south through the Rwenzori mountains, western Rwanda and Burundi, to the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Nyungwe forest national park offers scenic views over the Lake Kivu and sometimes the Virunga ranges on a clear day. The forest has an extensive network of well-maintained walking and hiking trails to various waterfalls and viewing points. The prime activities in Nyungwe forest are chimp trekking, bird watching, colobus monkey trekking and the canopy walk.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe forest is home to two wild chimp communities that are habituated for chimpanzee tourism. One of the groups is in Cyamudongo section of Nyungwe forest and the other around the Uwinka area of the forest. The forest is home to about 400 chimpanzees. While viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you will enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. You are expected to be at the briefing area as early as 5.00 am in the morning. This is because chimps are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning and they tend to move about which requires one to be active as you follow after them. However whether you view the chimps or not, the experience in the forest is rich as you watch other primates, butterflies, several trees and above all the freshness of the air.
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is one of the best places to spot small primates in Africa. Although Chimpanzee tracking is the dominant primate activity, some tourist come with the purpose of seeing the other smaller primates like the Angola Colobus Monkeys, Dent’s Mona Monkeys, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, Hamlyn’s Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Olive Baboon, Red tailed Monkeys, Silver Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, White and Black and Colobus monkeys. Groups of golden monkeys have been spotted in the park but because of their small numbers, finding them is difficult. The most popular species among tourists is the arboreal Ruwenzori Colobus that feeds on leaves and is identifiable by the contrasting black and white (tail and whiskers) colors. All the monkey species move in troops that can go beyond 100.
Birdwatching in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe forest national park is a high altitude mountain forest ranging between 1600 – 2950 meters. The birds in Nyungwe forest are mostly found in the trees, shrubs or the ground at the edges of the forest next to the tea plantations. Some birds are shy and therefore more easily heard than seen like many forest birds. Among the frequently sighted species are the Rwenzori Nightjar, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Handsome Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, Greatblue and Rwenzori Turaco, montane Double Collared Sun and the Red- Throated Alethe. There are well maintained trails which you will take while birding as well as trained bird guides that are based at the nyungwe forest.
Therefore, the Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Akagera national parks are rich in diversity. A variety of animals and birds make your Rwanda safari complete. Book a safari to Rwanda national parks, trek mountain gorillas, Chimps, Golden monkeys, birds and other primates. Enjoy, stay in this peaceful areas rewarding you with a life-changing experience.Read More
When you hire a chauffeur, you don’t have to worry about the extra fees that come with renting a car, including parking fees, extra insurance and fuel. Licensed chauffeurs are highly experienced at navigating all types of traffic and weather conditions. Below are some of the benefits of renting a car with a driver in Rwanda;
The first benefit of renting a car with a driver is that you don’t have to drive the car yourself and completely enjoy your trip sightseeing the roads, the mountains and the forests on your route. You can keep talking and discussing things with your companions have snacks and refreshments without focusing on the road.
The second big benefit of renting a car with a driver is that the drivers that a car rental company provides you are experts in their profession and know about how to safely drive the car on highways and narrow streets without becoming prone to a car accident. Also, they have enough information about how to repair a car when it’s stopped in the middle of nowhere, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck at the spot for several hours doing nothing but wait for a mechanic to come and solve the problem.
Knowing the correct route
The drivers that a rental company hires are first assessed on how much they’ve traveled, how much they’ve learned about the routes, and what driving skills they have. After this complete inspection, the rental company hires the best candidates and hands over the responsibility of driving their cars. That’s the reason renting a car with a driver will help you to reach your destination through the correct route where there are no hurdles, and you reach in a safe & sound condition.
Knowledge about the car
Many times, when you rent a car, you aren’t properly aware of what functions the car has. Nowadays, the new cars are full of technology and features that weren’t introduced before. The drivers that a car rental company provides have enough knowledge about these features and how they work. So, if you aren’t aware of new car features, the best solution for this is to rent a car with a driver.
Renting a car with a driver is always beneficial rather than renting without a driver. The driver that a rental company appoints can help you out a lot during your trip as they know their way around places, hence if you need a hotel to have your meals at or to stop at some place for prayers, etc. the driver can have a good idea of where to take you, where you’ll get the most hygienic options, and this will make your trip more convenient and comfortable compared to traveling on your own.
Another benefit of renting a car with a driver is the car’s safety, as the driver doesn’t leave the car alone. He always remains inside or near to it to keep an eye on the vehicle. This prevents the car from any damage or theft. That’s the reason it’s always a good option to have a driver when going on a tour.
You might be worried about what will happen in case you get into an accident while on your road trip. Will the rental company trust that it wasn’t your fault? So here’s the solution for this. You can rent a car with a driver to protect yourself from being asked about the reason for the accident. The driver will be answerable to all these questions as he’s the one who was driving the car. So, it’s always recommended renting a car with a driver if you want to save yourself from incidental queries.
You can book car rental services with drivers and their main aim is to take you to your destination in a safe and sound manner. It’s totally the driver’s responsibility to take care of your transportation needs while you relax.
If you are new to Rwanda, you will definitely get very confused when it comes to renting a luxury car and driving around the city because of the multiple roads connecting to multiple exits. Moreover, you will have no clue about the peak hours in Rwanda. So, if you rent an affordable car with a driver, he will know where to go, how to go and when to go.
Chauffeur services in Rwanda are very popular as business meetings and dealings are common in the city. Furthermore, if you have a VIP guest to attend, you need the best of the services. Luxury car rentals with chauffeur have made it easy to handle the guests professionally. They will be properly dressed in uniform and will transport the guests to their desired location.
You do not have to spend hours finding the right spot to park your car if you have rented a car with a driver can enjoy your outing in Rwanda while the driver of your rented car can take care of the parking.
Whenever we visit any foreign city or country, we are not required to learn their language. However, at times we may face communication barriers. So if you have rented a car with a driver in Rwanda, there will be no hurdles in communicating. The drivers can directly communicate with the locals. You don’t need to worry about communicating with anyone in Rwanda.
These were some benefits of renting a car with a driver. Whenever you plan a road trip, always remember these points before making your final decision about renting a car. If you’re from any foreign country you can rent from Kenya car rental, as it is one of the most reliable rental car companies in the whole country.
Booking a rented car with a driver will let you focus more on your trip. Let the driver solve the hassles of traffic and parking, while you enjoy your trip in your affordable rented car. Best of luck with your journey.Read More
Best of Africa primate safaris, if you have an interest in Africa’s primates this journey is for you. See the endangered Primates in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe National Park.
Primate Safari Experiences will give you a chance to participate in two premium wildlife activities in Rwanda; Golden monkey trekking and chimpanzee trekking which are considered to be some of the best to engage in while on a Rwanda Safari. Both hikes can be challenging depending on where the chimpanzee or monkeys nested the previous night. The Chimp trekking differs from Gorilla Trekking Rwanda because the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless as opposed to gorillas that stay for a while in one location.
The wildlife junkies have a strong connection with Rwanda and the primary reason for this is the stunning primates residing in the dense forest and volcanic mountain of the country. Though Rwanda is the iconic land for spotting Mountain Gorillas, there are a number of other primates also available who are equally entertaining during Primate Safaris Rwanda.
Primates in Rwanda
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimp Trekking in Rwanda is in Nyungwe national park in the south of Rwanda. The two areas where chimps can be trekked in Nyungwe are Cyamudongo and Uwinka. Your guide will guide you on the location you are expected to trek from and you will be given a briefing before you can start the trek. Chimpanzee trekking begins early morning with visitors expected to arrive at the briefing point in Uwinka to start trekking at 5:00 am. You are allowed to stay 1 hour with the chimps after locating them with the help of your ranger guide.
Considered as the cousins of human sharing 98% of Human DNA Chimpanzees tracking is one of the adventurous activities throughout the year. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the prime spot for chimpanzee tracking.
Uniquely located on a ridge between the Nile and the Congo Rivers, the Nyungwe Forest National Park is incredibly rich in biodiversity and protects one of eastern Africa’s largest belts of montane rain forest.
It’s home not only to a habituated group of chimpanzees, but also to other primates including the Ruwenzori colobus and L’Hoest’s monkey, more than 1,050 plant species including 200 different species of orchid, 85 mammals, 310 bird species, and more. Another highlight in this park is the 200-metre long and 40-metre high suspended canopy walkway that offers a unique view of the forest.
Chimpanzee permits in Rwanda cost US$100. This amount includes park Ranger and entrance fees. The permit can be acquired either directly from the Rwanda Development Board (Tourism Department) or through your tour operator. The minimum age for tacking chimpanzees in Rwanda is 13 years. Trackers need to go prepared to deal with the dense montane forest.
Golden Monkeys in Virunga Mountains
Golden monkeys are known to have unique characters and are a rare species that are endangered at the moment and they are currently found in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda. They are easily recognized due to the yellow patches that can be seen all over their bodies. The Golden monkeys are also known as ‘the Old world monkey’ and the only way to separate these primates from others is by their noses. There is a unique character about the golden monkeys and that is most of the monkeys have their nostrils pointing to the sides but if you look closely at the golden monkeys, their nostrils face upwards.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda mostly takes place in the Volcanoes which is found in the Virunga Mountains and it has only one session per day which starts in the morning. Those who are willing to take part in the golden monkey trekking are advised to report at the headquarters by 7:00 am for a mini briefing about the trek before it starts and it is only fifteen minutes away from the Park.
The Golden monkeys in the Rwanda are divided into two troops and the largest is located in the Sabinyo and this has 80 to 100 monkeys and it is the most visited troop in Rwanda. The other troop is located in the Volcanoes and it is slightly smaller in number.
Golden monkeys are speedy moving little primates, very amusing to see as they suddenly jig from tree to tree or run after the other in loop around you. Watching these reddish gold back monkeys that blend in perfectly with the golden bamboo trees is an amazing experience.
Golden monkey safari in Rwanda starts 7:00 am in the morning; visitors can see two troops that have been habituated for tourism in the park numbering about 80 individuals, a maximum number of 8 people are allowed to track golden monkeys for only one hour at cost of US$100 per person. Visitors can arrange their permits in advance or get them at Kinigi the park headquarters where porters can also be hired at US$10.
L’Hoest’s Monkeys in Nyungwe and Gishwati Forest
Nyungwe national park is also a place where you will find lots of primates and one of them will be the L’hoest monkeys therefore a primates watching adventure to Nyungwe is the perfect opportunity you can have to see these monkeys.
L’Hoest’s monkeys are endemic to Albertine Rift and can be found in Nyungwe and Gishwati Forest. They have a dark coat with a white beard and live in small groups dominated by females, with a single male. These primates are also called mountain monkeys because they prefer to stay in mountainous areas.
Olive Baboon & Vervet Monkeys in Akagera NP
Akagera National Park is home to olive baboons and Vervet monkeys, which can be spotted on safari drives. Other species can only be seen at night – the small potto, closely related to the lemurs of Madagascar, and bush babies, with their distinctive large eyes for superior night vision, and bat-like ears to track insects in the dark.
Best seasons to visit Primates in Rwanda
The best time to visit Rwanda is between June and September, which is during the Dry season when wildlife viewing is at its prime. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Rwanda. The habitat of rainforests is, by default, very wet and one can’t avoid rain completely. Walking in the forest is easier in the Dry season and that is also the recommended time for most primate walks, including gorilla trekking.
Lastly, Rwanda’s tourism is one of the reasons why Primates should be on your bucket list.Read More
You can see the Mountain gorillas in only Africa. Scientifically known as Gorilla Berengei Berengei, these great apes live in three countries in the world; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Among these destinations, Rwanda is the country that attracts most travelers interested in mountain gorilla trekking. The mountain gorillas are protected in the Volcanoes national park within northern Rwanda, a park that the late Dian Fossey called home for almost 3 decades. Since the inception of gorilla tourism, there has been a growing number of tourists visiting Rwanda to meet the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla tourism was developed along the guidelines of ecotourism. There is a carrying capacity and the activity is highly regulated so that these great apes can be protected and preserved for the future generations.
Gorilla trekking is done daily in the Volcanoes National Park. Everyday, tourists converge at the park headquarters and are guided into the bamboo forest in search of the mountain gorillas. Tourists are grouped into small groups of eight (8) people who are guided to a habituated gorilla family within the park. Please note that it is only 8 tourists who are allowed to view these gorillas every day and this is the carrying capacity of the national parks where gorilla tracking is conducted.
Within the park, there are 12 habituated gorilla groups which are readily available for viewing once you have purchase a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit costs U$1500 whenever you go for tracking. Since there are as few as 96 gorilla permits available per day, it is advisable to book your gorilla permit well in advance most especially if you are to track the gorillas during the peak months.
Planning Your Gorilla Trek
For you to best enjoy this activity, you should book a fully inclusive gorilla safari with a credible tour company which can plan your trip and put together all the elements well in advance.
For one to track the mountain gorillas, a reasonable degree of fitness is needed. Please be prepared for hikes within the montane national park in order to meet the mountain gorillas. Like their names suggests, mountain gorillas tend to live on high slopes and therefore the experience doesn’t come that easily.
You will be required to wake up every early in the morning to go to the park headquarters for briefing.
In this regard therefore to avoid a lot of hustle, you are recommended to stay close at a safari lodge that is close to the park. This will save you from inconveniences which may have been caused when you have your accommodation away from the park.
Also remember for you to participate in the activity, you must be at the park headquarter by 7 AM.
Always listen to the briefing given by the park rangers. This briefing is useful on your side because, it will guide the safety precautions as well as how you are supposed to behave during the times with the gentle giants.
Why go gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is considered the best country for gorilla trekking because it provides you with more than eight (80) gorilla trekking guides. These are readily provided by the Rwanda development Board. They are much trained and they do speak in very good French and English language.
Essentials for a Successful Gorilla Trek in Rwanda
- Get well prepared for the gorilla trek. The hike demands a considerate level of physical strength. Keep in memory and mind that since there is an element of mountain which means something high, you must then expect to hike up-slopes and down-slopes.
- Also note that the gorilla trek is dependent on the movement of the gorillas. A trek can be from as few as 3 hours to a full day. You can spend the whole day trekking the gorillas, since the mountain gorillas are not stationed in one place.
Gorilla permits do not come cheaply. Since May 2017, the Rwanda gorilla Permits cost US$1500 per person. There are many tour operators offering gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda but the price of a fully inclusive tour differs from one company to company. These prices differ according to the costs of transportation and the accommodation fitted into your safari package. For your information, local companies definitely charge lower than the international agencies. Therefore, you can save more if you book with a local tour operator in comparison with the international companies.Read More
Mention Rwanda to anyone with a small measure of geo-political conscience and that person will have no doubt recall images of the horrific genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. But since those dark days a miraculous transformation has been united and today the country has one tribal unity, political stability and promising future.
Volcanoes National Park
Tourism is once again a key contributor to the economy and the industry’s brightest star is the chance to track the rare mountain gorillas through the bamboo forests in the shadow of the Virunga Volcanoes. Volcanoes National Park is the highlight of the country, which runs along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, is home to the Rwandan section of the Virunga’s, comprising of five volcanoes: Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.
While most tourists to the park are understandably driven by the desire to have a face-to-face encounter with real gorillas in the mist, there is good reason to stay in the area once you have finished tracking: the gorillas share the park with rare golden monkeys, a troop which has also been habituated to human contact. The Virunga which towers over Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, also present a variety of rewarding climbing and trekking options. To get the most from the Virunga’s give yourself as much time as you possibly can. This is absolutely a park that rewards those who linger.
When to go
The long dry season from June to September is the ideal time to track mountain gorilla as it is well drier.
Accessibility to the Park
Access to Volcanoes National Park is via Musanze (Ruhengeri), although all gorilla treks need to report to the park headquarters in Kinigi north of Musanze at 7:00am. Musanze is a pleasant enough town to explore on foot and it’s situated near a number of interesting natural sights with the massive Virunga volcanoes looming to the north and west.
Gorilla trekking is the highlight for any visitor in Rwanda. Virunga massif protects over 604 mountain gorillas which amounts to roughly half of the world’s existing population and is the ideal place for a gorilla safari in Rwanda. An encounter with a silverback male gorilla at close quarters can be a hair- raising experience, yet despite their intimidating size, gorillas are remarkably non- aggressive animals, entirely vegetarian and usually quite safe to be round. The term once in a lifetime is bandied about a lot, but gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park is one experience for which it just happens to be true.
To determine whether the trek will be easy or had, it depends on which group of gorillas you go and see some journeys are just a short stroll but others a half day slog. You will most likely spend several hours scrambling through dense vegetation up steep, muddy hillsides, sometimes to altitudes of more than 3000m. At this altitude you will certainly be a little breathless, but someone amount of walking is unlikely to find the walk all that tough. If you are not used to walking is though it might be very different story and you should request a group closer to the trailheads.
The Gorilla Encounter
Visits to the gorillas are restricted to one hour and flash photography is not allowed. While you are visiting the gorillas, do not eat, drink, smoke or go the bathroom in their presence. If you have any potential air bone illness, don not go tracking as gorillas are extremely susceptible to human diseases. Visitors request to keep 7 meters from gorillas at all times.
The number of people allowed to visit each of the group is limited to a maximum of 8 people per day, limiting the total number of daily permits to an absolute maximum of 80. Children under the age of 15 years are not allowed to visit the gorillas.
Bookings for gorilla permits can be made through the Rwanda Development Board tourist office in Kigali or a Rwandan tour company. With demand often exceeding supply, you will need to book well in advance if you want to be assured of a spot, especially during the peak seasons of December – January and July- August.
Golden Monkey Tracking
In case you still have enough time in Volcanoes National Park, Golden monkey tracking is another activity one can opt to do after mountain gorillas tracking. More like chimp viewing than a gorilla encounter, these beautiful and active monkeys bound about the branches of bigger trees. If you are looking for a reason to spend an extra day in the park, do not miss the chance to track these rare animals. Permits to track the golden monkeys cost US$ 100 per person are easy to get hold of, simply enquire at the Rwanda Development Board office in Kigali or Musanze or at the park headquarters in Kinigi.
The Virunga’s which tower over Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo; also present a variety of rewarding climbing and trekking options. To get the most from the Virunga’s give yourself as much time as you possibly can. This is absolutely a park that rewards those who linger.
Cost of Gorilla Permit
The gorilla permit costs US$ 1500 per person per day which includes park entry, compulsory guides and guides’ fee.
Clothing and Equipment
You need to be prepared for a potentially long, wet and cold trek through rainforest; a pair of hiking shoes is a must, as is warm and waterproof clothing. The stinging nettles at higher elevations can really put a damper on the experience, so consider wearing trousers and long-sleeve shirts with a bit of thickness.
Despite the high altitudes and potentially cold temperatures, you also need to be prepared for the strong sun. Floppy hats, bandanas, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen are a good idea, as are plenty of cold water and hydrating fluids.
When you check in at the park headquarters, you may be asked for identification by the park rangers. To avoid any potential hassles, carry your passport with you at all times in addition to your gorilla tracking permit.Read More
About Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda:
Gorilla Trekking is conducted in Volcanoes National Park which is situated in northern part of Rwanda known as Ruhengeri. The Park is reached after 2hrs drive from Kigali Airport or Kigali city. You can reach Ruhengeri town by public transport or private vehicle however, 4-wheel drive cars are recommended because the area is mountainous. Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.
About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is dominated by tropical rain forest. It’s situated in western Uganda and reachable after 8-9 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala city.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is thought to have one of the richest faunal communities in East Africa, including more than 350 bird species and more than 200 butterfly species along side different primates but above all mountain Gorillas. The last gorilla census of 2018 shows that BINP hosts almost half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. This Park is estimated to protect over 459 individual gorillas.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda:
It’s the smallest National Park in Uganda but treasured for hosting travelers looking to gorilla watching safaris in the Ugandan part of the Virunga. MGNP is part of Virunga crescent together with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. MGNP is famous for its mountainous relief amidst Virunga Volcanoes like Mt Muhabura (4,127 m), Mt Gahinga (3,474 m) from which the park derives its name, and Mt Sabyinyo (3,645 m). It lies in Bufumbira county, Nyarusiza and Muramba sub-counties and adjacent to the three parishes of Gisozi, Rukongi and Gitenderi.
Similarities between Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla trekking:
Uganda and Rwanda start gorilla trekking with briefing at 7:30am and thereafter, groups of trekkers walk to meet gorillas in their natural habitat. During briefing, guests are equipped with DOS and DON’Ts while with gorillas.
Trekkers are grouped into a maximum of eight people to visit each gorilla family. For more information, each group is headed by ranger guides whose work id to guide, feed information and provide security to the visitors.
A maximum of one hour is given to watch gorillas in their natural environment. Once you meet gorillas, Uganda and Rwanda gives you only one hour to take photos, films and watch the gentle giants as they perform their routine activities.
Trekkers meet only habituated gorilla families which are calm and familiarized to be tracked. For a gorilla family to be trekked, it first under go a 2-3year habituation process which is spear headed by wildlife experts and primatologists among others.
You need a gorilla permit to be allowed to meet Gorillas. Advance purchase of Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla permit is recommended because the permits are on high demand.
Differences between Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Trekking:
The cost of Rwanda Gorilla permit goes to US$1500 while that of Uganda cost US$700. For that case, Rwanda offers the most expensive gorilla trek on record.
Uganda conducts gorilla trekking in two gorilla parks namely; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. For that case, Uganda offers two options for tourists to choose where to trek gorillas from.
Uganda protects more than 18 habituated gorilla families in two parks while Rwanda offers 10 habituated gorilla families. That means that Uganda offers more gorilla permits per day, all year round.
Uganda offers both Gorilla trekking and Gorilla habituation for tourists. Rwanda only offers gorilla trekking however, the cost of Uganda gorilla habituation goes up to US$1500 (stay four hours with gorillas) which is equivalent to the cost of Rwanda gorilla trekking (1hr stay with gorillas).
Rwanda offers gorilla trekking from Kinigi park headquarters while Uganda is by far offers four gorilla trekking centres namely: Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo.
It’s a shorter distance from Kigali city to Volcanoes National Park (2hrs drive) verses 8-9hrs drive from Kampala city to Bwindi Impenetrable national Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Rwanda Gorilla Park is situated in northern direction while Uganda gorilla parks are in western Uganda.
Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is more mountainous that Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The writer of this article is therefore cautioning all travelers opting to trek Gorilla in Rwanda to acquire high level of fitness before the actual tracking date.
Rwanda has ten habituated gorilla groups while Uganda has more than 18 habituated gorilla families. Rwanda gorilla families include Karisimbi Gorilla Family (Susa-B), Sabyinyo Gorilla Family, Amahoro Gorilla Family, Umubano Gorilla Family, Agasha Gorilla Family (Group 13), Kwitonda Gorilla Family, Hirwa Gorilla Family (Hirwa in the local dialect means “lucky one”) and Bwenge Gorilla Family.
Habituated gorilla families in Uganda include; Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Nkuringo, Nshongi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Nyakagezi, Kyaguriro among others.
Volcanoes National Park is more of bamboo vegetation than Bwindi. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is dominated by tropical rain forest which is characterized by tall trees, ever green vegetation, less undergrowth and canopies.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, covering 32,092 ha, is one of the largest areas in East Africa which still has Afromontane lowland forest extending to well within the montane forest belt. Volcanoes National Park covers 160 km2 (62 sq mi) of rainforest and encompasses five of the eight volcanoes. For that case, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is larger than Volcanoes National Park.
In conclusion, Uganda and Rwanda offers the best mountain gorilla trekking exercise however, your budget will determine were to trek from.Read More
Everyone traveling to Uganda or Rwanda wishes to have the best and unforgettable safari experience. Safety, security, comfort and peace of mind are the things most tourists wish for. Therefore, if that is also your wish, then these are the mistakes you should avoid during Uganda and Rwanda safaris.
Avoid moving alone at night
Moving alone in lonely places is risky because of the high rate of theft and robbery in Urban places especially Kampala city. It is therefore advisable to move with someone, preferable a local of the country although it is better and safer to move during daytime during safaris.
Similarly, avoid some nightclubs
Most nightclubs within Kampala are not safe because it is in such places that most tourists are robbed, murdered and get involved in fights. Not only that, never leave your drinks unattended to because you may be dragged and robbed in the process. If you must enjoy the nightlife in these countries, avoid flashing money and valuables, do not use the ATM machines within Bars, don’t leave your mobile phone on the table and avoid “buying” prostitutes because they look beautiful but are “sometimes” either infected with HIV/AIDS or are thieves themselves and make sure top move with a friend (a local who understands the local languages)
Avoid motorcycle taxis or boda-boda transportation
Boda-boda motorcycles are one of the main reasons for the increasing accident cases within Uganda or Rwanda. This means of transport is undeniably faster and efficient but can also be the reason for you losing your valuables and life because some of the riders and robbers. While on safari in Uganda, it is important to use only safe bodas.
Make sure not to fall sick in Rwanda and Uganda
Try not to fall sick during Uganda and Rwanda safaris. It sounds weird and you are possibly wondering how you can control it but try to prevent some common things than suffering the effects of curing the sickness. Some of the ways to avoid falling sick include immunizing against yellow fever, carry malaria medications, avoid street foods, don’t drink tap water and you will be good to go. Nonetheless, the good news is that most travelers don’t fall sick during Uganda or Rwanda safaris.
Avoid eating street foods
Avoid eating street foods because most of them are contaminated/unhygienic hence increase chances of diarrhea or stomach upset. Therefore you are advised to avoid consuming muchomo (roasted meat), Rolex (chapatti and omelet) and other street snacks. If at all you crave for such food, you can always buy them from restaurants and you will be saving your stomach from diseases.
Do not swim in rivers and Lakes
Swimming in most Uganda or Rwanda Lakes and Rivers increases chances of contracting Bilharzia and encountering wild animals such as Hippos and Nile Crocodiles. However, other Lakes such as Lake Kivu in Rwanda, Uganda’s Lake Bunyonyi and Mutanda are relatively safe for swimming. To be more comfortable, tourists are advised to always swim in the Swimming pools found within most Safari Lodges.
Additionally, you should avoid crossing the road without caution because as earlier mentioned, most road users don’t obey the traffic rules.
Avoid drinking tap water
Do not use tap water or use cubes, locally made juice with un-boiled water because its increases chances of typhoid. Tourists are therefore advised to use bottled (preferable Rwenzori water in Uganda and Inyange water of Rwanda) or thoroughly boiled water even for brushing your teeth. The good news is that most Hotels offer complimentary water bottles in the rooms.
Do not leave your valuable and cash in the open within the Hotel room
Money, passports and expensive gadgets have to be put in a safe and not suitcase or bags because sometimes even the Hotel/Lodge employees can steal your valuables. Actually, most accommodation facilities will warn you about this.
Do not go on self-drive safaris
If you are a first time visitor to Uganda or Rwanda, avoid going on self-drive safaris because you might not be familiar with the traffic laws of the countries, or may not know the roads because for the case of Uganda, some roads or streets are not labeled. Another reason it is risky to go on self drive safaris is because of the high rate of accidents due to many inexperienced drivers who ignore traffic laws, vehicles of poor mechanical conditions and dilapidated roads. Therefore, you are advised to hire a car with a driver being provided so that you enjoy your safari in comfort.Read More
Car rentals with rooftop tents offer ultimate wilderness camping experience to holidaymakers on Rwanda safari. Setting up a camp tent each day can be tiresome but here is the best alternative to get yourself relieved from that stress. You can rent a car in Rwanda with a rooftop tent all suitable for game viewing and camping holidays. We have the best full-time 4×4 rental cars in Rwanda with rooftop tents for you to hire.
Our selection of car rentals with rooftop tents are ideal for Rwanda self-drive trips or while you are on driver guided tours. You can also choose from automatic to manual transmission rentals with rooftop tents. Our fleet of rental cars with rooftop tents in Rwanda include among others;
Rooftop tent Land Cruiser
A rooftop tent Land cruiser rental is among our excellent fleet of rental cars in Rwanda worthy hiring for your Rwanda safari holiday. We have the best full-time 4×4 Land cruiser with rooftop tent suitable for camping holidays. Our rooftop tent Land cruiser rentals are equipped with tents that can easily be folded or unfolded and it accommodates 2 people and comes with 2 doors but with no mosquito net, pillow.
Land cruiser GX with rooftop tent
Holidaymakers with a plan to visit Rwanda for a self-drive, renting Land cruiser GX with rooftop tent should be a must-do. This is available with a rooftop ten taking up to about 2 people.
Land Cruiser VX rooftop tent for families
A Rwanda road trip in a Land cruiser VX rooftop tent rental offers travelers lifetime experiences. We have the best Land cruiser VX with capacity of 4pax.
Rooftop tent Nissan Patrol
Hire a comfortable 4×4 Nissan Patrol with rooftop tent and have the best of Rwanda holiday safari. Our full-time 4×4 Nissan Patrol automatic transmission takes 5pax and hiring it is best for camping safaris in Rwanda the Land of a Thousand Hills. Its rooftop tent takes 2 people per night.
Why choose a rental car in Rwanda with a rooftop tent?
- Our car rentals Rwanda with rooftop tents come with adequate leg and luggage room. This guarantees you ultimate comfort on Rwanda holiday safari.
- If camping is your thing, then our rental cars with rooftop tents have you sorted this coming Rwanda camping safari holiday. Our rentals are fitted with tents and this means that you don’t have to stress yourself setting up one on the ground.
- Hiring a rental car in Rwanda with a rooftop tent lets you enjoy, explore and experience Rwanda in a single/double excursion. You have a chance to bundle game viewing together with camping experience.
- Renting a car with rooftop tent is advantageous as holidaymakers stand a chance to cut down on some costs like renting a vehicle and camping gear separately.