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
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.
Would you like to travel in a group? Are you looking for a family safari in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills? Get a smooth ride with our reliable and affordable van hire in Rwanda including great buses for 4×4 car hire Rwanda. For any plans to Rwanda either it is family or group trip, you have a million reasons why you need to embark on a road trip using one of our comfortable van rental cars. We have the best selection of vans for hire in Rwanda for you to have a smooth road trip to any of your dream destinations.
Benefits of using Van rental cars in Rwanda
Luxurious and comfortable
Van rental cars come with adequate space for you and your cargo. Our classic van rentals have enough space for you stretch your legs and raise your head while the cargo is also accommodated. Hiring one makes your road trip easier than traveling in any other type of car. You can make a choice from our selection of comfortable van hire in Rwanda depending on the categories; 7 seater; 14 seater; 12 seater or 10 seater. They are perfect for business or travelers who prefer luxury safaris.
If you have any idea about van hire in Rwanda then look no further than our selection of our comfortable vans for your road trips. We have variety of vans for rent suited for business trips and road trips. They are fit for off-road vacations as they come in 4×4, wide windows as well as rooftops making them the best option for wildlife viewing tours in Akagera National Park.
The best when it comes to fuel consumption and management
Looking for that one car rental with the best fuel consumption rate? If so, then renting our classic van rental cars has all the answers for you. Most of the safari vans have become preferred choice simply because of their low fuel consumption rate which is not the case with other larger vehicles. Renting one saves you some good cash in your wallet for you to cover other expenses on your road trip in Rwanda.
Whereas van hire services have not been widely used, for a few who have tested their services can testify how affordable they are. Enjoy your road trip in Rwanda in a unique way and at affordable rates only with our comfortable van hire.
In conclusion, van hire in Rwanda is one way for you get your dream destination at ease. Rent our selection of vans at pocket friendly costs and have a smooth road trip in Rwanda this holiday.Read More
Renting a car in Rwanda is by far the best way to embark on a road trip. Every car rental agency has got its set terms and conditions or rather policies that every traveler should observe. However, most drivers including self-drive travelers have a tendency of insisting on some of the awful habits. For starters, self drive in Rwanda on a road trip is very easy and exciting although other road users tend to make everything seem difficult due to their bad driving habits.
At times, you will get surprised to see another car behind you and the person has not even indicated to you and on highways, most people simply start racing and they will want to overtake at a corner. To embark on a self-drive car hire Rwanda tour is more exciting, memorable but you have to be very keen while driving as most drivers tend to be reckless on the road.
Below are some of the risky things you need to avoid while on road trip in Uganda
Driving when you are drunk
Driving under influence of alcohol has become a common practice by road users today yet this puts you at risk. This doesn’t only affect your ability to react or make decisions but also may cost you based on road rules in Rwanda. At times, most solo travelers on self-drive trip in Rwanda think they are in a holiday and so drinking is a must do thing something that is very wrong. It is the worst thing anyone can think of and to be on safer side, you can do so at your respective lodge or hotel.
Ignoring traffic signs
Once someone hits the road, issues of traffic signs are totally ignored yet these play a significant role especially for your safety on road.
Not paying attention
Always be attentive and have a listening ear while on road trip in Rwanda. Make sure that you cross check your mirrors and any blind spots, traffic a head and around you. Be mindful of the pot holes when driving and ensure that you are never distracted in anyway.
Disregarding weather and road conditions
Before you embark on road trip in Rwanda be keen on weather and road conditions. In most cases, some weather conditions require you to drive slowly.
Not making the best use of indicators
Always remember the use of indicators or do not make the best use of them when it is already too late. Indicators are essential to make alert to other drivers.
Use of phones while driving
Everyone loves phones but do not get distracted by phone calls, texting. Put your full attention on your road trip and you will have the best of it.
Not putting on seat belts
To most road users, wearing a seat belt is at times looked at as crime but it is not. Wearing a seat belt is for your own safety on the road. Before you set off, remember to be on your seat belts.
Putting on high heel
This is a common vice with women but it is dangerous when you driving. The best is for you to have flat shoes or else simply relax and let someone else to take on the wheel.
Do not over speed
Over speeding is against traffic laws of Rwanda and major cause of road accidents. Be mindful of the driving speed sign posts along the road and other road users.Read More
Rwanda is relatively safe compared to other countries. Driving in Rwanda is absolutely an exciting experience but requires some braveness while you are behind the wheels. For starters, higher chances are that you will face challenge driving in Rwanda’s roads as most of them are not yet to the standards of say United States or England. To get the best of your self drive experience in Rwanda, take a look at significant road safety rules and traffic tips for driving.
Driving in Rwanda always requires you to keep left and speed limit in town areas shouldn’t be over 40kms per hour and 60kms per hour in provinces.
Plastics are not tolerated, therefore do not dump rubbish anyhow while driving in Rwanda or else you will be penalized. The government of Rwanda banned all non-degradable polyethylene plastic bags in 2008.
Be prepared to drive along several terrains in Rwanda. Driving in Rwanda is amazing since most of its routes have been paved.
To drive in Rwanda, you should be at least 18 years that is for categories A and B and 20 for categories C, D, E and F.
Make sure that you have a valid driver license or international driving permit, car registration documents as well as car insurance certificates.
Do not drive at night in Rwanda-this is dangerous.
Do not drive when you are drunk. The legal blood alcohol level in Rwanda is 0.08 percent and random breath testing is done by police.
Road Safety Rules and Regulations in Rwanda
Before you embark on a self-drive tour or guided tour, be aware of traffic rules to avoid being taken by surprise by presence of traffic officers. Road safety in Rwanda is governed by the traffic and road safety Act.
Drivers should keep left when driving and if you are not familiar with road rules please rent a car and driver and still enjoy your road trip at your own pace.
The speed limit in town areas is 40kms per hour and 60kms per hour in provinces.
To drive in Rwanda, you need a valid local or international driving permit/license.
Driving Tips before starting a Car Hire
- Check out the blinkers for proper operation.
- Cross check if the tyres are inflated well.
- Prior driving a rental car please do some simple safety check
- Turn on the lights and move around to ascertain if all lights are working.
- When you enter into the car please adjust all mirrors and seats prior starting it.
Driving Tips while your Rental Car is moving
- Turn your head to check no one is coming prior joining the road.
- Take note of traffic lights-green color is always for you to look left and right, straight then left once more prior proceeding.
- Always be on seat belts and put on your seat belt before starting your car
- Make sure that the headlights are on and the car is visible 4 times the distance with its headlights on
- Please indicate in case you need to make a stopover.
- Keep within driving speed limit.
Gorilla trekking is one of the best adventure tourist activities in the world. Uganda and Rwanda are some of the world’s best destinations for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. The Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda hosts the largest number of mountain gorillas hence the biggest gorilla trekking experience.
Here are 10 things to know about gorilla trekking in Africa:
- The experience is expensive
Gorilla Trekking is an expensive activity. In Uganda , the permit to see the mountain gorillas cost US$ 600 while in Rwanda it costs US$ 750. To that note therefore, many clients find it hard to pay for gorilla trekking permit, Air ticket, Visa and so on.
- The trekking requires maximum level of fitness – many people likes gorilla trekking but experience is strenuous and it involves climbing mountains and sloping down, crossing rivers and moving through slippery trails among others.
- Some forests habour dangerous insects, animals and reptiles. The fact that Gorilla trekking is conducted in Forested areas, trekkers stand higher chances of getting Malaria from Mosquitoes, Sleeping sickness from Tsetse flies among others. However, we advise all our clients to move with mosquito repellent.
- Gorilla trekking is tiresome – trekking involves moving through the forest while searching for the mountain Gorilla and the time to meet Gorillas in unpredictable and some times takes a full day.
- Gorilla permits are on a very high demand and are booked in advance yet some clients prefer paying on arrival. Any delay to pay for the permits can make a client miss trekking when all gorilla permits are sold out.
- Gorilla permits are non refundable -once the client has paid for the gorilla permit and misses to come on the safari then, the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) OR Rwanda development Board (RDB) will not make refund by can only allow rescheduling.
- Gorilla tracking starts early morning yet some people find it hard to wake up early especially on cold days. Early in the morning, Gorilla trekking trails are filled with fog and dew which hinders visibility and smooth walking to meet Mountain Gorillas.
- Gorilla trekking is strictly done under instructions – only one hour is given to stay with Gorillas, No flash cameras, 7 metres distance must be left between Gorillas and the trekkers among others. Some people are not used to strict instructions.
- Gorilla Tracking is Safe!
Many travelers think that gorillas are violent creatures and thus can cause harm to human beings. However, gorillas are peaceable animals unless provoked. once you follow the set gorilla watching rules, you will definitely enjoy the company of these great apes safely.
- There are strict rules to gorilla tracking that follow ecotourism. Children below 16years are not allowed to trek Gorillas yet some parents prefer trekking Gorillas with their children. Only one hour is allowed to stay with Gorillas –some clients find it less to maximally view gorillas and take photos.
Currently car hire in Rwanda has become popular trend of travel in the land of a thousand hills. When it comes to the ground transportation fraternity, organised travel can easily be attained if you decide to work with car rental agencies. This is normally used by independent travelers on a self drive car rental in Uganda. Remarkably, renting a car in Uganda has been so useful to visitors traveling to Uganda since they are convenient, safe, and reliable to take the travelers at any place they are practically or still be un-farmiliar with.
On the same note However, self driving in Rwanda can be disastrous if you are never careful. This can be validated by you hitting the internet and see how some customers complain about them due to the high costs they land in after using the car rentals as some car rental companies hire cars to customers without insurance coverage and pretend to have. Not well services and there are also overwhelmingly hidden fees that are not explained to the customer before hire.
So we are here to enlighten you on how to avoid Rwanda car rental nightmare:
Know what car suits your travel needs.
Continuously, most people make a mistake of under estimating the need or finding out what car best suits the needs of their travels and just go for expensive car rental yet there are those cheap cars in Rwanda purposely for a specific need. Say adventure, business car rental or corporate car hire. Example if you are going for a Rwanda gorilla safari, ask yourself which car suits the tour, read about the terrain of the Virunga volcanoes and know in detail which car maneuvers the terrains. Vehicle with high ground clearance would perfectly fit your needs.. The most recommended cars for safaris are the Toyota land cruisers, Toyota RAV4s and the Nissan patrols reason behind is these are sport utility vehicles with 4WD with reasonably high ground clearance vehicles. On the other hand if you are going for a city tour around Kigali city and the neighboring towns of Musanze, Huye or Karongi with about two persons,best recommended use a compact car.
Book a car rental in advance
Like the old saying goes, The early bird catches the worm and this works well in Rwanda car rental business due to the high demand and growing car rental demand and yes, in the high tourist seasons. If you start searching and booking your car rental earlier than the date you intend to travel, you have the time to look for a best car rental as you have all the time to search and also bargain for better offers getting the best car rental deals. There is always room for you to control the car rental deals in that you tell the car rental company whatever you want in the car rental service that is the size of the car, specification and the prices
Ask for the disclosure of all the prices included in the car rental package
In every business on the internet, there are always attractive prices displayed on the websites and there are always additional costs behind the enticing price on the internet. So you have to play your part and tell the car rental company in Rwanda to stipulate each and every expense you may incur while using the car rental services in Rwanda. Some of the hidden costs are fuel refill fees, early return fees, limited mileage, road taxes, and airport parking fees. So make sure all these are included and explained to you in the car rental clause and the car rental agreements so that you can easily budget for your car rental in Rwanda.
Ask if the car rental in Rwanda is comprehensively insured
It’s a mandate from the government of Rwanda that every car rental in Rwanda must be insured against third party, comprehensive insuarance is recommended and yes never hire a car in Rwanda without comprehensive insurance because if you land in trouble and in cases of damages, all the costs caused will be apportioned onto you. Very much recomended make sure that has third party insurance and comprehensive insurance where by the car is covered against all cost it may cause while traveling.
Considerably following the above advice well, you are more likely to avoid the nightmares that may be attached to Rwanda car rental and definetly enjoy your self drive car rental in Rwanda.Read More