Do you need wheels on your next trip in East Africa? Renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility when you’re traveling, and in most parts of East Africa it’s the only feasible way to get around. But a rental car can sometimes add complications to your trip – like trying to find the best deal or sorting out exactly which insurance options you need. Read on for our practical tips on saving money, understanding your rental agreement and avoiding problems with your car rental.
Car Rental Tips
Take a look below and see some tips you must have when renting a car.
Choosing a Vehicle
Think carefully about what kind of vehicle you’ll need. If you’re traveling with children or with a lot of gear, you may want a large sedan or SUV. If you’re simply looking to save money on rental rates and gas, you’ll want to reserve the smallest available model.
Booking Your Car: Rent the right car for you
How long will you be renting? If it’s for less than a week, you’ll probably do best with a major rental company, such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National or Thrifty. For rentals of a week or longer, you may get better rates from local companies, particularly auto dealers. Remember, however, to be wary of local companies if you plan to drive a lot; if you break down or get into an accident, they usually lack the support services of the majors.
To lower your rate, ask about discounts for any major national organizations, frequent flier programs and credit card programs to which you may belong. They’ll frequently offer deals on car rentals. Those offered through AAA can be very good. If you’re employed by a company that frequently rents cars, they may have a negotiated rate. Make sure to check.
The True Cost of Car Rentals
Buyer beware: The rate you see advertised in big print may become so inflated with state and local taxes, airport surcharges, additional driver fees, insurance, gasoline bills and drop-off charges that you end up paying more than double what you expected. Learn more about these extra charges in Car Rental Hidden Costs.
At Pickup Time
If your first drive will be from an airport to a hotel for the night, why not take a shuttle van to the hotel instead? Doing this may save you the price of a day’s rental. Even if you must drive the same day your flight lands, you may not have to get the car at the airport. By picking it up downtown, you can often avoid hefty airport surcharges.
Returning Your Car
Be wary of prepaid gasoline plans. Always fill the tank yourself before returning the vehicle so that you’re only paying for the amount of gas you actually used. Try to avoid the gas stations right near the airport where you’re dropping off your car — the prices tend to be highest there. Instead, fill up a few miles away. Even better: Enquire about the location of gas stations in the area you are to visit before your trip.
Did you like those car rental tips? Click on Comments to leave your comment and also share with us your car rental tips.
About the Author – Self Drive East Africa
Self Drive East Africa is a a car hire agency offering car rental in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. We are glad to share with you travel tips, advice and travel guides. You can also find lots of deals on car travel and videos. Turn your trip or travel into a very special moment with your friends and family!Read More
Start your holiday with the drive from Kampala in the morning with a scheduled stopover at awesome Ssezibwa falls in Mukono district for that amazing sloppy water flow and later for lunch at the Rain Forest Lodge Mabira. Time permitting we have a brief guided nature walk through the forest prior to proceeding to Jinja. The short holiday package is suitable for families that wish to have their teenage children have an adventure of a lifetime, as they participate in the family rafting package along the Nile.
While on this Uganda tour visit the famous source of the Nile, travel to Nile Breweries to experience the famed Nile beer producing process, take a canoe ride along the Nile or simply relax on the banks of the Nile taking the beautiful sights and sounds of the pearl of Africa-Uganda as well as the shower breeze.
On the next day, after breakfast, your adventure tour guide will lead you to visit Bujagali falls which is a must visit location in Jinja. The construction of the new Bujagali dam may have moved the waterfalls further downstream, but adventure lovers still get almost the same Adrenalin pumping experience of bungee jumping head first into the mighty river Nile.
Bungee jumping here is one of the wildest, craziest and most awesome experiences anyone will ever get to experience in their lifetime. The tour package later takes us to Wild waters Lodge for a beautiful lunch. Transfer to Wild waters Lodge is in dug-out Canoe as the fantastic lodge is located on an island within the Nile waters. The short transfer trip is such a splendid experience with great views across the banks of the River Nile and expansive pine tree forests.
The dug-out canoe stays clear of the fast moving Nile water rapids, by staying close to the banks of the Nile. After lunch, participants in the Jinja vacation package choose from a number of adventure packed options. Either: Go for white water rafting including experiencing the rare grade V rapids. You may also go kayaking.
Then later in the day travel to mountain Elgon to enjoy the sips falls in the next day. The only chance you have to experience the world’s largest mountain giving a high flow from Sipi falls in eastern Uganda. It becomes an exciting alternative to more strenuous climbs with its many attractions, milder climate as well as the lower elevation which requires no special equipment. Enjoy the rocks at Sipi with 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. While at Sipi enjoy the shambers of Arabica coffee which is dominant in mountain Elgon. Sipi falls also gives a chance to enjoy a variety of birds as well as other primates on this mountain. Book with Nature Adventure Uganda to enjoy all this at an affordable price.Read More
Eco Tours Rwanda is a moderate tour company with experienced tour guides who keep you going and informed will on the safari. The new office opened in Kigali keeps our clients updated on our ongoing safaris affordable as well as enjoyable to all kinds of clients. The moment the client gets interest in our affordable safaris, he or she pays for the gorilla permit of 750 US dollars in advance. Once that is cleared then Eco Tours Rwanda is responsible for preparing for your safari.
Rwanda known to the many as the land of a thousand hills is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Inhabiting the remote forested mountains in volcanoes national park situated in north western Rwanda, mountain gorillas are some of the closest wild human beings relatives.
Volcanoes national park is a home to half of the mountain gorilla population in the Virunga massif with a total of 10 habituated mountain gorilla families that are open to tourist visitation. On a single day – all year round, tourists heading for a gorilla safari in Rwanda first gather at volcanoes national park headquarters in Kinigi where they are briefed, allocated to the mountain gorilla family they will be tracking and to the guide who will be leading them in this great wildlife expedition. Tracking gorillas starts in the morning and ranges from 1 to 8 hours of hiking depending on the movement of the gorillas and the luck of the tourists.
Each of the mountain gorilla family is tracked by strictly a group of 8 tourists in a day which means 88 mountain gorilla tracking permits are available every day.
Currently, Rwanda is the number one and most preferred mountain gorilla-tracking destination. In order to ensure the well being of the mountain gorillas and the tourists, always keep in the tourist tracking groups especially while in the forest to avoid getting lost, avoid making a lot of noise as it can distract the mountain gorilla and other wildlife species in the forest, avoid littering any rubbish in the national park, do not go for tracking when sick.
While at the track, you are allowed to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas for strictly one hour, which is intended to minimize chances of disease, spread from the human’s to mountain gorillas. There are high chances of disease spread from humans to the gorillas because about 98%of their DNA is similar to humans. For you to enjoy exclusive and once in a lifetime experiences, carry enough drinking water because the hike through the forest is a little strenuous causing a lot of sweat and it is therefore wise to keep drinking water.Read More
There are endlessly attractive ways to experience all that East Africa has to offer, whether you are seeking adventure, traveling with family, or celebrating a very special occasion, there is something for everyone and the choice is always yours. East Africa is endowed with a unique combination of tourist attractions, comprising tropical beaches, abundant wildlife in natural habitats, scenic beauty and a geographically diverse landscape Spark imagination.
Explore the unique opportunity offered in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo and come face to face with some of the world’s rarest primates. Primates are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Walk through Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and marvel at the gorillas in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. With these resources, we can be on the bucket list for any tourists, visitors in East African Community and beyond our shores.
Top Attractions in East Africa
Coastal towns are rich in culture, festivities and rich history the coastal towns are in the Kenyan and Tanzanian Coast and they include Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu and Zanzibar.
If there is a place where culture is represented is East Africa with Tanzania having the highest number of tribes 120, Kenya 42 with the smallest tribe being El Molo with less than 300 people who are pure El Molos, Uganda 40 tribes and Rwanda Burundi having 3 tribes in common. With these tribes come different cultures and ways of life. For anyone wanting to experience culture East Africa is the best place to visit.
Mountains and ranges are the heart of most countries with some being the water towers of these individual countries, the habitat to most Wildlife. Mountains include: Mt. Kilimanjaro which is the highest in Africa, Mt. Kenya boasts of its snow peak while located at the equator. Aberdare Ranges which is the home to Karuru Falls the highest Falls in East and Central Africa. Other mountains and ranges include Mt. Elgon which borders Kenya and Uganda, Virunga mountains which runs from Uganda to Rwanda, Mt Ruwenzori in Uganda, and Mt. Heha in Burundi. The Mountains of the Moon in Ruwenzori National Park are the highest range in Africa.
National Parks in East Africa community are unique and diverse in the ranging activities that one can take in the parks one can enjoy wildlife safaris, bird watching and in some parks mountain and rock climbing. The Mara and Serengeti having the seventh wonder of the world the wildebeest migration.
One of Africa’s most ancient rain forests can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Gorilla trekking tours are the nation’s most-sought-after tourist activity and require booking in advance.
Rugged and untamed, the Wild Coast offers mangrove forests, deep sea diving, cozy hotels, archipelagoes, marine parks, Water sports.
East Africa has different historical sites in all the different countries giving the country a unique history. The historical sites include; fort Jesus, Gede Ruins, Koole Ruins, Kunduchi Ruins, Namugongo martyr’s shrine, Kasubi Tombs, Kigali Genocide Memorial and Many others.
We well know that wildlife is one of the main reasons that people choose to travel to Africa. Whether you want to see the great migration across the plains of the epic Maasai Mara and Serengeti, to capture photos of all of the big five as you travel around the region or view some of the worlds most endangered species, mountain gorillas in their natural habitats we can tailor a wildlife safari that is perfect for you.Read More
Hiring a car Rwanda can save much more that you may think. When you travel to Rwanda remember it is a foreign land and so you need some transportation means that is safe, convenient and reliable and Rwanda car hire is best at it.
However, renting a car in Rwanda is not like purchasing bread in a supermarket that all you need is money to get it. When hiring a car Rwanda, you are supposed to be with some requirements in order to have the car.
Here we save you the trouble of finding the things you need for car hire by explaining to you the checklist on your next Rwanda car hire;
- Identification document: before any company in Rwanda hires you car, it must know who you are that is the name, country, age, place of residence and what you do and these are most cases printed on the passport or national identity card. So carry a valid passport or national identity card if you are willing to hire a car in Rwanda.
- Driving license: all car rentals in Rwanda will ask you your driving license. This acts as proof that you are eligible of driving a car and this must be valid and in names corresponding to the ones in your passport. The driving license must also be in the language that can be comprehended by the Rwandan authorities and in most case it should either possess English or French since the two languages are recognized in Rwanda.
- Do not forget to carry money or an electronic money card: remember every services rendered to you has a purchasing value and car hire Rwanda also has a purchasing value and you can purchase these services by either hard cash and in US dollars or via electronic transfer.
The above items must be carried by you in order to have a car hire Rwanda and below are the things you are supposed to ask of/ check from the car hire Rwanda Company:
- Insurance coverage of the car hire- this should be a must on every car hire in Rwanda as this helps the car renter to be less liable on the damages that may happen to the car or caused by the car while driving it in Rwanda. so many sure that the car hire company offers you both third party insurance and comprehensive insurance to cover for the unforeseen problems on the road.
- Extra facilities on the car hire: sometimes you might need some facilities like a GPS or touristic map and a baby seat that can help you in the aspects of directions and routes for the case of GPS or maps. So ask for them if needed.
- Check the car you’re hiring extensively: before you drive off, first check the car both physically and mechanically so that you make know it is in good condition for driving and you are also supposed to take the pictures of the car to act as proof that you found it in that shape.
You may fear to bring your vehicle to a foreign country given the costs involved – you will pay for taxes, insurance and other unnecessary costs. This makes renting a car a great option if you are used to travel independently! I really assure that once you rent a car in Uganda, you can have the best experience at even a very cheap cost.
Whether you have planned a vacation in Europe with your friends or you have scheduled a meeting with your client to talk business, hiring a luxurious car is always better than squeezing inside a public commuter vehicle. Below are benefits of renting a car for families, sole travelers, holiday lovers and businessmen.
Flexible Adventure Holiday lovers
You are in a holiday mood and going abroad to escape the boredom of a regular day. You have backpacked everything you need for your holiday. But you haven’t booked a car yet.
The idea of traveling in a public vehicle in an unknown city is the best recipe for spoiling your holiday mood with the stress and pressure of managing transportation. Its quite a little stressing and un- pleasurable hitching a ride in Uganda’s “matatus” commuter taxis. And any sole traveler from the western world will definitely find this Not a so good idea however much we would love to minimize on car rental costs.
Family and friends vacation
Families going for a vacation to a distant land or having a family get-together have always made the most out of car rental service. Sometimes renting a car is more economical than using public transportation. You can cash in some discount if you are eight or more in number. At human level, you do not need to wait for local bus to appear and squeeze inside it with strangers. This keeps their mood up from the start to the end.
Renting a good car from a good reputable car rental agency will ensure that your client receives an elegant service that will help in creating a lasting first impression. We all know the value of the first impression and the importance of maintaining it. You might be wondering how car rentals can add value in the process of creating and maintaining customers.
Singles have their part of the fun of being single. But when it comes to exploring an unknown land, it might not be so. Public transportation is not the best option and every time asking a friend for a favor is not a better one. So, renting a car in advance for your transportation is looking better by minute, right? On the top, you can have your personal space too.
Holiday goers have the most to gain by renting a car or sedan as each of them will add luxury and comfort to their holiday from the start. It will not only save a few minutes you spend on waiting for public transportation service, but also save the time they take on every stop.
Besides, it will help in your business process by creating an effective and luxurious pick and drop responsibility.Read More
Ugandan Tourist Visa
If you are planning to visit Uganda for business or tourism travel, as a requirement for entry, you must have a Ugandan visa.
Uganda is a destination well known for mountain gorillas, snow peaked Mt. Rwenzori, world’s longest river, the Nile and its source Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water lake. These are and many more natural wonders continue to attract visitors hence its necessary to know how to obtain a Ugandan visa. Most tourists who have booked their safaris in Uganda are always guided by the tour operators on how they can obtain tourist visa.
Ugandan tourist visa can be applied for in your country of residence. Tourists from countries without Ugandan high commission or embassy need to use the new online application system. It is the easier way of getting your visa via the official website www.immigration.go.ug. Enter, download and fill in the forms and email them with your valid passport details attached and it must be done before you travel. After your submission, it takes at least 3 days to email you a letter of entitlement which you’ll present upon arrival.
A Ugandan tourist visa can also be obtained with a trusted tour operator.
The Ugandan single entry tourist Visa valid for 90 days costs USD $50 per person while the multiple entry visas (6 months) costs $100 per person. The e-visa application does not require any interviews until you arrive in Uganda.
Tourists from countries with the Ugandan Embassy need to visit those embassy offices for visa application and processing.
Visas can also be obtained upon arrival at Entebbe international airport or any point of entry to Uganda. However, this takes time to process your visa, if you know you wish to do this and then better be patient.
Tourists need to pay $50 in cash, present their valid passports and fill visa application forms upon arrival. The directorate of citizenship and immigration control has the capacity to issue tourist visas within a day, although it’s likely they usually follow their official issuing time about 2-3 days.
Note that every tourist is subject to inspection by the immigration staff through interviews or any possible way to prove your worth for the visa. It’s also good to comply with visa requirements including 6 months valid passport, yellow fever vaccination card and often times a return air ticket may be required as well as proof for sufficient money.
Uganda also among the countries that share the East Africa single tourist visa, for travelers visiting Uganda together with, Kenya and Rwanda it’s cheap to have a single visa. The east African visa costs $100 per person and it allows entry into all three countries at the same cost. It can be obtained online at www.visiteastafrica.org/visa/ or from embassies of those countries.Read More
Envisage an area full of thousands of hills enchanted with green vegetation and clear blue sky. This area is only found in Africa and it is called Rwanda. Rwanda is a land is a land of tropical climate where by it receives sun and rain simultaneously throughout the year. Many people have take advantage of this to come to Rwanda and enjoy the sun and sand at the beaches while on a wildlife safari.
In thousand great hills with vegetation there lie incredible and variety of wildlife which humankind is craving to see. These areas have been reserved so that people can take opportunities to enjoy encountering this wildlife. When you take a gorilla safari in Rwanda you can have an opportunity of watching the mountain gorillas in the Virunga region at volcanoes national park. These primates are fantastic to get close to them as the way they relate amongst each other is more less the same as how humans do. These posses almost 98% of human DNA as recorded by the researchers which makes them one of man’s closest relatives. These gorillas are the largest primates on earth and also these are endangered species so one has to come to Rwanda to see these gorillas before they get extinct.
Many people enjoy gorilla trekking do much but what makes travelers gorilla tours so unique and specials are the other wildlife that are supplemented on these expeditions. The other wildlife can be found in Nyungwe forest national park which is home of 13 different species of primates that is the a troop of habituated chimpanzees and other primates like the Vevert monkeys, the black and white Colobus, the grey cheeked mongabey and many more other primates. These can primates act make up for the opportunity you may miss on tracking the mountain gorillas most especially the chimpanzees that are also one of man’s closest relatives. Nyungwe can also be fun for the bird lovers as it holds hundreds of bird species.
Another area you can take advantage of is the Akagera National Park which is located in the eastern part of Rwanda. This inhabits almost 8000 big mammals and some of them include the elephants, oribi, giraffes, antelopes, zebra and many more. A lion was introduced was in 2014 and they are planning to introduce the rhinos to make it a big five national park.
There are also the golden monkeys at the basement of volcanoes national park which are special monkeys that are not easily found anywhere. Lake Kivu is worth a visit while on a gorilla tour in Rwanda as this possesses beach where you can do sunbathing, fresh water for swimming and also boat riding. It has a serene resort for picnics.
With all the above attraction a Rwanda gorilla tour can give great opportunities of visiting interesting natured gifted places which can make your gorilla safari a remarkable one.Read More
A vacation is something that you are supposed to engage to relive you some stress and fatigue from your daily routine but sometimes planning for a vacation can stress out since most of the times you are going in a foreign country and sometimes you are worried of the family you are leaving behind. The whole situation makes you tense and in the end you might not enjoy your vacation.
However most packaged Uganda safaris have been modified, they have been designed in such a way that all you need to do is carry your luggage and ticket embark on the plane then travel to Uganda and a vacation full of fun without stressing out.
First of all the Uganda vacation packages are found on the internet, all you need to do is just do a few click go through the different vacation packages being offered by different Uganda tour operator. When you captivate some interest from any vacation package in Uganda contact the tour operator about it, the tour operator will advise on how to go by the vacation package by organizing you an itinerary that you can make your vacation very exciting.
In addition to the above the tour operator in Uganda usually reserves the accommodation, 4×4 car hire services, park entrances and other tourism facilities that can enhance your travel in Uganda. This relieves you the burden of contacting the facilities or parties that are going to be involved in your journey which is at times very stressing.
What is more interesting and exciting about the vacation packages in Uganda, they give you an adventurous, discovering and amazing experience as in most cases they are about taking a wildlife safari. A wildlife safari usual involves traveling to the various national parks in Uganda to see the exotic animals, make cultural encounters and also stay in exquisite eco lodges.
The exotic animals that are normally seen on these vacations are lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, chimpanzees, antelopes, buffaloes, baboons, hippos, various bird species and the elusive mountain gorillas. Uganda has ten national parks and each has different species of animals to encounter it is upon your interest that the tour operator makes an itinerary for your vacation. Some of the notable national parks are Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison national park, Kidepo national park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Lake Mburo National park and Kibale Forest National Park.
Visiting of these national parks are normally spiced up by encountering other Uganda attractions like cultural performances from the locals around the parks, staying in nice lodge and being cared of by different hospitable personnel and also making some expeditions to other interesting places in Uganda like lake Bunyonyi which is an ecstasy of relaxing as it has very nice island where one have a good time with his/her lover. There is also River Nile the longest river in the world and its source Lake Victoria- these two water bodies harbor very many tourism activities like swimming, kayaking, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, sport fishing, sunbathing and has some good ambience for relaxing as they are many resorts on these water bodies.
Words can not only explain what a Uganda vacation is like but by coming to Uganda makes the experience more interesting and exciting.Read More
Taking a Safari holiday in East Africa is one of the most enjoyable and memorable way you can experience not only on the African continent but in the world. East Africa has lots of things to offer to both local travelers and international visitors – from rare experiences like gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to world class game viewing in the savanna national parks of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara National Park in Kenya. This region has a pleasant climate, very pleasant that most regions elsewhere thus making it a place you can enjoy a true Africa holiday at any given time of the year. Some areas in East Africa have more sunny days and are popular spots for holidaymakers especially those from colder regions of Europe and other parts of the world.
All countries in East Africa Safari have unique attractions; ranging from natural attractions to human world and man-made attractions. The East African region is composed of many countries; Uganda, Rwanda,Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar and more. Are you planning to take an exploration safari in East Africa? Here are the top 5 safaris that you can take in East Africa;
1. Gorilla Trekking Safari
A gorilla safari is one of the best adventure trips you can take within East Africa. This kind of trip will lead you into the rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda for gorilla trekking. There are about 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild and these can be seen only in Uganda or Rwanda. There are several options for those interested in watching the mountain gorillas in the wild. If you have less time, a Rwanda gorilla safari is the best choice given that a gorilla trek varies from day trips to 5+days tours. If you are looking to a gorilla trip combined with a traditional safari, then Uganda is the best choice given its many parks that offer opportunities for game viewing. It is also possible to tour both countries on a single safari and multiple gorilla trekking is possible.
2. Wildlife Safari
A safari through Kenya or Tanzania is a real wildlife safari experience, the best game viewing in the world. Both Tanzania and Kenya have various world known national parks that include Serengeti, Masai Mara, Serengeti, Amboseli and more. This kind of safari will show you interesting wild game of East Africa!
3. Beach Holidays
Beach Holidays; are some of the most popular holiday options in countries like Kenya. With the coast dotted with so many with stunning beaches, it is definitely a great place for that deserved beach holiday. The beach offers fun activities to all and it is one of the major features that tourists look for in this holiday destination. Some of the beaches are ideal for specific water sports such as windsurfing while others are most suitable for scuba diving. Others will offer basically every water sport you could be interested in on the Indian Ocean.
When choosing the best spot for your beach holiday therefore, it is important to consider all the activities that you will be exposed to. The beaches in Kenya have beach resorts and modern hotels as your accommodation options. So you always have to make a point of checking what each option has to offer you in terms of facilities and comfort. You will find everything from luxurious to adventurous thus it is not as hard to make a decision of where to stay while in Kenya.
4. Green Holidays
These are also quite popular in East Africa, with lots of natural grounds and the ever green vegetation, the holidays are breathtaking and memorable in every sense. They are spent in areas with majestic mountains, shimmering lakes, plantations, National parks and landscapes that will leave you breathtaking. The best activities that you will enjoy on your green holiday include; the ever magnificent and incredible activities which include; gorilla tracking, chimps trekking, nature walks, hiking, cycling, mountain climbing and also picnicking in the most attractive natural grounds.
The green holidays also comes with numerous options for your accommodation with the most impressive being lodges. The lodges come in different budgets and size, will therefore easily accommodate even families on holiday. They are eco friendly and are located in the most beautiful areas making it possible to enjoy those beautiful sunrises and romantic sunsets. Hotels and guests houses also make wonderful accommodation options for your green holiday in East Africa. Always choose an option that will help in meeting all the holiday needs and expectations that you have.
5. Mountaineering Trips
There are several mountaineering trips you can take in East Africa. However there are three most popular hikes in East Africa; Kilimanjaro Mountain Hike, Rwenzori Mountain Hike and Mount Kenya Hike.