Renting a car is such a common part of the travel experience that you’d think the process would be straightforward and transparent yet somehow it is anything but. Many travelers aren’t sure how to rent a car without making a few common mistakes.
Do I need to buy additional insurance? What about paying to refuel the car? I hear horror stories about phony damage claims; should I be worried? No one is around to inspect the car with me; is that OK? Can I drive into another country? Do I need all the extras they offer me at the rental counter? These questions come up pretty much every time someone rents a car. Again, anything but straightforward.
Among all your options, there are some things you don’t need to do, or even should not do, when renting a car in Kenya;
Read carefully the car rental agreement
Before you sign a contract, read it thoroughly. If you don’t understand something, just ask for explanation. This is a hackneyed advice, but still useful.
The advertised price is not always the final one
It is a favourite trick of many rental companies to advertise a car rental just for less money. The price usually includes the renting only and forgets about taxes, fees or insurance. What seemed to be a very advantageous price at first becomes eventually an extremely disadvantageous one.
Mileage may be limited
Some car rental companies limit the distance that can be driven. You’ll have to pay a lot more for exceeding the limit.
Where you can drive the borrowed car?
Rental conditions at some car rental companies clearly indicate where you can drive the car. Usually, it is forbidden to cross borders to other countries (Sudan, Congo). Offered cars usually have a built-in GPS locator hidden inside and you’ll be most certainly fined for infringement of this condition.
Buy fuel at the gas station
Refuel the car somewhere close to the renting company before you return it. You can still arrive with an empty tank but buying gas from the renting company is much more expensive.
You’ll pay a penalty for returning the car late
If you don’t manage to return the car on time, you’ll pay an extra fee for the next day.
Second and third driver at extra cost
If you’re planning a long trip with more than one driver, be sure to mention him/her in the contract. The fee for an extra driver per day. I recommend paying the fee since problems caused by the unveiling of this fraud are not worth the price.
Are you travelling with a baby?
If a child of less than two years of age travels with you, don’t forget about the child seat. In most of the states there is a law according to which children under the age of 12 have to sit on the back seat
Not inspecting the car upon departure
Another potentially huge mistake that you can make at the car rental company is not to inspect the rented car before hitting the road. You should always check the vehicle for any signs of internal or external damages before leaving the car rental company. Look for any signs of potential problems busted headlights, loose bumpers, visible scratches, strange noises, etc.
You can even take some photos or a video inspection of the vehicle so you can easily make a “before-after” comparison upon returning the rented car. Otherwise, you might end up responsible for all the damages found upon returning the car (including damages you didn’t necessarily make) and the car rental company will charge you for that.
Ignoring Potential Offers for Upgrades
In the past, I’ve recommended reserving a low-priced car and then inquiring about upgrades at the rental desk. This works best at busy times when the garage is running low on its cheapest vehicles, and may offer you free or very affordable upgrades to a larger car class due to inventory management issues.
In most cases, the desk agent has considerable discretion in setting upgrade rates, so if he or she asks if you are interested in a larger car, respond that it depends on the price; you might find yourself in a bigger and better car at minimal additional cost.
Your Credit Card Covers the Rest
Anything your own car insurance does not cover, it is likely that your credit card will. In some cases the credit card coverage is as good as or better than your auto insurance; in others it is intended to be secondary insurance to help cover anything your auto insurance does not.
Of course, you will need to pay for your car rental using that card; just having a qualifying credit card does not give you any protection.
And then there’s the thing you do not want to do at all, ever. To save you some time, money (and trouble), we’ve made a list of things not to do when renting a car. Contact Kenya car rental to avoid all the above mistakes.Read More
Hiring a car for your holiday in Rwanda? Getting a Rwanda car rental is a significant factor that makes traveler’s vacation complete. It can save you a lot from spending on the taxi or unpredictable schedules from public means. However, renting a car can be tedious process whether you are a first-time visitor or even repeat traveler on Rwanda tour. You need to keep a few things in mind when looking to hire in order to get the best deals around town.
Below are the things that you need to put in mind before renting a car.
Company’s terms & conditions
Before the client and the car service provider sign any deal, the client is supposed to read each of the detailed terms of the car rental company and carefully comprehend it with best language possible. The guest ought to make sure that he/she is fairly charged and all other expenses that will be incurred must be explained and put in to the pricing package to come up with a final total. This is vital because it will help the client from incurring extra charges that may arouse from other unknown expenses.
Like many other reservations, including; plane reservations, as well as dinner reservations or they may be reservations about decision, the early you act, and the higher the chances that you will get what you want at the best rates.
If you enroll in a loyalty program, this means that when you rent a vehicle on an occasional basis, you will in return realize big dividends by enrolling in the preferred customer program or within the loyalty based plan that is offered by car rental agencies. Here the rewards consist of the free upgrades, free days and the lower rates.
This means comparing prices and searching for the discounts or the special offers that can bring savings with the low or special rates or the reduced prices on the upgrades. While talking to the agent, don’t hesitate to ask about the unadvertised discounts since many sites have got their own specials available.
In any country you visit, when hiring a car it’s important to inquire the fuel policies, because car rental companies in Rwanda have different policies in relation to re-filling. In Rwanda, some companies include the fuel expenses in the total charge whereas other companies don’t include it, however, most companies deliver the car with quarter tank and you have to return it with same amount of fuel as you received the car, and no refund for unused fuel.
Knowing the fuel filling policies helps in case of self-fueling and; aspects such as the prevailing fuel prices per liter, to help in calculating the distance to be traveled while exploring Rwanda and sum up the total amount needed for the car hire. This is the best way to budget for the money that will be used on hiring the car.
You should be very careful with the prepaying of gas, in case you are to return the vehicle with a full gas tank, remember to fill it yourself just before you bring it in. making payments to the company to do it can result in charges that are more that the cost of gas, this might also result into a big charge if the car has a large gas tank.
International Border Crossing
Always be aware of the limitations in case you are cross international borders, some of the companies don’t allow their rental cars to cross international boarder or there are also required conditions that must be followed and met and seem very expensive. Before taking the rental car, check with the agent, and also obtain written approvals.
Always reserve the smallest vehicle possible, this is one of the easiest way to get yourself a large car at a lower rate. There are numerous car types like land cruisers, Rav4s, super customs, jeeps, among others that are perfect for exploring Rwanda.
Be sure with the liability waiver, you should always check with the insurance agent to check if your personal automobile policy also covers car rentals. More so in case you are paying with your credit card, it may provide the needed insurance policy and don’t assume that if you are not covered, you will need the agency‘s policy. Many countries in Africa have different insurance covers on accidents, likewise in Rwanda; car rental companies have different insurance covers on different phenomena, like accidents, fire, third party, etc.
Clients should be aware that all damages that will be incurred while travelling are covered by the insurance paid for and few liabilities that will not be much draining in to the clients expenses. The most vital thing is, as you choose a car hire company; go for the one that has comprehensive insurance cover for all its vehicles.
Always pay attention during the pre-rental inspection, this will help you much since many rental companies can be so picky when it comes to damage and when you returning the car, make sure to review the inspection and also make the car rental agent notice the damage you spot there and then. This is your best form of protection.
End ever to check the different clubs, groups, and organizations to which you belong- many of these have good and special arrangements for car hiring in order to provide good discounts for the members.
Family Car Rental
In case you are traveling with family, make sure that you rent a car that will seat each and every one. You can choose a car with plenty of room for passengers as well as the luggage. Also make sure that the family member who is to drive the rental car is listed on the agreement.
Car Rental Agreement
Car hiring is not so complicated, but it can be so tricky if you are not so familiar with it and you enter into a contract unprepared. You can use these suggestions as a basic guide and you will then drive with a good bargain.
Self-driving or Guided tour
Car hire in Rwanda is a big experience on its own, and self-driving is the best option to explore the land of thousand hills, primates including the mountain gorillas and cultures. There are numerous car types like land cruisers, Rav4s, super customs, jeeps, among others that are perfect for exploring Rwanda.
What’s most interesting and exciting about car hiring in Rwanda is that there is freedom of touring the country at the visitors own pace and on a cheaper cost compared to public transport especially when travelling with a family and luggage.
Guided tours means hiring a car with a driver who has knowledge about the destinations you are going to travel in Rwanda.
Rwanda is an amazingly beautiful country and if you are visiting the greeneries outside the city, it is best visited by car. There are other options to travel around too, but having a car will give you the freedom and space to enjoy the country at your own pace and time with your own planned itinerary.Read More
Whispers about realisation of Julius Nyerere’s East African integration dream into one borderless region are making rounds across the region. The concept of freely travelling through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania the way you travel from Kampala into another district without a stopover for visa checks and approvals is definitely tantalizing.
What best way to enjoy this freedom than by learning more about these East African countries? A lot of the region’s citizens have not gone past the borders of their home countries, yet it is not expensive.
A good example would be when travelling from Uganda to Kenya; a bus ride from Kampala to Nairobi is estimated to cost Ugs80,000 and you pay the same amount when coming back, depending on which bus you use.
If you are a first timer in Nairobi and want to enjoy the city as much as you can, what do you do?
First off, if you plan on having a busy day 1 in Nairobi, it is important that you book your accommodation prior. For a seamless experience, it is best to book online with platforms such as Jumia Travel. If you have family members in the city, plan with them for accommodation, not forgetting to organise for bus station pickup. Catch the evening bus at 7pm, which will arrive in Nairobi at around 6am the following day.
After a few hours of well deserved rest, start off your itinerary, having planned on what you would be doing for your holiday in Nairobi.
It is always best to learn more about your new environment in order for you to easily access the city. Learn some of the best footpaths you can use back to your hotel or home. If you will be using public transport; note that buses are the best mode of transportation since boda bodas (motorcycles) are not allowed in the Central Business District, which has helped decongest the city though you might find them along the roads.
Look around to know the city streets and where they lead to, which is best done on foot with a guide. The city usually has citywalk tours conducted daily to help first time visitors get acquainted with Nairobi; join them and bring a camera along.
Nairobi National Park
Known as the ‘World’s Wildlife Capital’ Nairobi rules with the serene beauty bestowed by the Nairobi National Park, which lies in the backdrop of the city’s iconic scrapers; bringing a sense of wild beauty to Nairobi.
The Park is home to a variety of wildlife that include leopards, rhinos, giraffes, and cheetahs, among many others. There are buses that take the route leading to the park, so it is not hard for you to access it. You can also have the hotel help you find a guide to ease your exploration.
Slum tourism has risen higher than anticipated around the world, and there’s no better way to see it firsthand than visiting one of Africa’s largest slums located in Kenya. Just right out of the city centre, you will find Kibera with so many shanty makeshift houses for thousands of people who call it home. Nairobi is a metropolis growing at a very fast rate and with that comes many cons to it, which will always include areas like slums no matter how much effort the concerned authorities make to create cheaper housing. It is best to have a guide with you and carry nothing that can be easily snatched away from you.
Why move all the way from Uganda and not pass by one of the largest open air restaurants in Kenya? The Carnivore, as its name states, would not be good for you if you are a vegetarian since all you will find is meat and more meat. The most intriguing would be crocodile meat, which most people are quite curious about. The restaurant also serves up game meats, including ostrich and buffalo. These exotic delicacies will cost you about Ugs60,000 but then again, nothing worth experiencing comes easy.
Day Five in Nairobi should be when you rest up and get ready for a wonderful night ahead. Our neighbours next door are as hyped about their nightlife as Ugandans are, so expect an array of nightclubs to choose from or maybe head straight to a bar near you and sip a cold beer or two. The most popular places include Havana, Club Cubano, Klub House, K1, New Florida Club and Pavement, among many others. You will find the clubs’ setting similar to those in Kampala, with DJs mixing music and drinks flowing throughout the night, depending on how much money you have. You are advised to carry a copy of your passport, just in case of any emergencies.
Shopping at the Maasai Market
If you are looking for unique statement pieces made by local artists, do not go further than the Maasai Market and, no, it is not run by the Maasai tribe. You will find different craft pieces and if you have a knack for languages, make sure to speak in Kiswahili or the prices will automatically hike. Bargain as hard as you always do in Luganda and make sure to not easily part with your money before examining the merchandise properly.
Nairobi is a buzzing city that you will need to visit more than twice to get the full feel of it. It grows by the day and you cannot exhaust it in a week; there are restaurants to visit, parks to walk through and people to meet.Read More
Uganda self-drive tips to keep you safe on the road: Whether it is a self-drive or group trip/family tour, what is important at the end of it all is your safety and comfort while on Uganda road trip. Once the 2 are achieved then be guaranteed of a trip full of lasting memories in Uganda the Pearl of Africa.
Firstly, we advise all our holidaymakers to ensure that they plan and reserve their rental car for Uganda in advance to enjoy a smooth road trip. While on your Uganda self-drive, it is also important to observe some keenness. Here are some essential tips to help keep you safe and comfortable while on a self-drive tour in Uganda or during your safari in any of Uganda’s destinations.
Take note of the fuel type of your rental car
When planning for your self-drive car hire, inquire more on the fuel consumption of the car you want to use. Be open to your reservation team on your preferred kind of rental car. Take note that some vehicles do use diesel while others use petrol. Those that use petrol are a little costly unlike the ones which use diesel.
Carry a valid driving permit
Anyone on a plan to go self-drive in Uganda must have a valid driving permit. For all foreign travelers on self-drive tour in Uganda, please carry a valid international driving permit valid which has been with you for at least 2 years. You may also be required to present a document showing that you are allowed to go self-drive in Uganda. Copies of such essential documents should be presented before the car keys are given to you.
Do not drink and drive
Driving when under the influence of alcohol in Uganda is highly prohibited like it is a case in most countries. Breaking it puts you at a risk of being arrested something that ruins your holiday.
Hire a car from a reputable agency/company
Yes, there are several companies all offering car hire services in Uganda but it is essential to deal with the one which is reputable/recognized. When choosing a company to book your self-drive car in Uganda, it calls for some keenness. You need a rental company like ours that guarantees you exceptional self-drive car hire services.
Observe all traffic signs
No matter the part of Uganda you will be, the traffic signs/rules must be observed while on self-drive. They are guiding principles to your safety on the road while on Uganda self-drive road trip. Along the way, higher chances are that you will come across signages like speed limit, zebra crossing, do not overtake, traffic lights and many others.
Choose the right car for your safari/destination
When you think of renting a car, it is always important to take note that not every vehicle is fit for your trip. Your choice of rental car in Uganda should be in line with your safari interests. Preferably, a 4×4 safari vehicle is fit for most of Uganda safaris given its ability to navigate via all road conditions.
Driving to any part of Uganda
While on a self-drive, you must keep left and this is a little different from most countries that keep right. Driving the opposite side in Uganda can easily result into accidents and where you aren’t familiar, it is important to take professional driver services.Read More
Looking for the best long term rental cars for Tanzania? Well, we certainly have you sorted! Tanzania is a magical travel destination you should consider a must-visit in Africa. It is one country that is blessed with vast national parks, diverse flora and fauna, breathtaking landscapes. For all your Tanzania safaris, look no where else than our best long term rental cars.
Self-drive rentals have stood a test of time when it comes to travel in Tanzania. Not only have self-drive tours emerged the most preferred today in Tanzania but also across Uganda, Kenya and other countries. Check out our exceptional rental cars suitable for all your self-drive safaris, guided tours or family trips. We have a range of 4×4 rental cars in Tanzania for you to navigate through various cities, towns, safari parks at your comfort. In Tanzania, there are so many most famous rental car locations unlike in Uganda. You find a comfortable car hire within Arusha, Dar-es-salaam, Zanzibar to mention but a few.
However, some travelers prefer hiring from Uganda other than in Tanzania. This is attributed to lower rates most tour operators in Uganda offer which are also accompanied with unlimited mileage. This is something uncommon with rental car services in Kenya, Tanzania or even Rwanda. Being one of the outstanding rental agencies, we operate across East Africa and our clients get to enjoy affordable rates in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda or Kenya. Before choosing a rental company or agency to deal with, take note of different terms and conditions.
Self-drive car hire in Tanzania
Self-drive rental cars provide a great chance to solo-travelers to navigate any part of Tanzania at their own pace, enjoy privacy unlike in public transportation. But please, check the set terms and conditions of different car rental agency you plan to deal with.
Our fleet for self-drive safaris in Tanzania.
Some of our exceptional rental cars worth hiring for long term rental services or self-drive safaris in Tanzania include Land Cruiser TZ, Safari Vans, Toyota Rav4, 4×4 Jeep, Super Customs. These can be hired at an affordable rate about US Dollars 40 to US Dollars 125. The rates vary per day depending on the kind of the vehicle.
Car pick ups and drop offs in Tanzania
Your pick ups refer to where you will begin your journey and for this case, it can be at a hotel, car hire agency offices, airport. A fee is placed for car pick up for places outside the normal official pick up but this differs depending on the car hire agency’s policies.
Drop offs, the final destination of your trip. You can drop off your car at official drop off points. At times, this comes at no additional fee. For drop offs outside the official drop off point, a visitor may incur a charge depending on the location.
Rent a car with a driver guide
It is possible to rent a car with a driver guide while on Tanzania safari. We have the best and professional driver guides to take you to any part of Tanzania. Our selection of rental cars range from Land Cruiser TX, Coasters, Toyota Rav4, Land Cruiser TX, Land Cruiser GX, Land VX, Super Custom, Mini Van.
Long term car hire potential prices
The minimum number of days a traveler can qualify for a long-term car rental status is normally over 21 days. Some car rental agencies put it between 21 and 30 days. At times, long term car hire services attract discount offers and you can inquire from the agent you plan to deal with.Read More
For any plans to rent a car for a road trip in Uganda, your choice does matter a lot! It is everyone’s dream to have a very comfortable and memorable experience especially while on a family safari and the best to have this is for you to find that best car with many seats, many facilities and best offers.
Today, family tours features among a few most looked for travel experiences not only in Uganda but across Africa and the best to make your family trip successful is for you to make a choice in one of our family size cars. The amazing part of it is that our family size cars come with the best air conditioners, reliable, comfortable and safe, they are the best when it comes to fuel consumption.
Below are some of our best family size cars for you to hire
Safari Land Cruiser
Our excellent safari Land Cruisers range from the hard top and extended type, VX and V8. They are all ideal for family vacations in Uganda and offer clear views of wildlife species in protected areas like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park a mention but a few. Our family land cruisers take about 5 to 8 people and they are 4wheel drive safari vehicles which are perfect for family safaris and outdoor camping tours in any part of Uganda. It features a pop up roof hence offering you a great deal to catch a glimpse at the wildlife in the expansive savanna grassland protected areas. Amazingly, some of these incredible safari cars feature a mini fridge and air conditioners.
We have wide range of Toyota Prado car rentals and they include among others TX, TZ and GX type. They take about 6 (six) people and come with features which make you feel at home for instance MP 3, CD, FM radio station, air conditioner a mention but a few. Depending on what your travel needs are whether you plan to set off on a self-drive road trip, wedding, guided tours, conference, family vacation or airport transfers, our Toyota Land cruiser Prado can get you to that dream destination. This type of safari car features a pop-up roof/sun roof which offers amazing views while you are on a game drive in Uganda’s savanna grassland protected areas.
Toyota Super Custom
Our Toyota super customs come in a 4wheel drive and accommodates about 7 people. It is perfect for safaris the fact that it also features a pop-up/sun roof which is ideal for game drive. It comes with the best air conditioners front and rear as well as a luxurious boot which accommodates all that you plan to use while on your safari. They are the best for you to navigate through the remote areas where Uganda’s attractions are located.
The Toyota Rav4 equally comes in 4wheel and 4 doors accommodating about 2-4 people. It features air conditioners and a comprehensive insurance. This type has enough room for you to pack your property and pocket friendly the fact that it doesn’t consume much fuel. Besides family tours, this type of car rental is also ideal for city tours and conferences.
If you are planning to travel in small group then this is ideal for you. Saloon cars come in 3 box body with separate engine, cargo and passenger compartments. Its seats are comfortable with adequate room for cargo. Besides, it features 4 doors and accommodates about four people or even more visitors. Not only is it ideal for city tours but also weddings, parties, family tours, conferences and others.
For those of you who love sightseeing, our safari minivans are the best for you realize your dream. This type of car rental accommodates about 9 visitors and comes with a pop up roof making it one of the best options for wildlife viewing. Besides, there are air conditioners, comfortable seats and adequate room for your cargo.
If you are planning for your wedding, introductions or company getaway and you do not know which kind of car can accommodate a large group of people then coaster minibuses as the best. Our coaster minibuses accommodates about 25 to 35 people.Read More
The easiest way to get around Ethiopia is by car and it is the most preferred alternative by most tourists on Ethiopia safari holiday. A road trip in a 4×4 drive vehicle exposes visitors to country’s natural endowment thus providing possibility to enjoy a lot more than when you travel by air.
Driving a 4×4 car rental in Ethiopia lets you explore the country’s breathtaking landscapes, unique architecture and vibrant cities. Traveling by car makes it convenient for visitors to explore and experience Ethiopia. The other advantage of using rental car or private car for traveling in Ethiopia is that, it is a flexible means especially if you are interested in sightseeing or in case you want a rental car and driver/chauffeur. However, your Ethiopian trip can be enjoyable and memorable if you observed the motoring rules and regulations. These might vary from those back in your home country.
Is it safer to drive a rental car in Ethiopia?
Safety is key factor tourists on a plan to drive a rental car in Ethiopia should be into consideration. But this can be ensured provided you observe the road and standard safety advice or guidelines.
- Be careful when driving especially on bumps since they are common features.
- Ensure that you drive slowly via towns and villages-be considerate to other road users.
- Do not drive at night.
- Don’t drink and drive.
The road conditions in Ethiopia
Compared to most African states, Ethiopian roads have continuously kept on improving and recently, majority have been developed to their good standard.
When you head to the Southern Ethiopia, most routes have become increasingly vehicle-friendly. Majority can be reached throughout the year.
Unlike some cities, driving in Addis Ababa is easier than ever before because most of its roads have been sealed connecting this beautiful capital city to most of the big towns or cities. Paved surfaces have also increased in most parts of Ethiopia but take note of poor conditions like potholes which you might experience in the remote areas.
Also, keen attention should be put at the back of your mind when driving during the rainy season when heavy rainfall is recorded in the country making most routes slippery.
Ethiopia’s road traffic rules and regulations
Ethiopia like other countries have a list of policies or guidelines to be followed by road users to ensure a smooth road trip and they include;
- Persons above 18 years are considered eligible to drive in Ethiopia.
- Seatbelts should be a must to put on.
- Speed limit in Ethiopia; 50kms/hr in town and village, 97kms/hr elsewhere.
- Driving in Ethiopia is done on the right-hand side of the road.
- Motorcyclists should put on helmets
- No use of mobile phone while driving.
Driving license requirements in Ethiopia
Remarkably, tourists on Ethiopia holiday safari are allowed to use the cars of their choice provided he or she has a valid international license of about 90 days, about 3 months. After, a tourist can get an Ethiopian license. Foreign drivers are required to have a copy of their valid passport, Ethiopian visa, home driving license as these might be asked by the authorities in Ethiopia. Car rental agencies might require you to have a local license if you are hiring a self-drive car rental in Ethiopia and at times, an international driving permit isn’t recognized here.
Obtaining an Ethiopian driving permit
- Ensure you have the national license authenticated at the Ethiopian embassy back in your home country. Find out more about Ethiopian driving permits with the embassy.
- A form should be filled with the Ministry of foreign affairs and you will be required to present 2 current photographs.
- Then you will be given a temporary Ethiopian permit.
Rental cars in Ethiopia
Travel in Ethiopia has been made easier with wide range of comfortable rental cars at Car Rental Ethiopia. Find the best rental car deals and make your journey fun-filled. Our fleet of car hire include Toyota Land Cruisers, Vans, SUVs, Land Cruiser GXL and many more. They can be rented with or without driver for your short-term or long-term projects while in Ethiopia.Read More
Planning a trip to a new destination is ideally so stressful and can be worse when there is no information to make you aware of what that destination is all about. For starters, Uganda and Rwanda are among the 3 countries in the world where mountain gorillas thrive. A trip to see a group of these magical creatures in any of this African states rewards travel endeavors with life changing experiences.
For first time travelers, a trip to Uganda or Rwanda is never discriminatory regardless of what your travel interests are. When you think of a safari to Uganda or Rwanda, expect to see more than just the rare mountain gorillas. There is a lot more for you to enjoy right from the scenic beauty, diversity of culture, historical monuments, ideal climatic conditions and the wonderful hospitality. Most importantly, your safety and security in any of these destinations is highly a concern of every government and the national park management. Remarkably, Uganda and Rwanda peace and security has prevailed in these countries.
Before you get to Uganda or Rwanda, you need to be fully prepared and organized. The best way to have a well-planned safari, it is important that you choose or deal with a trust worthy tour company to make your travel dreams come true. That said, we are that one recognized and trust worthy Tour Company you can deal with and we shall have your dreams achieved in a destination of your choice. Check our website and stay up-to-date as we help you make sound and informed decision. As well, check through local newspapers, watch national geographic films especially ‘Gorillas in the Mist.’
Packing for your trip to Uganda or Rwanda
How you pack for your trip matters a lot depending on your travel needs. If it is gorilla adventures that you wish to take part in Uganda and Rwanda, there is no need to pack bulky items. The most essential items to consider in your packing list include waterproof hiking boots, daypack, rain jacket or poncho, bottled water, snacks, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, hat, camera with no flash light, walking stick which you can find at the park headquarters, first aid kit and others.
Reasons to visit Uganda and Rwanda?
You have a million reasons to visit Uganda and Rwanda. The two countries boast of their unique natural wonders with mainly mountain gorillas featuring as their prime or star attractions. However, there is more than just magical encounters with these unusual creatures-a trip to Uganda or Rwanda is a great opportunity for you to explore the abundant bird species, diversity of cultures, scenic beauty, and ideal climatic conditions, historical sites and adrenaline adventures at the source of the Nile. In Rwanda gorilla treks are done in Volcanoes National Park and permits cost $1500 and in Uganda in Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. As well, expect to see the big game (elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, lions) plus other several savanna grassland wildlife dwellers.
When to visit Uganda and Rwanda
Uganda and Rwanda are strategically located a stride Equator and due to this, pleasantly warm and tropical climate is experienced. A visit to these destinations can be done at any time of the year however, there is need for you to take note of two significant seasons-the dry and wet seasons. The dry season is usually the most preferred time by most travelers on gorilla safari and this starts from June to September and December to February. The dry season is characterized by low rainfall amount and normally the ground remains relatively drier making it easier for one to trek to see mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda. The wet season is also important on its own and it starts from March to May and October to November. This season comes with heavy rainfall and in most cases, the ground becomes slippery and muddy making it a bit more challenging for one to hike through the steep slopes to search for these special creatures. However, it is a season when there is plenty of forage for these apes to feed on and in most cases they keep around thus making it easier for you trek compared to dry season when they tend to move to search for what to eat and this means longer hours of trek.
Before you embark on actual trip you are expected to be okay health wise. In most cases visitors are required to get a yellow fever certificate and also immunize against other diseases. If you are planning to track mountain gorillas, you need to be free from any illness as these creatures are very susceptible to human infectious diseases. Equally, while at the destination, be mindful of places where you eat out from and try to avoid street food as much as possible. There are classic restaurants and hotels in Kampala or Kigali for you to have something for yourself.
Both Uganda and Rwanda are cash based countries however, other currencies are also welcome especially the US dollar that is mostly used in the tourism sector. To ease your transaction, you may have to exchange your currency into local currency and most importantly, there are ATM machines in most banks in Kampala or Kigali.
Obtaining a visa for Rwanda and Uganda
Travel visa can be obtained by applying online with the Rwanda immigration or visit the nearby Rwanda Embassy in your country. As well, you can get the tourist visa and you will still enter Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. To apply for this type of visa, visit East African visa Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania or East African Tourist Visa.
Tipping is not a must to do but it is one way to appreciate those who did offer a service to you. You can tip the driver guide, park guide, waitress, waiters or any service provider for the good work done. What you offer may not that much but what it will do for the families of those who get is incredibly one thing not to forget.
Mobile or cell phones usage
Uganda and Rwanda feature the best cell phone network and you can as well unlocked cell phone then purchase a Ugandan sim card for MTN, AfriCell or Airtel. For those who may need to make international calls to Europe, Asia and North America you may incur a charge of 20 cents per minute, but if you are keen enough, you can also enjoy promotion charges especially for countries like US or UK, India and Pakistan.
Internet can be accessed in various parts of Uganda and Rwanda. Amazingly, most hotels, lodges, guest houses have Wi-Fi services and can be used free. As well, you can purchase your data in case you have a smart phone or a laptop.Read More
For those who have ever watched the 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist” you realize that watching it alone doesn’t help and the best is for you to hit the jungles of Rwanda to search for these rare creatures. Mountain gorillas thrive in only Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and they remain not more than 1004 individuals. To get the best of magical encounters with these dramatic creatures while on Rwanda safari, a number of tips need to put into considerations. They include
1. Get a gorilla permit early enough
To trek to see a group of mountain gorillas in Rwanda, you need a gorilla permit. It is a gorilla permit that allows you to trek one habituated gorilla family in Volcanoes National Park. You can obtain your permit through a ground tour operator or reservationist at Rwanda Development Board (RDB). To obtain one, you need $1500 and interested visitors are always advised to book for their permits early enough at least 3 months or even year before the actual trek.
2. Always be prepared for any kind of weather
Volcanoes National Park mainly features tropical rainforest and given the kind of habitat where these creatures live, you have to expect it to rain at any time of the day. This means the ground can become muddy, slippery and you will need good waterproof hiking boots, rain jacket or poncho,
3. Have food/energy giving snacks and water
Please, note most national parks don’t have shops like it is a case with urban areas. This means that you have pack all that you need and that will last your stay at the park. You can have some dried fruits, nuts or trail mix to help you boost energy so that you make a complete hike. As well, don’t forget to have adequate drinking water.
4. Visit during the dry season
While gorilla trekking is regarded as an all year round adventure on the other hand the dry season is regarded as the most ideal time to track gorillas. This season is characterized by low rainfall and the gorilla habitat remains relatively drier making it easier for one to hike through the thick rainforest and steep slopes while in search for these beautiful creatures. The dry season always starts from June to September and then December to February.
5. Respect gorillas
During briefing, one of the most important safety measures you have to take note is maintaining a distance of about 8 meters at all times away from gorillas. Note, humans are more like intruders in these creatures’ habitat and this means that they deserve total respect and maximum relaxing environment.
6. Be realistic about your physical fitness
Gorilla trekking is a strenuous adventure and for visitors on Rwanda safari, you need to be physically well to be able to hike through the dense rainforest and steep slopes. These creatures thrive between altitude of 1500 and 3000 meters and this requires some physical wellness. Treks can last you about 4 to 8 hours depending on your physical fitness level, nature of habitat and location of gorillas.
7. Conduct research
Spending some time on internet isn’t bad but just for your own benefit. Therefore, do conduct some research on which gorilla family to trek in Rwanda. Remember each gorilla family rewards travel endeavors with unique experiences and history. Some of them can be strenuous to hike while others are easy to hike.
8. Hire porter to help carry your heavy luggage
In case you have heavy luggage, don’t stress yourself the fact that you will be heading off for a strenuous adventure. There are porters for hire at the park headquarters to help you carry the luggage then you can only concentrate on you thrilling adventure. Porters can be hired at $10 and $15 depending on how heavy your luggage is.
9. Observe the set rules and regulations
There are many set measures that you have to follow while on gorilla trek. They will be briefed to you before you hit the jungles to search for your gorilla family. They include-only 8 visitors are allowed to track 1 habituated family, a distance of 8 meters should be maintained at all times away from gorilla, keep your voices low but do ask as many questions as possible, no flashlight is allowed when taking photos, only persons above 15 years are allowed to take part in this lovely adventure among others that will be briefed to you at the park headquarters.
10. Use Your Hour with the Gorillas Well
During the gorilla trek, you have up to one hour to be in the company of the mountain gorillas. You should use this hour well. Take enough photographs that you can keep for your memorable visit. Also use this time to ask any questions about you would like to know about the great apes and their habitat.Read More
Would like to have meals with Africa’s wild animals? These are some of the questions tourists on a safari are asked. Many definitely cannot say no and they always cannot wait to head to the jungles and have snacks as they watch wild animals on the other side dining on their usual delicacies – the grass for the herbivores and prey for the predators. Such views offer adventurous tourists on a wildlife safari a warm welcome to Africa’s true wilderness.
Elephants can be viewed in a group led by a dominant female with her children of different ages feeding on the grass and tree branches within their reach. The guide who easily looks at the shapes and size of the elephant’s tusks, ears and body can easily explain the difference in the age.
Elephants are not the only big land mammals that can be viewed, there are also various sightings of the hippos most times relaxing in the shallow waters while others can be on the ground feeding on pasture. These are all part of the Serengeti ecosystem located in the northern tourism circuit of Tanzania. Seeing these sometimes makes you feel that you have seen it all but once you take a look at the great wildebeest migration, you do not even wish to blink. The great wildebeest migration comprises of millions of wild herbivores (zebra, elands, buffaloes and gazelles) moving across the Serengeti planes in search for pastures.
The wildebeest continue their trek despite the attacks from some of the major predators that hunt them especially lions, cheetahs, hyenas and many others.
Today, most of these wildlife experiences can be enjoyed in various forms of safaris that include game drive safari which is the commonly used method and the adventurous hot air balloon safari offering tourists with great aerial views of all the wildlife activities taking place on the ground.
Similar to the Serengeti is the Maasai Mara wild experience that also offers the great wildebeest migration. The wildebeest in this part of Africa are more in danger especially when crossing the Mara River that has one of east Africa’s highest crocodile populations. Just looking at the crocodiles here assures you that they get their desired meals and are well fed. They are big and look very health because of the delicious meals they get from the crossing wildebeest.
Just after this deadly point, the wildebeest are not safe either because of the Maasai Mara’s great lions that eagerly keep waiting on the other side. Just like the way the tourists time the great migration, the lions time it more because its when they get many chances of having successful hunts especially of the weaker animals. The migration is just like Christmas to them as they feast on large preys. The carcass left attracts other predators the vultures that are also always on standby ready to take home some meat.
After having enough of the big games and the great migration in Kenya and Tanzania, a cross over to Uganda can be the best decisions you can ever make in your life. Uganda the pearl of Africa also termed as Africa in one takes wildlife safari experiences to a whole new higher level. From the great waterfalls that forms a permanent rain ball and a mist in Murchison falls national park, uganda wildlife safaris introduces you to a number of wildlife species including the cape buffaloes, African savanna elephants, rhinos, rare bird species like the shoebill stork and above all the unique Ugandan temperature.
From Murchison, you can definitely head to Kibale forest national park for primate tracking featuring man’s closet primate- the chimpanzees. Kibale forest national park in western Uganda is called the primate capital of east Africa because of the high numbers of chimpanzees in the forest. There are well-developed chimpanzee tracking trails and for remarkable experiences, one can book for the chimpanzee habituation experience that enables tourists to be with the chimpanzees for a full day.
The safari can be concluded with an exclusive mountain gorilla experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest located in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest has half of the 900 mountain gorillas remaining on the planet with 13 habituated mountain gorilla families. Mountain gorilla experiences in uganda are the best safari experiences that can ever happen to a human being bringing him closer yet to another ape having about 95% DNA just like humans. Just make proper arrangements and head to east Africa for remarkable tourism experiences.Read More