7 Fascinating Things About Rwanda You Probably Don’t Know

Are you curious about Rwanda and would like to learn more about this small and beautiful country during your African safari?

Do you wish to learn about the breathtaking attractions and strange laws of the country? Well, this is the time for you to know, everything you need to learn about her and untrue facts you need to clarify. However, some of the things you will find out will take your breath away and these include;

The World’s finest coffee comes from Rwanda

The Land of a thousand Hills favors the growth of some of the World’s finest coffee beans. Due to Government, farmer co-operatives and Non-Governmental Organizations’ efforts, the quality of coffee exported from Rwanda is always the best thus allowing to tourists to not only track the Mountain gorillas but also taste some of the World’s finest coffee brands.

One of the three countries to encounter the critically endangered Mountain gorillas

If you didn’t know, then you need to know that Rwanda is among the three exceptional countries in the World that can be visited for the critically endangered mountain gorillas. They are found within Volcanoes National Park, in the North-western side of the country thus can be visited at anytime of the year. Additionally, it is easier to track the mountain gorillas in this country than it is with the other countries (Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo)

Another interesting fact about this country that will take your breath away is the annual naming ceremony of the newborn mountain gorillas popularly known as the “Kwita Izina Ceremony” introduced in 2005. You can plan your next gorilla safari and Kwita Izina in September.

Plastic bags are not allowed (are illegal) in the country

You will discover that when you buy anything (be it souvenirs, groceries, food, shoes or clothes) in a store or supermarket, it will be packed or wrapped in a paper bag instead of plastic/polythene bags as it is done in the neighboring countries. Plastic bags were banned by the Government in 2006 in an effort to reduce the litter within the streets of the country.

Kigali is the cleanest City in the African Continent

One of the obvious reasons why Kigali is among the cleanest Cities in Africa is probably because Plastic bags were abolished in the country and surprisingly, you can be arrested if found littering rubbish on the street. This is strange for a Ugandan because in this country, even a smartly dressed man or woman will not be ashamed to throw rubbish on the streets and no one cares. Besides that, everyone including the President of Rwanda participates during the “cleaning days” of the City known as Umuganda. This culture is said to be contained in the traditional practice of Communal cleanliness.

Golden monkeys can also be tracked

Besides Mountain gorillas, golden monkeys can be tracked within Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and this also takes places within Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The country suffered a genocide and has now recovered

The year 1994 was the most painful time for the people of Rwanda because over 800,000 people especially the Tutsi were killed and more than 2 million became refugees to the neighboring countries of Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda is a land of a thousand Hills

Oh yes, Rwanda is the land of a thousand Hills, thus offering one of the most picturesque views you can ever find during an African safari. Not only that, this country has been known as the Switzerland of Africa, due to the numerous Hills and the cool climate.

Did you know that Rwanda is the only place with majority female parliamentarians?

Strange as it sounds, the country is the first place in the World with majority of female Politicians and mainly female-run institutions. It was actually ranked by the UN as the highest country in the World with most women in Parliament as of January 2017. There are currently 59 women in the 106-seat of Parliament (representing more than half).

4 Reasons Why You Should Track Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Mountain gorillas are found within only three African countries that include Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With about 880 of these Giant Apes left in the whole World, Uganda is a home to over 440 (about 400 in Bwindi Impenetrable and around 40 in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park) hence it would be a dream come true to meet face to face to one of the World’s most treasured wildlife.

With three options (choices), you are probably wondering which of the three countries would offer the most unforgettable gorilla safari experience and I recommend Uganda but these are the most interesting reasons why you can’t afford to miss tracking mountain gorillas from Uganda;

1. The country is safe for all tourists

Anyone who has ever been to Uganda will concur that she is one of the safest and secure countries in the African continent and the people are very friendly and welcoming to visitors.  If you compare the three destinations where gorilla trekking is conducted, Rwanda and Uganda are the safest while the Democratic Republic of Congo is often avoided due to the rebel insurgencies within the Eastern side of the country but the next reason is why you would rather track gorillas from the Pearl of Africa (Uganda).

2. Gorilla trekking is cheaper

If you compare Uganda and Rwanda, you should definitely choose the former because price of gorilla permits cost about $600 per person for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and Shs 250,000 for East African Community Residents compared to the latter that charges an exorbitant $1500 per person for all categories of tourists.  Much as the Democratic Republic of Congo offers permits at only $400 (cheaper than the two countries), but because of the ongoing instability in the Eastern side of the country, it is often avoided by tourists.

3. You can also enjoy the exhilarating Gorilla Habituation Experience

Uganda is the only destination is the whole World that offers the interesting Gorilla Habituation Experience where tourists are allowed to spend four hours with the Mountain gorillas instead of the usual one hour spent during normal gorilla trekking.  This adventure is conducted within two sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that include Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors and permits costs only $1500 per person. Gorilla Habituation is when these primates get used to the presence of humans.

4. The country offers shelter to the highest population of these Giant Apes

It is a clear fact that Uganda offers shelter to the highest number of mountain gorillas with more than half calling Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks home. There are over 400 (11 habituated gorilla families) and 40 (and one habituated group) found within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park respectively of the total 880 of these Giant Apes left in the World, hence 96 permits are sold in Uganda per day (based on the maximum number of 8 persons allows to visit a gorilla family).

Habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include Mishaya, Bweza, Nkuringo, Kahungye, Busingye, Nshongi, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura while only the Nyakagyezi group is found within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Therefore, Uganda is the best destination for gorilla trekking safaris because it has the highest population of mountain gorillas, the adventure is cheaper, the destination is safe for gorilla trekking and is the only country that offers the exciting Gorilla Habituation Experience.

Factor To Consider Before Renting A Car In Uganda

Renting A Car In Uganda

Are you looking for the most comfortable and excellent car to rent for safari travel or business in Uganda? For the excellent and comfortable car rentals in Uganda, the perfect way to save money is for you compare the costs of vehicles online and not only the rates displayed on the websites since costs can changed at any time based on the economic conditions and the personal needs. There are some of the things you have to know prior renting a car in Uganda. Ranging from the size of the car, the number of people you are going to travel with, costs, special discounts, company status to a required driver documents and extra rates included.

The size and the kind of the car matters

Many car hiring agencies in Uganda offer different charges depending on the size of the car someone requires to rent. The size of the vehicle is determined by the number of people it can carry, seating capacity and car model type. Select a car based on the number of people you are most likely to travel with, big cars especially the minibuses and minivans can carry from 15 to 50 people while the small vehicles such as the sedans can accommodate a maximum of five passengers and they all offer varied costs.

Valid driving permit or license

This is another useful factor for you to put mind while planning to rent a vehicle in Uganda. All car hire agencies in the country prior offering you their vehicle, the first thing they will require is your valid driving permit and they remain with a photocopy of your permit and passport photo and it is also advisable that you obey the traffic laws and be patient while driving on road.

Special discounts

Prior hiring a car in Uganda, you should consider discount offers, most agencies in the country provide special discount to clients in varied days, seasons and the depending on the size of the group. We provide special discounts to visitors provided that you book a car for many days say five and more. This also includes group travelers say two or more vehicles at the same time. For visitors who are interested in weekend getaway, they can request for their discounts in weekend vehicles on hire.

The number of people and size of luggage to be carried along

This also impacts on the cost of vehicle to be hired in that if you are traveling personally or as a couple, you simply require four door passenger car like the Toyota Rav4, Premio or any other economical vehicle to save money on the cost of fuel and even those small cars are provided at low cost. In case you are traveling in a group say a family and carrying huge luggage, you will require a big car especially minibus that can carry many people and luggage even at times you require an additional car to carry your property.

Destination where you need to visit

This also features among important factors to be considered before renting a car in Uganda for instance you are drive just around the city centre its better you get a simple vehicle like Rav4 but when you are going to travel in the rural areas to discover Uganda’s magnificent national parks, it is advisable that you rent a four by four safari vehicle since most road networks are in poor state and this can easily make you get stuck especially when you use a small car.

Car hire company status

Prior planning to rent a vehicle from a given car hire company, first carry out adequate research on which company you desire to work with as you may encounter several companies online and some of them may not be genuine. Prior putting any commitment fee to any agency first make sure that the company is dully registered, reliable and they offer pocket friendly prices.

Ask about the hidden charges

Prior deciding which car to rent from any company, first inquire more about the cost and hidden charges to avoid disappointments at last time. You need to discuss more on the fuel charges if it is included on the cost most car companies provide rates without fuel and driver so it is better to talk about it prior hiring a vehicle. As well, many agencies charge additional income if you return the car beyond the agreed time. Other charges may apply to GPS device, camping bags, travel map and many more.

Go through customer testimonies online

While hiring a car for a safari, you will encounter several options especially as you surf via the internet which may lead to more confusion while selecting the company to hire the car. To make the best option, you will require to go through car hire service testimonies from the past clients and you can easily find these on the website, Google reviews, social media like face book or check on the trip advisor. This will guide as different clients give their views depending on their previous experiences especially concerning car hire, drivers or full road trip experience and this can help you get out of doubts and worries on whom to book the vehicle with.

In conclusion, there are many factors for you to consider prior hiring a car for a safari in Uganda. The above factors offer you guidance on what to do or not to do to find that comfortable car that fits within your budget and desires. Other factors include safety precautions and reservation responsiveness. For more information, contact us and we shall be there to help you.

Things to Avoid When Renting a Car in Uganda

Renting a car has become a common part of travel experience you would think of. However it’s never an easy task to opt for. Do I need to buy for additional fuel? Pay for insurance, what about refueling the car. I hear horror stories about phony damages; no one is around to inspect the car. Okay can I drive in a foreign country, do they offer me a chauffeur. All these questions come into the minds of travelers intending to rent cars in Uganda. Among your options there are some things you need to avoid;

Prepaying for gasoline

Prepaid gasoline charges appeal to our desire for the Simplicity of travelling and concerns being late to the airport. Rental cars have come with options of refueling their cars unless you are completely sure that you will return the empty car, you can refuel it at your own expense making it more costly to the rental charges

Avoid returning the vehicle at the delayed time

Most companies in Uganda have ignored the extra hours they give before expiration of the agreed period, terms and conditions in line with the programmed tour. Companies like Auto rental Uganda, Car Rental Uganda, Rent  a Car Uganda have designed fares for the extra hours you spend with their fleet. Always read the terms and conditions of your chosen car rental on the return date. In most cases a penalty will be charged on top of your fully paid charges for hiring the car. Changed programs may cause this, un expected mechanical problem which should be communicated to the rental agency. Serious observation of the terms and conditions must be taken note of.

Avoid paying for extra costs

Make sure you check the auto agency’s insurance policy whether it covers you when you rent the car. The biggest extra costs are collision of the car you hired .So avoid to pay for extra costs in case the car got  head collision with another car yet it’s the company’s insurance policy Make sure that you follow your itinerary in order to avoid unnecessary costs on your trip to Uganda. Doing all these will help you to save some of your money and have beautiful luxurious trip that you will live long to talk.

Avoid taking the car before thoroughly inspection.

Examine the car of your choice both the exterior  and interior view still at the rental desk to avoid paying the damage that was already  in existence  Rental cars always advise their clients to full inspect the car they hire in case of any mechanical happened to them while on their trip. Things like the hand brake, wipers, horn, tyres, head lights, indicators, battery, check belts, brake fluids, hydraulic, oil level and the radiators

Avoid returning the vehicle when its fuel tank is empty.

Always   take clear observation of the nearby fuel stations as you are set for trip. Since most roads in Uganda are unsurfaced especially heading to the game reserves, make sure that you carry with you an extra fuel container like a jerry can in case  you got up with fuel shortages. Lastly terms and conditions should be taken in mind regarding to   your contract. Smoking in a non-smoking car, driving while drunk which violates Ugandan traffic rules. The car hired should be taken as if it is yours, keeping it clean, parking in safe areas and never allow un authorized person to  operate your car keeping in mind to lock the car properly when you moved out of it