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.

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

Here’s Why You Should Go to Bwindi Forest for Gorilla Trekking in 2018

Bwindi impenetrable forest has been a favorite park for many tourists to Africa especially those on gorilla safaris but today its one of top choice  for budget gorilla treks. The park offers an exciting mix of primate viewing, culture and community retreats an experience that is cherished for life. Are you planning to track mountain gorillas soon in Africa on budget? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is the only place to go gorilla trekking on budget and even save enough dollars for other tour adventure activities to come.

Besides in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, seeing mountain gorillas is a must with 99%chances in a single trek though one can track mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Congo. Also the park is home to the largest number of mountain gorillas living on the planet hence being the best destination for gorilla trekking in Africa. Here is what makes the park a top choice for all travelers seeking for affordable gorilla safaris  in Africa.

Cheap Gorilla Permits

All gorilla permits are discounted for three months every year to enable tight spenders to full fill their travel dream. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) sells gorilla permits at only $450 USD  during the months of April, May and November. This discount is valid until 2019 when the park management body is contemplating to revise its tariff rates. If you want to track gorillas on budget the time is now because no one knows what the future will bring. However, other months of the year gorilla permits in Bwindi Forest National Park cost $600 USD per trek still a lower price compared to one gorilla permit in Rwanda that go for $1500. You could book a private 3 Day gorilla trek at even less than $1000 in Uganda and even save a few dollars. The gorilla tour price goes more low if you travel with a friend or join a group tour offered by selected tour operators.

Book your gorilla permit with a tour operator in charge of organizing your tour and even get details on gorilla permit availability and more offers for those with a working permit and nationality.

Explore More During Your Tour

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a great place to see lots of things! The park is located close to other exciting attractions and destinations just in case you want to extend your tour to see wildlife or track chimps or relax at the beach.Just gather you trip interest and request your trip planner to come up with a breathing space tour program.

Transport and Accessibility

From Kampala Uganda’s Capital or Kigali Rwanda, its very easy to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by road in either a private safari vehicle or public transport unlike other gorilla tracking parks in the region.To use a private safari vehicle ,one must book a full package gorilla safari tour with a tour operator including transport, accommodation,meals and gorilla permits.However, if your budget is too tight,there are many public buses that leave Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable but still you need to book your backpacking gorilla tour with a tour agent who will ensure your safety to the gorilla park and back. Gorilla back packing tours are very cheap and affordable and you get the same experience just like those on budget private gorilla safari tours.

Same scenario applies to travelers who fly to Kigali but want to track gorillas in Uganda. Still your trip organizer will arrange safe transport to transfer you from Rwanda Kigali to  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where you will track gorillas.But ensure that your gorilla permit is reserved in time.Select a right tour company to organize your gorilla tracking tour.

Accommodation Facilities

Bwindi forest is a home of variety when it comes to accommodation facilities of all kinds and budget.Taking you back the park has four gorilla sector each with different accommodation facilities and habituated gorilla families. This gives tourists a chance to make a choice depending on the budget and preference than being locked in the corner of only particular lodges and campsites.With the various budget gorilla lodges in Bwindi National park,making a choice can be the problem but at least the lodge rates have helped to also see that sorted.However, reviews help a lot in making alodge or campsite choice, so  make it a point to read recent post about a particular lodge of interest on Trip Advisor or Safari Booking.

Would you like to learn more about the park? Check http://www.bwindiimpenetrablenationalpark.com