An Exciting Rwanda Self Drive Itinerary For First Time Visitors

Planning to self drive Rwanda this season? Good idea. The famed Land of A thousand Hills is one of the top African safari destinations blessed with numerous tourist attractions that include culture, historic sites, wildlife, nature and of-course the beautiful landscapes and water bodies. Rwanda revived from the Genocide to become a popular destination for tourists who love to get a chance to encounter the mountain gorillas and also learn about the chaotic genocide history.

If you really want to get soaked into Rwanda’s attractions, then you should ditch the pre-booked guided tours and hire a car to self drive Rwanda alone, as a couple, friends or family. Driving yourself is much cheaper than traveling with a hired driver guide and also offers you all the privacy you need and flexibility to do things at your own pace hence adding spice to your adventure road trip in Rwanda. All you need a valid International Driver License, a GPS or Google maps app and a passion for exploring and you are good to go

Planning to visit Rwanda for the first time and would love to drive yourself around the city, parks & other popular destinations, we at Rwanda Car Rental Services proudly present to you a 7 destination self drive itinerary that will give you the best experience in Rwanda.

Kigali City – The capital and busiest destination in Rwanda always acts as a base for exploring other destinations in Rwanda. It doesn’t have any natural attractions but is home to numerous genocide memorial sites that tell tales of the horrific genocide events that shook Rwanda is the early 90’s. You can also visit the Caplaki craft market for some souvenirs and also go shopping at the malls before you head out of the city.

Nyungwe forest – Depart Kigali city and head south to Nyungwe forest; one of the oldest and largest rain forests in Africa home to various primate species most notably the Chimpanzees. Other attractions in the park include 275 bird species, 13 monkey species, 100 orchid species plus unique flora species. Canopy walks and Zip lining top the list of things to do when you tour Nyungwe forest. A road trip from Kigali to Nyungwe forest lasts about 5 hours using the RN1 & RN6 routes.

Lake Kivu– Continue your Rwanda self drive adventure with a visit to Lake Kivu, Rwanda’s largest freshwater lake. This is the best place to relax and enjoy views of the lake and islands. Kibuye & Gisenyi are the two shoreside towns where you can find accommodation plus some of the best bars, restaurants and beaches where you can get a chance to swim and have fun. Top activities to try out include a boat ride to Napoleon’s islands, Pfunda tea estate tour plus the Congo nile trail tour by bicycle or walking. Lake Kivu is situated 46 km north of Nyungwe forest and getting there will take about 3 to 4 hours drive.

lake kivu islands

Volcanoes National park – Continue your road trip north heading to Parc Nationale Des Volcans; the most popular of the Virunga range parks and Africa’s oldest national park established as early as 1925 by the Belgian rulers. The park’s star attraction is the mountain gorillas that inhabit the lowlands of the Virunga ranges and since gorilla trekking is the country’s number one tourist export, Volcanoes park has become Rwanda’s most visited destination over the years. Other activities to do include visiting the Dian Fossey graves, the Karisoke research center, bird watching, community visits plus hiking one or two of the 8 Virunga ranges.

Mount Kabuye – Situated just a 1 and half hours drive from Volcanoes park is the magnificent Mount Kabuye, a 2700 meter high standing mountain that offers affordable and exciting 7 to 8 hours hiking adventure. If you didn’t get enough of hikes in the previous destination, then you can try out Kabuye mount where you will pass through small local villages and beautiful views of the lake and ranges.

Akagera national park – Continue to self drive Rwanda with a trip to the country’s best wildlife park. The road trip will last about 4 and a half hours. Akagera is home to over 8000 mammals and up to 482 bird species which can be spotted on a guided or self drive game tour. The park offers camping, budget and luxury accommodation ensuring all types of travelers get a chance to experience the unique wildlife and nature of this savanah park.

Drive back to Kigali ending your exciting Rwanda self drive road trip, you can decide to go shopping or just head straight for the airport for departure.

If you planning to do a self drive trip in Rwanda , then you can rent a car online today by sending an email to info@rwandacarrentalservices.com or call us now on +256-700135510 to speak with the reservations team.

By Bryan Hulk

self drive road trip
Top 8 Exciting Things To Do On A Rwanda Vacation
self drive road trip

Dubbed the Land of a Thousand hills, Rwanda is one of the most visited destinations in East Africa popularly known for its chaotic past, strong culture and of course the Virunga ranges which are home to the rare mountain gorilla. The majority of tourists in Rwanda always look forward to tracking gorillas and hiking the mountains, but there is more to Rwanda than just that. You can experience the wild, relive the history and learn about the culture all in one trip.

We at Rwanda Car Rental services have been organizing guided Rwanda safaris and city excursions for years and with the help of our savvy travelers and reservation experts, we present to you some of most exciting things to do on a vacation holiday in Rwanda.

Visit Kigali Genocide Memorials

This is a memorial center where about 250,000 people were buried in a massive grave after the horrific 1994 Genocide war between the majority Tutsi and minority Hutus people. The memorial Centre exhibits an imaginary picture that tries to explain how the deadly genocide was. Other genocide memorials include; Nyamata Genocide Memorials. Apparently, the Kigali Genocide Memorials has become of the top tourist attraction in Rwanda that you should not miss on your Rwanda safari bucket list.

Go Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is the number one reason why there is an increased number of visitors to Rwanda. The country prides in offering exclusive wild gorilla safaris in Volcanoes national park. The park is situated on the border of Uganda and DR-Congo and it famous for hosting the Mountain gorillas. However, there is a diverse range of attractions in the park which impress a lot of tourists that visit the park such as; Golden monkey trekking, Hiking, birding among others. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park gives you a chance to explore the park and spend one hour of the gorillas while taking photos and learning more about their behavioral patterns of life in their natural habitat.

Track chimpanzees

Chimpanzee tracking experience in Rwanda is done in Nyungwe Forest national park which is one of the great conservation areas that is rich in biodiversity. It is home to the biggest number of habituated chimpanzees that offer a remarkable safari experience. Many tourists that visit Nyungwe forest national park do combine their chimpanzee safari with other interesting activities in the park such as; Canopy walk that gives you a chance to explore the park and enjoy birding as well as sighting other exciting wildlife with in the park.

Enjoy Game Drives In Akagera

The park is famous for its amazing landscape that ranges from the mesmerizing lakes, wetlands and the sweeping Savannah Plains. This is blessed with an impressive number of wildlife including the Africans big fives such as; the Rhinos, Lions, leopard, elephants, buffaloes among other animals like the huge number of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, hippos among others. A game drive on the Akagera safari adventure is the perfect chance to view the wildlife and nature with morning the best time to hit the tracks if you stand an y chance of seeing early risers and night hunters going back to rest.

Grab a chance to enjoy an exceptional game drive on your own which gives you an insight to explore the sweeping savannah plains, lakes and wetlands on your own.

Visit the Ethnographic Museum

Rwanda is one of the great destinations in Africa that has the best collection of archeological and ethnological artifacts. On this note, an Ethnographic museum was established by the Belgium government and gifted to the Kigali City. This attracted a number of tourists that come to make research and learn more about Ethnography. Upon exploring these museums, you can buy some souvenir gifts for your loved ones. A visit to the museum reminds you about the precolonial Rwanda and you will be impressed with a wide collections of art pieces like the musical drums, traditional garments, spears and bows, Woven baskets among others. This Ethnological museum is situated about 130 kilometers south of Kigali city thus it can be explored on a self drive Kigali city Tour. 

Lake Kivu

Lake kivu is a wonderful place for relaxation after your outdoor adventure safari in the amazing parks of Rwanda. The lake features a serene environment and it is surrounded by a rim of green oasis, eye catching misty mountains. Lake Kivu is the largest lake in Rwanda. A tour to the lake gives you a chance to explore Rubavu Resort Town that is adjacent to the lake in the north. While here, delight in the sunset Kayak tour which offers you a chance to interact with singing fishermen. You can as well enjoy paddling adventures that gives you an extraordinary experience in Rwanda.

Kigali city

A lot of travelers that visit Rwanda love to spend at a night in Kigali city before they proceed to their next safari destinations in Rwanda. The city is surrounded with a wide range of impressive tourist’s attraction worthy to explore on an African trip. While on a Kigali City Tour, get an opportunity to enjoy the vibrant culture, explore Kimironko market which is the largest marketplace in in Kigali. Other places to explore while in the Kigali city include; the Inema art center, Presidential Palace home to the Rwanda Art Museum, Hotel Des Mille Collins that offers best scenic views to the Rwanda city long with your favorite local or international dish.

So incase you plan on visiting Rwanda this season, dont forget to add the above activities on your Rwanda safari itinerary for that full wildlife, culture and historic experience. In case you would love to rent a car in Rwanda or book a safari package, simply send us an email to info@rwandacarrentalservices.com or call us on +256-700135510, +256414699459 to speak with our team,

Top 10 Strict Traffic Laws & Signs to follow when on Self drive In Rwanda

Traffics signs are symbols set up aside of the road giving information and instructions to all road users. While driving in Rwanda, you are required to maintain the right-hand side whilst other East African countries you keep left. Traffic laws and sighs are provided to ensure safety on the road. If you prefer self drive in Rwanda over being driven by a professional, you need to observe all road sighs to avoid getting behind the wrong side of the Rwanda traffic.

Rwanda Car Rental Services presents to you some of the top Rwanda traffic signs to follow when on self drive road trip

Stop sign

This symbol demands all drivers to first stop driving and observe clearly that there are no vehicles coming and then proceed driving into the main road. You can find these at the junctions of most of the main road networks in the country.

Speed Limit Sigh

The traffic sigh is designed to regulate the speed at which vehicles are required to move especially on a particular point of the road. Maximum speed limit differs from different regions depending on where are driving from and they are always set per hour to all road networks. They have been set by the regional and national traffic police officers in Rwanda and they critically followed.

Yield signs

This is also known as a give-away sign. This commends the driver to slow down or first stop to allow other vehicles to pass. In Rwanda, you meet the yield signs at the roundabouts or close to the junctions. Once you see this sign you must obey and yield to the right way to the car and done enter the road until you understood it is safe.

Traffic Lights

Just like any other country traffic lights in Rwanda have been designed in three different colors such as green yellow and Red. The Red lights sigh command drivers to stop, the Amber yellow lights warn you to get ready and the green lights sigh allows you to go or continue with your movement as directed.

No Parking

This restricts drivers from parking in a given space apart from picking a passenger or dropping goods. However, this has to be done in less than 5 minutes. Incase you fail to obey to this symbol; you can be given a fine or even be knocked by other vehicles.

No overtaking

This is a warning given to the drivers instructing them not to over take since it can be dangerous at that time and cause accidents. You will find these road sighs in hilly areas and bends. The no overtaking signage come to an end when turn to a broken white line emerging from the white line continuation. This can be a serious crime on Rwanda road incase you fail to submit to this sigh.

Zebra crossing

Just the word goes, sign looks exactly like the skin of a zebra featuring the black and white stripes drawn on the road. This is designed for drivers to respect pedestrians crossing the road. It commands you to stop and let them cross before you proceed with the journey.

No U-turn signs

The symbol looks like a curved arrow as well as bold prohibition sigh cutting over it. It communicates that the driver can never change direction from this particular place. We advise all drivers to take note of this because to do so can result in accidents and loss of life.

Men at Work signs.

These are warning communications on particular roads used to alert drivers about the temporary road works happening on the road ahead. These symbols have a bright color for easy identity compared to other road signs. It is important to note that sometimes the roads may be diverted or narrowed.

Emergency vehicle warning sighs

It is unfortunately that this sigh is rarely seen but it is a cruel warning so as you can drive carefully. This symbol communicates emergency situation on the road such as fire stations, when emergency cars are entering the Road therefore whenever you encounter this symbol be careful, alert and obey to save your life. It is advisable to continue moving only when you are sure there are no other cars coming because you may cause an accident.

With the above guide, rent a driver with us and grab an opportunity to travel safely while exploring the eye-catching beauty of Rwanda. For further inquiries, feel free to contact our safari experts by sending an email on info@rwandacarrentalservices.com or you can call us directly on +256-414699459 or +256-700135510 to speak to the reservations team.

Top 5 Means of getting around Rwanda

Rwanda is popularly referred to as the “Land of a thousand hills” due the nature of her landscape appearance featuring many endless hills and mountains. Despite the small size of Rwanda, she is blessed a wide range of enchanting tourists’ attractions including the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park. A safari to Rwanda gives you an opportunity to explore its wonderful national parks, the Kigali city, experience the rich fascinating culture and historical facts among other attractions. One can get around Rwanda either using public or private means. In this article below we are more than glad to present you the top 5 means of getting around Rwanda;

Air

Upon arrival in Rwanda, feel to jump on a chartered flight to take you around the country. There are many helicopter flights connecting from Kigali international airport to other destinations in the country. You either use Rwanda air or Akagera aviation.

Car Hire

This gives you a chance to enjoy a private tour while in Rwanda. You can hire a car in Rwanda for self drive or with a driver from any trustworthy car rental agency. There many car rental companies in Rwanda like Rwanda Car Rental services, these provide a wide range of 4×4 safari vehicles that can be ideal for road trip adventure in Rwanda. Some of the safari vehicle have open rooftop thus giving you a perfect sighting experience as you get around the country

Coach buses and Taxis

There are both private and public companies offering long distance travel by bus or taxi. These connect to major cities e. g from Kigali span to Gatuna, Rusizi, Huye, Rusumo and Rubavu among other routes. While in Kigali city search Nyabogogo bus terminal that has numerous offices for bus companies with specified departure schedules as well as route information displayed.

Biking

Cycling is one of the best ways to get around fascinating places in Rwanda. There are many cycle lanes coming up suddenly with in Kigali City plus other major towns. Cycle touring has become a popular activity included on Rwanda safari holiday highlights. When you book a tour with us, feel free to inform our travel expert in case you are interested in enjoying a day or multiday bike tour.  

Are you a family or group travelers planning a trip to Rwanda? Don’t hesitate to contact Mumwe Global safaris one of the best leading companies that prides in providing astounding car rental services. Our services range from airport transfers, safaris, wedding car hire among others. In case you need a car to take you around Rwanda, simply send us an email on  info@rwandacarrentalservices.com or call the helpline on +256 700135510 to speak to the reservations personnel.

Top 8 Outdoor Activities to do while on Rwanda tour

From the beautiful endless hills all around the country, Rwanda is well known as “The Land of a thousand hills” (Le Pays des Mille Collines). It is one of the most delightful countries in Africa with stunning landscape, warm weather and friendly Rwandese people. The majestic Virunga volcanoes in the northwest with bamboo forests that are keeping some of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas, the extensive tracts of Nyungwe forest which is home to our cousins- the chimpanzees and the varying scenery in the west- the shores of Lake Kivu with stunning beaches perfect for e relaxation, this small landlocked country has it all. Although Rwanda is mostly known for its luxury gorilla trekking tours, alot more activities in its different destinations will make your visit memorable. They include chimp tracking, game drives, boat cruises and city tours among others. To enjoy the best of Rwanda, get your travel bag well packed and go enjoy these top outdoor activities when on safari in Rwanda this 2021 season.

Trek mountain gorillas

Most tourists who travel Rwanda do not miss to explore the bamboo forest on the Virunga volcanoes in search of the endagered mountain gorillas. This acitivity is one of the best out door actvities that Rwanda offers and it is a highlight for many who visit the country. The thrilling experince of gorilla trekking takes plcae in Volcanoes national park which is located about 104km from Kigali International airport. As you look out for the giant apes around this jungle, a golden monkey could cross your sight and make the trek extraordinary.

Safari game drive

Rwanda’s only savannah park, Akagera National park boasts impressive numbers of wildlife including hippos, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, lions and many others. You can hire a car and go for a self drive or guided tour and explore this beautiful savannah nature reserve. With a 4X4 wheel car, be sure to have the best of this out door activity around Akagera national park as it enables perfect wildlife viewing and accessing farer locations off the beaten path. 

The congo Nile trail

An exciting exploration of the western side of Rwanda is engaging in the different activities of the Congo Nile trail. The 227km trail is located along Lake Kivu extending through Rutsiro, Karongi, Nyamasheke to Rusizi district. If you are a lover adventure, this is something not to miss on your Rwanda expedition; it offers a chance to bike, hike and kayak. The trail takes us through lush green tea and banana plantations plus small towns alongside offering breathtaking views of the region.

Track the chimps of Nyungwe

As mountain gorillas have become more sought after than any other thing in Africa, our closest relatives the chimps; so playful and captivating to watch are as well amazing. They are one of the most interesting animals you ought to meet on this planet and Rwanda gives you a great opportunity to see them in Nyungwe Forest national park. Treks start in the morning taking us througn the canopies of the ancient forest until we can spot a troop of the chimps. Make sure you pack strong hiking boots to take you through the dense forest.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi

The conical Virunga volcanoes located at the border of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC comprise of 8 ranges and Mount Karisimbi is the tallest. Standing at 4,507m above sea level, this mountain lies at the border of Rwanda and the DRC and can be hiked from Rwanda side. The two days trek on this volcano offers is an awesome experience with  a  night spent at the rustic cabins on the mountain. Getting to the peak offers stunning views of Rwanda and Congo. 

Walking above the Nyungwe forest canopy

The 160m long and 70m high bridge suspended over the lush montane Nyungwe rainforest is one of the things that offer unique experiences in Africa. The canopy walkway gives a thrilling perspective on the treetops. Nyungwe forest is home to 13 primate species and some of these are most likely to be sighted during the adevnture. As we walk from Uwinka Reception Centre to the startsing point of the walk way through the steep forested slopes, we can also see numerous butterflies and beautiful birds.

Kayaking Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is the largest lake in Rwanda and the major spot for water activities. Its shores are dotted by quite a number of beautiful towns and idyllic hotels. After enjoying several stunning views of the hilly Rwanda, taking a kayak trip on Lake Kivu provides more spectacular views of the surrounding. It also gives a chance to see how fishing is done  on the lake. 

Tea and coffee tours

There is a significant number of farmers in Rwanda involved in coffee and tea growing. Several tea factories are open for access to the public and this offers a chance to visitors to learn how tea is harvested and processed. Coffee tours are also done to help tourists learn the process of coffee throughout the year. The tours are primarily done around Gisenyi.

Are you planning to visit Rwanda and would like to have outdoor recreation on your tour? Above are the most popular and exciting outdoor activities for you. To book for any of these activities on your Rwanda safari, contact us today through info@rwandacarrentalservices.com or simply call the helpline on +256 700135510 to speak to the reservations personnel. 

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