Thinking of a safari to Rwanda or Uganda? There are a lot of things you should expect from these two countries and below are just some of them.
What it is like to visit Uganda?
Full of adventure and ecstasy. All ways, there is always something new to see at each and every turn. Roads are different. There are good tarmacked roads in cities and dirty tracks within national parks, villages and most remote areas – if you suffer from travel sickness or a bad back, we suggest you fly.
If driving, you have to prepare yourself for some long travel times; four to six hours in some cases. However, the scenery is stunning and you will travel through lush green tea plantations, beautiful valleys and past lots of lakes. Your driver/guide will often stop for rest breaks and photo opportunities. If you wish to fly, there are very safe scheduled and charter flights to help you achieve this.
Surprisingly easy. There is a very good network of tarmac roads to all major parks. The road from Kigali to the Virunga Mountains is particularly good although this is used by a lot of traffic and is also built around many of the winding hills leading up to the park, so whilst it can be slow moving, the views are spectacular.
The roads elsewhere are also very good and given that Rwanda itself is a very small country, most destinations can be reached in a day. There is a good selection of flight options around the country, from scheduled flights, to private helicopter transfers to some of the lodges and parks. Choices are dependent on budget and time.
The one good thing about travelling around Rwanda is that once you leave the larger towns and cities, you will pass through the most beautiful countryside and traditional villages – plenty of photo stops and welcoming villages. Again, we only ever use good quality 4×4 vehicles for road transfers or regulated internal flights with registered airlines or private aviation companies for those who wish to fly.
What else is there to do apart from gorilla trekking in Rwanda?
A lot! Those with more time should head off and explore what is a beautiful country. In the east, you have Akagera National Park, a stunning combination of lakes and savannah grasslands, where you find big game and superb birding, as you would expect from a park that borders Tanzania. Game drives and walks along with boat safaris and some fishing can be done here.
Head south, past vibrant green tea plantations and you can enjoy some chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest. This park has a huge diversity of wildlife, so in addition to the chimpanzees, you can see up to 13 other primate species (25% of Africa’s total), including L’Hoest’s monkey, golden and silver monkeys, mangabeys, incredible birdlife and strangely, lots of chameleons.
Here, there are a handful of good hotels where you can sit and relax on sandy beaches on the shores of the lake itself to unwind for a few days. The drive to Gisenyi and Lake Kivu is spectacular, winding its way past volcanoes, tea plantations and rice paddies.
Finally, you should try and spend a few days in Kigali and whilst a visit to the moving Genocide Memorial is worth considering, there is a vibrancy and energy in many of the cities markets and a thriving arts and music scene, with regular