Advice to Get The Most Out of Your Self Drive Safari in Uganda and Rwanda

Self Drive in Rwanda and Uganda

Uganda and Rwanda are safari destinations well known for their incredible natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and diverse cultures. And, one of the best ways to experience all of these things is by embarking on a self-drive safari across the 2 destinations. Self-driving through Uganda and Rwanda is a truly immersive experience that allows you to explore the country on your own terms and at your own pace. However, to ensure that you get the most out of your self-drive safari in Uganda and Rwanda, there are several things that you need to keep in mind.

Plan Your Route

The first step to getting the most out of your self-drive safari in Rwanda and Uganda is to plan your route carefully. The two safari destinations have several national parks and game reserves, each offering a unique experience. Some of the popular national parks in Uganda include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, Nyungwe National Park for primates, birds, and others, Akgera National Park as well as many historical sites and genocide museums. Research these parks and decide which ones you want to visit and how much time you want to spend in each one. You also need to factor in travel time, as some parks are located far apart from each other.

Get the Right Vehicle

Your choice of vehicle will play a critical role in determining the success of your self-drive safari in East Africa. Uganda’s roads are often rough and unpredictable, and you will need a vehicle that can handle these conditions. Even in Rwanda, you need a 4×4 if you are to visit Akagera national park for a game drive. A 4×4 vehicle is highly recommended, as it can navigate through rough terrain and provide the necessary clearance to avoid getting stuck. It is also important to rent your vehicle from a reputable company that provides good insurance coverage, breakdown assistance, and a reliable GPS system.

Know the Rules

Before embarking on your self-drive safari, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governing driving in Uganda and Rwanda. You will need an international driving license to rent a vehicle, and it is also advisable to carry a copy of your passport, driver’s license, and rental agreement at all times. The two countries also have specific speed limits, and it is important to obey them to avoid getting fined. Additionally, always stay on designated roads and tracks and avoid driving off-road, as this is illegal and can cause significant damage to the environment.

Be Prepared

Uganda is known for its unpredictable weather, and it is important to be prepared for all eventualities. Carry enough water, food, and snacks, as you may not find restaurants or shops in some areas. You should also carry a first aid kit, insect repellent, sunscreen, and warm clothing, especially if you plan to visit high-altitude areas.

Respect Wildlife

Rwanda and Uganda are home to some of the most magnificent wildlife on the planet, and it is important to respect and protect them. Always maintain a safe distance from animals and never try to approach or feed them. If you encounter any animals on the road, slow down and give them enough space to cross safely. You should also avoid driving at night, as this can disturb nocturnal animals and increase the risk of accidents.

Engage with the Local Community

The two tourist destinations have rich cultural heritage, and engaging with the local community can provide a deeper understanding of the two countries and their people. Take time to interact with the locals, learn about their traditions, and try out their food. You can also visit local markets, attend cultural events, or even participate in community projects.

Hire a Tour Guide

While a self-drive safari can be a fantastic experience, it can be challenging to navigate through unfamiliar terrain and spot wildlife on your own. Hiring a local guide can significantly enhance your safari experience, as they have a wealth of knowledge about the local flora and fauna and can spot animals that you may miss. A tour guide can also offer invaluable insights into the local culture and history, making your safari more meaningful.