Road Trips in Rwanda
Self Drive Road Trips in Rwanda, Everything you need to know
Wondering the basics of Self drive road trips in Rwanda? Well you are here. Read on… Rwanda is a landlocked East African country with a green, mountainous landscape dubbed a land of thousand hills. Its renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses 4,507m-tall Mt. Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes. In the southwest is Nyungwe National Park, with ancient montane rainforest that’s a habitat for chimpanzees and other primates. The beautiful scenry and landscape in Rwanda defiens its justification for self drive road trips by travellers who opt to visit and explore the country.
Planning for perfect road trips in Rwanda
Get the basics, and everything you need to know for a perfect road trip
Briefly, Do you about Rwanda?
Several years later after 1994 genocide that left close to one million Rwandans, the city and streets of Rwanda’s major capital, Kigali look very clean and organized that you can hardly tell that 25 years ago, a terrible tragedy befell the country. Declared as the cleanest city in the whole of African continent, Kigali is a well-organized, safe, and attractive city to visit and dwell in. As one of the fastest growing countries in Africa, Rwanda is a safe haven for self drive road trips with its supportive environment and stunning landscape. Rwanda also has a strong and well developed infrastructure system compared to many of its neighbors, with paved roads throughout the capital and even some larger paved roads running across the country, which makes Rwanda an excellent country to explore by car on a self drive road trip.
Choosing a perfect car for self drive road trips
When opting for a road trip in Rwanda, it is a very important to know that much as there are many well developed and paved roads throughout the country, you will as well encounter some rough and rugged paths in the outskirts of the skits. Therefore, you need to make a wise choice when selecting the perfect car that will navigate through both smoothly paved and rugged roads. At one point or another, Africa Holiday Safaris recommends that you hire a sturdy 4×4 vehicle which may include a Rav 4, Customized Land Cruiser or a Mitsubishi Pajero to get you safely through all your adventures.
The Dos and Don’ts of Self Drive Road Trips in Rwanda
Get the driving tips here!!
If you are planning a road trip to Rwanda, We recommend that you take time and read though the selected Do’s and Don’ts to guide you as you explore the spectacular mountain gorillas, stunning scenery, remarkable wildlife species as well as a thousand misty hills that this country popularly credited for in the world.
1. DO NOT drive when you are exhausted:
This might sound like an obvious thing but it is one of the serious driving experiences that you to avoid while on your self drive safaris to Rwanda. Many have been culprits of road accidents not because they wished to experience such bad travel experiences. In most cases, we may feel like sleeping or resting, please at this point of time, we advise our clients to always make stop and pack by the road side and then have some bit of rest and where possible, delegate a friend or colleague whom you traveling to take over provided he has driving permit. Also before you go for a trip, make sure that you have adequate sleep at night to avoid over dozing while driving.
2. Carry some food with you, Do not starve:
Make sure that you get yourself some food, driving on empty stomach may cause you problems which can cause a bit of disturbance on road. You can only drive on an empty stomach if you know that you almost reaching to your favorite restaurant.
3. Do not drink and drive:
A self drive trip can be can be exciting and you might be attempted to get some tough alcoholic drink, please never risk drinking while you are driving in Rwanda. This rule has become like a song in the ears of many drivers. For smart travelers, they won’t drink and drive because they do not want to risk their lives.
4. Understand the traffic rules of the country:
Driving laws differ from country to country, that is why before you take on your ride, it is better for you to first get to know and understand fully the laws of that country. Remember to ask the company or an agency that you hired the car for your safari to give you some pamphlets that will explain to you the driving laws, read and understand them better.
5. Understand the car that you are to use:
In case you have hired or borrowed a car for a safari, it is better that you get to know the type of the car that you are going to use in destination like Rwanda. In most cases, people have been seen stuck in the middle of the jam, avoid being a culprit of this kind in Rwanda. Check every thing including the air conditioning controls, radio program settings, the mirrors, location of emergency controls and others.
6. Know when to take breaks:
Don’t feel like you are a superman even robots take a rest that is why you also need to take some breaks after that hectic and a long distant drive. You need to be physically and mentally fine while driving to long distant areas. Remember that the longer you drive without resting, the more you encounter much fatigue. At least 30 to 1 hour’s time, you can have a break.
7. Prefer to take turns when travelling as group:
For those who will be driving for long hours or even days, it is better that you keep alternating amongst yourselves. This is better way of experiencing the break and permits you to get into the destination safely and fast enough than allowing only one person to drive for a long distant areas. Switching on another person to drive can help your eyes also get some rest for the next drive. Through this you would have had the most remarkable safari experience in the land of a thousand hills.
8. Inspect the car before taking it for a road trip:
Imagine you are in the middle of the jam and the car breaks down, how it can be a disgusting experience. Thoroughly, inspect the car and ensure that there is no risk of mechanical problem while you are on trip to destination of your choice. The same car might have been used the previous day and there is possibility of it experiencing mechanical condition that needs to be rectified before you also use it.
9. Drive as slow as possible in case of bad weather roads:
Most roads in Africa may not be of the same standard with those in your country of origin that is why you need to be keen on the nature of roads in Rwanda although the government has tried to improve some of them, this doesn’t guarantee you a 100%. Don’t be on a hurry and start feeling like flying so as to “reach” fast, take your time and be mindful about the weather. When it rains definitely things can change for the case of murram roads where national parks are located and you will really need to slow down. The roads can really be muddy and slippery unlike the dry season when the roads are a bit dry to drive on even if they have potholes.
10. Do Not use your mobile phone while driving:
Many times we get tempted to text our friends or family members when driving not knowing the risk behind it. Because of that excitement around you as you drive, then you start texting with aim of becoming famous around your group mates and at end you end up in a trench! Avoid things that take up your mind and concentrate on your road trip! You ought to be patient enough till that time when you arrive at a destination then you can start texting freely.
11. Mind about other travelers on the road:
Rwanda roads may not be as wide as the ones in your country of origin and there you are driving in narrow roads with many pedestrians, cyclists, business people, cattle or goat keepers on the same route. Paying attention to your surrounding is necessary at this point of your safari not only in Rwanda but also any other destination of your choice.
The Roads in Rwanda, can be busy, It is quite advisable to mind about other road users
12. Put on the seat-belt:
This is very simple, as soon as you get on the car seat just pull the belts and pass them across and you will be good to go. Usually many drivers and passengers tend to pay a deaf ear on this and yet it is so useful. Remember that it is hard to control the way other people drive on road that is why you need to be well prepared and equipped at all times. Wearing a seat belt doesn’t kill people but it may help you save life.