Are you looking for the self drive holiday in East Africa? Uganda and Rwanda have much more to offer that you can enjoy during your own drive. My wife and I booked a self drive holiday in Uganda and Rwanda and we traveled with a very reliable services provider none other than 4×4 Car Hire Uganda and I want to thank Moses and his team for having arranged our driving route so professional and visiting most of the African wildlife and primates national parks. My wife Rachael Moore, started planning for this holiday in early September 2015, and she found this company mentioned above and exchanged a lot of emails with the very knowledgeable tour consultant “Moses” and for sure this guy is a real travel African expert, I and Rachael we wanted a very small SUV vehicle like a Rav4 4×4 but, he highly advised us to take a big car as we were going for long rental of 30 days and that, this is big enough for us and our suitcases and the camping items he provided. Smart enough he came out with a very competitive price for this vehicle and the camping gears at $ 79 USD per day without driver and fuel and we had to accept this offer!
After taking this competitive quote we arranged our gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda with his company and they were bought without any additional extra cost and with his professionalism, a scanned receipt of gorilla permits were sent to us and this again added much trust to this local company in Uganda. We paid the car rental fee during our arrival in Uganda, and as were remaining with few days to our trip we sent a notification reminder email to Moses trying to ask him about our trip and he sent a very elaborative email to us promising everything is prepared. On our arrival to the Entebbe International Airport, we found Moses himself waiting for us with the big placard reading our names and we easily identified him and shaking hands and were so very happy to see ourselves in Uganda the “Pearl of Africa”. Later we moved to the public parking yard where we found the jeep we reserved, blue in color with the open top up, we inspected it outside and the interior, we took recording photos of the state of the vehicle and after we drove with him to the African Gorilla Guest House in Entebbe and singed the paper work, we made the payment formalities and we received the gorilla permits we bought with Moses – though we seemed to be forgetting them he placed them on table and we were so much excited to have the pass only waiting when to met the gentle in the mist of Bwindi and Volcanoes.
After we started our trip with the visit to Kidepo Valley National Park and this is the longest drive that we had and from Entebbe/Kampala it is 2 days drive and this day we had to stop for an overnight stay in Kitgum at Fugly Guest House. Then the next day in the morning we left the town and relocated to Kidepo Valley National Park, the drive is 3-4 hours and by noon we were in the park and we camped at Kakaine Campsite. Then we experienced an evening photographic game drive looking for some of the African big five (Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards) and other wildlife like zebras, giraffes, warthogs among others, on this drive you will have scenic view of the undulating terrain of the north-eastern region. The following day was for another game drive in the morning looking for more wildlife species, after to the camp to prepare for our lunch, after lunch we visited some villages like Lorukul near the park and it is like these communities do not benefit from the park as we found their leaving unpleasing. Thanks to Moses and his company to come up with an idea of helping the locals leaving near the park through his non-organization body “E4P – Africa” which is focusing at educating these people in Lorukul Village about the benefit of conserving the parks tourism resources.
Then after from the Kidepo National Park, our next place of visit was the Murchison Falls National Park and this is the second Park to Kidepo, in terms of big area and the population of wildlife. From here our camp ground was the Fort Murchison Camp, and it is very nice to stay here with the clear view of Lake Albert water body, and from this place we failed to cook after finding their meals affordable and delicious. The following day we took early morning game drive and here we were in a convoy after meeting here more other 3 vehicles from the same company and all clients were praising the quality services of this company, and we were always following each other and lucky enough we managed to spot the early riser animals like lions and leopard at the Buligi track. Photo and video shooting was done and one client took a very good video coverage incorporating all the vehicles and him working with the “National Geographical” television he promised to publish this event and therefore be much observant to watch this expedition. Afternoon we relocated to the banks of River Nile with our packed lunch, and then we took the afternoon boat cruise along the shores of River Nile towards the bottom of River Nile.
Kibale Forest National Park, was the next place to visit as we were much waiting to see the chimpanzees in the jungle, we spent full day driving from Murchison to Kibale forest and this another long journey that we took but as we were having a very strong 4×4 WD land cruiser we reached in time and we had enough rest at Kibale Forest Camp in our own tents, as we wait for the great chimpanzee habituation and this experience gave us enough time to spend with the primates in the jungle understanding how they live, eat, pray, work, house and much more and I high recommend those with primate passionate to book chimpanzee habituation at $ 220 USD in Uganda at Kibale Forest National Park. Then after being filled with this experience we transferred to Bwindi Forest National Park via the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and we were lucky enough and we managed to spot the rare African tree climbing lions in the branches of fig trees and later we had our overnight stay at a very Eco safari camp the “Ishasha Jungle Lodge, camping ground” which is well situated at the shores of River Ntungwe and your stay at this camp you will love the romantic scenic nature in this area.
We had more early morning game drive and much more wildlife was spotted and later lunch and transferred to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and Nshongi Gorilla Camp offers a nice camping area with enough security for the vehicle and when you stay at this place you will have a clear view of the forest canopies and very excited to trek the mountain gorillas. Early in the morning after breakfast you will have to transfer the Rushaga park headquarters for the briefing about the primates and the habitant, very prepared to enter into the jungle to look for the great apes and the walk is a little bit strenuous and requires you to be fit and with the good walking shoe, hut, sun screen, insect repellent, rain gears, long sleeved trouser and shirt you fit to experience this unforgettable experience in Africa. Remember to trek the gorillas you enter the jungle with the park rangers who communicate with the park gorilla trackers who follows the movement of the gorillas in the mist, once you meet them you can take as many photos and videos as you can. Then relax down and eat your packed lunch and after return back to the park offices for your gorilla trekking certificate.
After this experience we crossed to Rwanda via the Cyanika border to Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and we had our second gorilla trekking and this park is so much lighter compared to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and for photographers you can have to visit and then you can have different images resolution and all the trek and so amazing! Then on our second last day we took en-route visit to the Lake Kivu and after feeling the cool breeze of the Lake we drove to Kigali and here we stayed at Rwanda Youth Hostel. Kigali city tour is an amazing route to do before you leave Kigali city and we enjoyed it visiting some of the Rwanda Genocide Memorials, Presidential Palace, local markets like “Nyabugogo” and some of the local art and crafts places like the “Caplaki” where you can shop some of the African art souvenirs’ to take home and then in the evening we met with Emma, part of the team that work with the genius tour consultant Moses, to handle over the car and camping gears, he then dropped us to the Kigali International Airport for our return flight back home and I want to say thanks to this company organizing our best African holiday and I high recommend them to anyone visiting Uganda or Rwanda still your Self Drive in Rwanda will be catered at with their great services!