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Long Term Car Rental in East Africa

Go Camping in East Africa

Looking for budget long term car rental in East Africa? You have come to the right place. We offer well serviced rental cars to corporate organizations, Honey moon lovers, Private tourists, Family groups as well as car services for a long period of time ranging from 20 days, months to years. We offer huge discounts to clients wishing to rent a car in these countries for over 20 days to year ensuring we get you a well serviced, clean car along with a professional driver to ensure you and your cargo get where they are going safely and comfortably. Whether it’s a field operation, construction project, conference meetings or any other related business.

East Africa represents Africa’s beauty with a wide number of untamed wildlife reserves that attracts many tourists all over the world. In Uganda and Rwanda, we find the only world’s last remaining population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas, inhabited in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda), Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Mgahinga National park in Uganda. Among other areas of interest in Uganda. Kenya and Tanzania are famous for the wildebeest migration that attracts thousands of Visitors into Masai Mara National Park in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Book a very reliable car with Self-drive East Africa and explore all the hidden treasures of East Africa in a self-guided adventure.

Uganda is a relatively small country; it is a little destination that is often toured by road. With some sealed highways radiating from Kampala, the capital of Uganda to regional towns, there is a growing number of travelers who explore the country on self-drive adventures. Kenya a country of great diversity, both physically and culturally, Kenya is one of Africa’s most popular destinations for very good reason. With blissful Indian Ocean beaches, craggy mountains, lush forests and wildlife-rich savannahs, there are endless beautiful places to visit in Kenya.

Tanzania from vast wilderness to lush green islands and from the Big 5 game to colorful corals, the East African country of Tanzania is known for its vivid wildlife, and rich aquatic life. Home to numerous islands, and monumental structures, the tropical town of Zanzibar also boasts of some of the most thrilling adventure sports, and alluring places to visit in Tanzania. Rwanda is the smallest country in East Africa. Like its neighbor in the North Uganda, it’s also a land locked country and has no Sea port. It is bordered by countries like Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south, Tanzania in the east and DR Congo in the west.

Take on a road trip with a rental car for long term where you have free mileage and insurance. We keep our vehicles serviced making them roadworthy.  This is because they go off-road and longer distances. Go camping with a Rooftop tent on a 4×4 Land Cruiser on your road trip.

Long term rental days

The minimum number of days you need to qualify for a long term car hire status is often 20 days and above.

Toyota Land cruiser cars for Long term car rental

Toyota Land Cruisers are the most common 4×4 for hire in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda for Long Term Car rental at Budget/cheaper rates. If you are looking to hire your Toyota favorite for a safari, long term corporate job, Self-drive East Africa has a solution for you.  We hire out as many 4WD Toyota Land Cruisers including Extended land cruisers, Land cruiser LX, Land cruiser V8, respectively as required by you.

Hire a car with a driver/Guide

The best guided safaris are those where you design the itinerary by yourself and simply have someone drive you to all your desired locations. We have our own professional driver guides who come along with cars that are not offered for self-drive safaris.

Pickups and Drop offs

Pickups refer to the point from which your journey starts from. In some cases, it is the airport, hotel, car rental offices, or any other agreed place. For this reason, companies charge for pick up fees in areas outside their usual official pick up depending on the company policies.

Drop offs are the final destination in your journey. They also follow the same policies just like the pickups; in instances where you are dropping off the car in the company’s official drop off point, there are often no extra charges. However, whenever you drop the car outside the company’s officials drop offs, you will be charged a drop off fee dependent on the area of drop off.

Benefits of long term car rental in East Africa

  1. Zero Maintenance

If you were to drive your own vehicle into town, you’d be responsible for all insurance, maintenance, and documentation. But, when you choose a long-term rental vehicle, that responsibility lies with the rental car company. Furthermore, this means that you’re completely covered should you be in an accident or if the vehicle needs maintenance.

  1. Flexibility

Depending on the duration of your stay, you can return the car whenever you want. On the flip side, if you’re extending your trip, then the rental agreement can be extended to accommodate your plans. You can also change vehicles to accommodate your passengers. If you need something smaller, then stop by. If you need something larger, we’ve also got you covered.

  1. Discounted Rates

If you are running a project for 1 month to a year or more, then opting for a long term car rental option is the best choice to meet the success of your trip or project. Rwanda car rental prefer to make clients on long term rental very comfortable and are hence offered discounted rates compared to those on weekly and daily rentals. Discover that you can save a percentage on your rental price when you choose to opt for a long term car rental option.

  1. Comfort

Hiring a car for longer days allows you take your adventures at your own pace, no need to be dictated by bus and train times, waiting for the train or bus can be a hassle if your plan doesn’t go smoothly.  The car can become an overflow of your adventure and with it, always being close by you can store your bits and pieces inside. Renting a car also gives you that comfort to move around, you can dance along with the tune on the radio, talk to each other in a volume that you want or slouch and be as comfortable as you want.

  1. Meets Your Need

Long term car rentals allow you to make a vehicle choice depending on what specific needs you may have.  Whether you are going away as a family and a need a minibus or larger car, or need a van as part of your business operations through the summer months you can count on us (4×4@selfdriveeastafrica.com).

  1. Wide range of fleet selection

When you are to request for a long term rental, then you have the advantage of even selecting a preferred car option for your time of rental and you can as well to change the type of car in use to a different type with upgrade with same rate. Many clients send in and specify their particular car type and this is delivered to them since they will need it for quite a long term. We would not want to make a client uncomfortable with car types not asked for.

  1. Full Rental Management

With long term rental option, you have full car rental management from start to end of your rental period. Manage every movement of the car including driving time, distance, and mileage at your pace with no added money.

  1. Home, Hotel and Airport delivery service

Besides that, the home delivery service is available in specific downtown locations with long term rental. You can request the car to be delivered to your home, hotel, Airport address after the booking is made. Our advice for this would be to contact the car rental company beforehand to see if they have a home, hotel or airport delivery option.


To have unmatched experience make sure to start with Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. You can choose one, two or combine three countries, since these nations share borders, a combined self-drive trip is more possible on a long term. A drive through East Africa exposes you to lots of adventure that will make your trip memorable when renting a car rental for longer days.

Sam Nujoma: Namibia’s First President and “Father of the Nation”

Sam Nujoma

Namibian politician Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma was born to the Ovambo ethnic group on 12 May 1929 in northern Namibia at Etunda village in Ongandjera, the Omusati region. He was at the helm of the SWAPO for 47 years – from its founding in 1960 throughout its long struggle against South African rule and into independence. He became the first President of Namibia from 1990 to 2005 when Namibia gained independence on 21 March 1990. He was re-elected in 1994 and 1999 and remained in office until March 2005.


From his humble beginnings as a railway worker, Nujoma co-founded the political party Ovamboland People’s Organisation in the late 1950s, which then became SWAPO in 1960. The role of SWAPO was to bring independence from South African apartheid rule to the Namibian people. As president of SWAPO, Nujoma unsuccessfully pleaded with the United Nations for years to ensure the release of South African control. He then took matters into his own hands and formed an armed resistance in 1966 which started the Namibian War of Independence, lasting 24 years. During this time, Nujoma became known as “Shafiishuna” which means lightning.

Namibian President
Nujoma went into exile for almost 30 years where he continued to organise the struggle until 1989 when he returned to assume presidency. The United Nations supervised the elections which unanimously heralded Nujoma as Namibia’s first president and he was sworn in by UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar on 21 March 1990.

During his presidency, the ever-energetic Nujoma skilfully tackled issues of education, housing, medical care, and international economic competitiveness. He ran a liberal-democracy and a largely free enterprise economy. He focused on a policy of ‘national reconciliation’ in an effort to create ethnic harmony within Namibia. As president, Nujoma held no animosity towards South Africa in his economic dealings with the country.

Hifekepunye Pohamba succeeded Nujoma as President of Namibia on 21 March 2005 and when Nujoma relinquished his role as head of SWAPO in 2007, he stated that he was “passing the torch and mantle of leadership to comrade Pohamba”. He was given the honorary titles of Leader of the Namibian Revolution as well as Founding Father of the Namibian Nation by the SWAPO Congress and the Namibian people. Nujoma’s son Utoni became Deputy Minister of Justice after having been elected to the Central Committee and Politburo of SWAPO in November 2007. Nujoma’s mother, Kuku Helvi-Mpingana Kondombombolo died in November 2008 at a reported age of more than 100 years old.

Even after retiring from his former political roles, Nujoma is still politically active and campaigns regularly for SWAPO across Namibia.

Together with his larger-than-life personality, Nujoma has numerous respectable accolades, including a Doctorate honoris causa in Public Management from Polytechnic of Namibia in 2005 and obtained his Master’s degree in Geology at the University of Namibia in 2009. In 2004 he received the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Lifetime Conservation Award. Other notable awards include the Lenin Peace Prize in 1968, the November Medal Prize in 1978, the Frederick Joliot Curie Gold Medal in 1980, the Namibia Freedom Award from California State University in 1980, as well as an honorary doctorate from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.

Nujoma married Kovambo Theopoldine Katjimune in 1956 and has five children.

Top Parks for Wildlife Safaris in Africa

Masai Mara Wildlife

It is not easy to enumerate all safari parks on the African continent. However if yo are looking for the best safari parks to enjoy game viewing, there are plenty of places that can be visited on the African continent. From national parks to wildlife sanctuaries, conservation areas and the likes it is not easy to come up with a complete list of places to enjoy a safari in Africa. So we have decided to focus our discussion on the top five African Safari parks destination. Let’s begin;

South Luangwa National Park of Zambia

Fairly unexplored, South Luangwa is a treasure that only needs to be discovered at its own time. The birthplace of walking safari and the haven of elusive leopards, this is the best place to seek isolation, away from the crowd that characterize other national parks.

Selinda Reserve of Botswana

A very highly rated safari park in all Africa, most seasoned travelers recommend a visit or two to this park to experience what truly is an African safari. Packed with dense population of wildlife, birds and plant species, this truly is a haven that is enjoyed both by the wild and the tamed. Naturalists’ most enjoy it here due to the diversity of species found in single locations.

Kruger National Park of South Africa

For the sheer enjoyment of seeing endless arrays of animal species, plants and birds, Kruger would be the best bet if you would like to see diversity. Since it scales more than the size of Wales, it is not unlikely that it harbors the largest concentration of species that is unequalled anywhere else. The rich tapestry of ecosystems is such that it would be hard to imagine how all things coexist in competition to live in a space so large.

This safari park was the pioneer of its kind since it has already existed since 1889, the year when the first realization of endangerment of animals is conceived. Primarily intended to protect wildlife in advance, Kruger now stands as the largest single place harboring excellent game reserves.

Masai Mara of Kenya

Being the most excellent wildlife safari park in the whole region, Masai Mara is duly recognized for supporting large herds of cat species. It is home to endless plains that are populated with grassland, thus ideal for game-viewing. See leopards, cheetahs and lions in action as they mercilessly follow after their kill during the exchange of life and death in the plains of Masai Mara.

Serengeti National Park of Tanzania

Oh the sound of the name alone brings memories of might and migration. This is one of the most famous national safari parks in all Africa as it is the site for the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, and antelopes. The birth and death place of most calves, this truly is a place to behold if you want to experience authentic deal.

Useful Tips for Camping in Uganda

Camping in Uganda

Picture your Tent Pole breaking on you while Camping, and having to find makeshift equipment and pieces to patch it together. Camping, whether for a first-timer or frequent Camper can be scary and intimidating. Simply analyzing all the important requirements from what type of tent, camping tools and sleeping bag can be an enormous task. However, going through our useful tips for camping will help in reducing mistakes.

Select the perfect Camping gear for first-timers

As a first-time camper, it is always advisable to purchase Camping gear that makes you comfortable yet it is always overwhelming to make this decision. The essentials for any Camping trip include the Tent, headlamp and lanterns, Camp stove, a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, Camp chairs, and Camp wear.

Be prepared for any bad weather

Whether your Uganda camping safari is in the traditional dry or wet season, it is always important to plan for any bad weather. For this reason, make sure to have packed warm layers (warm sweater, long sleeved shirts, and safari pants), an insect repellant, a safari hat, rainproof clothing, sunglasses for sun protection, gardening gloves, and many others.

Make sure your activities are planned in advance

Depending on which area you plan to Camp, it is important to first check out some of the activities you can undertake before leaving home. If Murchison falls National Park is your Camping destination, then you would consider taking part in game drives, nature/bush walks, bird watching, visit to the top of the falls, boat cruises and community walks.

Avoid pitching your Tent under a tree

While some travelers love it for the wonderful shade and photography opportunity, it is not advisable to pitch up your tent under a tree because of the numerous dangers associated with it. This can become a serious hazard during high winds, when branches fall off hence causing damage to the Tent or injuries. Also, nothing annoys like having to clean up bird droppings or tree sap off your Tent each morning.

Camping not too far from a water source if backpacking

Camp close to a River or Lake will be wonderful for gathering water for doing dishes, laundry, showering and even cooking, but first make sure the water is filtered or properly boiled before using it. However, make sure the tent is within a safe distance (at least 60 meters from the water source) and a raised surface for avoided coldness or any chance of flooding.

Don’t forget a basic first aid kit

Camping means being in the wilderness or Jungle, and therefore it is advisable to be prepared for whatever comes your way by carrying a basic first aid kit. You will need some plasters, bandages, antiseptic, Ibuprofen, and others. One thing you need to know is that accidents are common during Camping hence having the basics for cleaning and bandaging a wound would go a long away.

Practice setting your Tent while at home

You wouldn’t want last minute disappointment in the wilderness and therefore, another useful tip for Camping is practicing how to set up your tent while you are still at home. While the manual might indicate that setting takes 10 or 15 minutes, you will be surprised how difficult it becomes when you are out in the wilderness. Therefore, use your back yard or living room to practice to avoid last-minute disappointment.

Prepare campfire-friendly foods ahead of time

Camping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a proper meal and this doesn’t mean you need a big kitchen. For this reason, you are free to pack some baked beans, rice, chicken, beef, Irish potatoes, and others but make sure that it is planned in advance. For instance, if you intend to enjoy beef kabobs, It is important to have it all set ahead of time to make preparation easier during Camping.

Make use of Campsite amenities

It will interest you to know that some Campsites in Uganda provide amenities like clean restrooms, showers, a level ground for pitching your tent, Wi-Fi and fire pits among others. Just make use of these amenities for your comfort hence less stress during your trip.

Carry some games of any other kind of entertainment

Most times, Camping is accompanied by hiking the nearby hills, swimming if the Campsite is close to water (like Lake Bunyonyi) but don’t forget that it is also possible to have a downtime during Camping and for this reason, carry some games to fill up the gaps. You can pack some cards, board games and entertainment during Campfires.

A Gorilla Trekking Expedition in Africa

Bwindi Mountain Gorilla

If you want to do something different this summer, you should consider going to Rwanda or Uganda and spending some time with the mountain gorillas on some awesome gorilla trekking tour, into Africa. Trekking the mountain gorillas in the wild impenetrable forest of Bwindi in southwestern Uganda can be a great experience for anyone who loves wildlife! Go ahead, get out, and unwind at an excellent nice vacation.

Many travelers wonder about where to go for an African safari of a lifetime! Many opt to go for a big five safari while others wish to go out and enjoy a wildlife safari in a national park. Did you know you could possess a great set of time, choose a holiday that becomes you? What do you want to do incisively? If you like to go to a lodge or a resort and enjoy a lodge safari, it is an awesome way to get more involved with your family. If you wish to have a sound time, pick something that fits your style. A pleasant discovery expedition into the jungle is one of the greatest things you have ever thought about. If you wish to travel in style, then you should definitely consider taking a gorilla safari into the wild jungles of Africa.

For primate lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, an awesome gorilla tour is one that involves gorilla tracking and game viewing for instances game viewing at Queen Elizabeth National Park and gorilla tours in Bwindi National Park for Uganda and in case your interest is only a gorilla tour, you would get an awesome experience with a minimum of 3 days tracking in Uganda and a minimum of 2 days for tracking in Rwanda. The reason is, it is a shorter driver from Kigali in Rwanda to Parc National Des Volcanoes which is a maximum of 3 hours drive and yet it takes about 8 to 10 hours drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda to Bwindi National Park and thus, the gorilla experience in Uganda cannot be 2 days.

While planning your gorilla tour, also consider the fact that a gorilla permit in Rwanda costs USD 750 per permit while in Uganda it costs USD 500 per permit, although from feedback on these journeys, whether you are driving for 3 hours or 10 hours, you will wish you never get to your destination because of the diversity of scenery on the way to the destination. The journey to Parc National des Volcans goes through the continuous hills of Rwanda best known by its catch name of; a country with a thousand hills and you can head to the park after a visit to the genocide memorial center at Gisozi which showcases genocide victims.

While the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga Gorilla Park goes through a mix of homesteads, grasslands to include Lake Mburo National Park, and pastoral areas and towards the end, the rolling hills of Kigezi, and area dubbed to be the Switzerland of Africa, and also a stop at the Equator for photography as well as an informative talk. Irrespective of how you head out on your gorilla tour, you will never come back the same person as you went.

If you want to make sure you are safe at night, a great hotel or some quality tent gear is essential. Go ahead, don’t grant anybody stop you – camping can be such a big experience.

Nyungwe Forest: A Great Place to See Primates

Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe forest is made up of a variety of habitats including montane forests, bamboos, grasslands, and swamps. This is a home to 13 primate species such as Chimpanzees, endangered Golden monkeys, Blue Monkeys, colobus, red tailed monkeys and grey checked mangabeys. There are also about 300 bird species. It is a top eco-tourism destination with a growing network of hiking trails that offer visitors great opportunities for world class bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, colobus monkey watching, kamiranzovu visit, community walks, Canopy walk, orchid ogling among others. Many Rwanda safaris organized to Nyungwe national park mainly go for chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, canopy walk, Black and while colobus monkey tracking and forest walks among others.

Hiking trails in Nyungwe forest National Park

The park offers 13 hiking trails like “Igishigishigi” meaning tree fern – this trail trails range from easy to difficult and from 1.7 kms to 10.6 kms in length.

High class Bird Watching in Nyungwe forest National Park

The park is home of over 278 bird species, 26 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. It is one of the best bird watching destinations in Africa and the world at large. Birds like the Great Blu Turaco, the Crowned Hornbill and the Blue-Headed Sunbird among others are found here.

Ape trekking in Nyungwe forest National Park

With 13 primate species recorded here, Nyungwe has one of the highest diversity of primate species in a single location. Unfortunately, several of these species are endangered. Some of the species seen in Nyungwe forest National park include; Blue monkeys, the vervet monkey, Grey-checked mangabey, dent’s monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, red- tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, Angola colobus, Owl- faced monkey and so on.

Orchid Ogling in Nyungwe forest National Park

Nyungwe is home to 154 species of orchids, eight of which are endemic to Rwanda. The Park hosts 68% of the orchid flora of Rwanda. It is one of the world’s greatest concentrations of orchids.

Wild life viewing in Nyungwe forest National Park

The tropical forest is endowed with a variety of forest animals like cerval cats, Golden Cats, Wild Cats, Side-Striped Jackal, Mongoose, Congo Clawless Otters, Genet, Civets, Duikers, Bush Bucks, Hyrax, Leopards among others. The forest animals can be viewed while searching for the primates or bird in the forest. Some mammals like leopards are dangerous to man but the tourists are always escorted by the armed rangers to ensure their safety.

Canopy walks in Nyungwe National Park

The first ever hanging platform which allows tourists to view different animal species in Nyungwe forest was unveiled on October 15. And as officials here announced, it will be the first in this region and just the third on the African continent. The Canopy Walkway is 40 meters above the ground level, and 90 meters long, above a steep, deep valley, that affords the clients the dizzying platform from which to be at the “eye-to-eye level ” with different primate species, and many bird species, all of which are fond of inhabiting the upper scales of the forest.

Community tours around and in Nyungwe forest national Park

For proper preservation of Nyungwe Forest National Park, the nearby communities need to be directly involved in the struggle of protecting the park however, it can be successfully done by rewarding, educating and giving park of the profits from the park to the nearby communities by improving their welfare through improving road, constructing wells, boreholes, constructing healthy centers among others. The history and people of the area are diverse, with many examples of song, dance, music, cuisine, handicrafts and other artisan skills that make for a fascinating complement to the ecotourism attractions of Nyungwe. So many Rwanda safari packages available online offered by credible tour operators such as Gorilla Expeditions Limited, going to Nyungwe National park to experience the true African wilderness and all the activities above.

Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Virunga Mountains

Volcanoes National Park rwanda

Planning a gorilla trip to Virunga Mountains requires adequate time for you to have a complete and successful holiday. The Virunga Mountains are chain mountains comprising of 8 volcanoes all confined within Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They include Mount Sabyinyo, Bisoke, Karisimbi, Muhabura, Gahinga, Nyiragongo, Nyamuragira and Mount Mikeno.

Gorilla safaris in Virunga Mountains are conducted in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo. Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park make up the vast Virunga Conservation Area (VCA).

In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, gorilla trekking is conducted in Nyakagezi gorilla group the only habituated gorilla family open for tourism in this park. Mgahinga National Park is situated in southwestern Uganda about 8-10 hours’ drive from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. It inhabits a section of rare mountain gorillas and scenic Virunga Volcanoes like Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Gahinga. Gorilla treks in Mgahinga National Park start at Ntebeko Visitor Center.

The Volcanoes National Park is set suitably in northwestern Rwanda about 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Kigali capital city. Most Rwanda gorilla treks into the Volcanoes National Park start from Kinigi park headquarters. Five of the eight Virunga Volcanoes are all found in Volcanoes National Park including Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Gahinga.

Mgahinga National Park reachable by road or by air. By road, you need a good 4 wheel drive safari vehicle to help you navigate through the remote route to southwestern side of this magical country and visitors with limited time, plan for a flight which takes you from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro/Kihihi airstrip where you can easily drive in a 4 wheel drive safari car to either Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park.

Gorilla permits

Knowing how much a gorilla permit cost is very critical when planning a gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, gorilla trekking permits cost $600 per person per trek. To obtain your gorilla permit in Uganda, you can get in touch with a trust worthy, reliable and recognized ground tour operator and to avoid last minute rush, simply contact our reservation desk and we shall make your dream come true or contact a reservation team at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). A gorilla permit is what allows you to track only 1 habituated family in Uganda in a group of 8 visitors. About 160 gorilla permits are available each day for booking in Uganda but due to high demand, you are encouraged to book one at least 3 to 6 months earlier before the actual trek to avoid any disappointment. In Rwanda, gorilla permits cost $1500 per person (you can purchase one through reservationist at Rwanda Development Board or tour operator) and 400 per person in DR Congo.

Note, to confirm your gorilla permit you should have made complete payment and this means, your details are very essential and you will be required to send monkey to help reserve permit for you. When effecting payment, tour operator will send bank details/account where you will pay and make sure that you include bank charges to avoid less payment that may cause disappointment at a last minute of booking for a permit.

Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Virunga Mountains

Knowing when it is best to trek mountain gorillas is very key when planning a gorilla trip to Virunga National Park. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Virunga National Park can be done at any time of the year. But it is best explored in the dry months that is June, July, August, September and December, January and February. However, it is also possible for you to trek mountain gorillas during the wet season but this period is characterized by heavy rainfall and muddy slopes which makes it a bit challenging for one to hike through the dense vegetation and slippery steep slopes.

What to carry for gorilla trekking

When planning for a gorilla trek to Virunga Mountains, how you pack plays a significant role. For starters, your packing list should include bottle of water, energy giving snacks, waterproof daypack, rain jackets or poncho, a camera with no flash light, insect repellents, first aid kit, valid visa, passport, gorilla permit, long sleeved shirts or T-shirts, and gardening gloves, hats, sunscreen and others.

Where to stay

When planning a gorilla trip to Virunga Mountains, accommodation is that thing any visitor must put into consideration. There are many accommodation options for your overnight stay in Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park. In Mgahinga National Park they include Mount Gahinga Lodge (Luxury), Travelers’ Rest Hotel Kisoro, Mucha Hotel Kisoro (Midrange) and Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp or Kisoro Tourist Hotel (Budget); in Volcanoes National Park, they include Bisate Lodge, Mount Gorilla View Lodge, Da Vinci; in DR Congo Virunga National Park the best places to stay while on gorilla tour include Lake/Lac Kivu Lodge, Mikeno Lodge, Bukima tented camp, Nyiragongo volcano summit shelters, Lulimbi tented camp and Tchegera Island Camp.

How to get to Virunga Mountains

How you get to Virunga Mountains (Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga National Park or Virunga National Park) matters a lot when planning a gorilla trip. You can get to Mgahinga National Park by road or air. By road, you need a good 4 wheel drive safari to take you from Kampala or Entebbe through Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale/Kisoro and this can be 8-10 hours’ drive depending on the route or drive from Kigali through Chanika or Katuna border to Kisoro/Kabale about 4 hours’ drive. Alternatively, take a flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield then land in at Kisoro/Kihihi airstrip where you can easily connect to Mgahinga National Park. Volcanoes National Park is found in the northwestern side of Rwanda about 2 to 3 hours while Virunga National Park is located in eastern DR Congo. Visitors can drive from Rwanda through Uganda connect to Virunga National Park via Kisoro.

Hiring porters and walking sticks. A trek to see mountain gorilla is strenuous and entirely involves hiking through dense vegetation and steep slopes which all requires you to be physically fit. There are many porters for hire at the park headquarters to help you carry heavy luggage and you concentrate in your primate adventure. Porters can be hired at $15 each and walking sticks can be hired at $5 or if you are lucky enough you may find one at a free cost.

Explore Zanzibar with a Rental Car

Rent a Car in Zanzibar

Are you looking for a reliable 4×4 car to rent with a driver/guide or self-drive in Tanzania? Look no further, car rental tanzania offers a wide variety of reliable and well maintained 4×4 rental cars in Zanzibar, Arusha, Dodoma, Moshi, Mwanza, and Dar-es-salaam among others.

Authentic Car rental Tanzania rents out vehicles for Tanzania safari purposes as well as for any other desired travel within the borders of Tanzania. Car rental Tanzania rents out vehicles to individuals alongside a driver-guide or on self-drive.

Among the vehicles that are available for car hire are Toyota Land cruiser, Toyota RAV-4, Safari land cruiser, Extended land cruiser among others.  The land cruisers are best suitable for visits to vast wildlife national parks and the RAV-4 is comfortable for short drives and visits outside of the Tanzania national parks like Zanzibar.

Genuine Tanzania car hire rents out very well-maintained vehicles that are regularly serviced to ensure you have a safe road drive. All the vehicles have Air conditioning that you use as you would desire. You can also request for much more than just a vehicle as we also have camping gear and can arrange a perfect road map for travel through Tanzania.

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean, a two-hour (15 miles) ferry ride from Dar es salaam, a major city in Tanzania.

Zanzibar is not a country but is considered a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. Politically it is part of Tanzania. Zanzibar is also isn’t just one island but is the largest of the Zanzibar Archipelago, which consists of several islands. The four main islands are Unguja Island (which is Zanzibar), Pemba Island, Latham Island, and Mafia Island.

Best Things to do in Zanzibar

Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest is one of the most popular places to visit in Zanzibar. The forest is the last sanctuary in the world to see the Zanzibar red colobus monkey. The forest is located in the Eastern part of the island and is one of the lushest places on Zanzibar. It’s a staunch reminder of what we have done to our environment over the centuries.

It’s easy to get lost and find the monkeys in the Jozani forest. Many nature trails lead through beautiful forests, and the red colobus monkeys are not shy. After your visit to Jozani, be sure to cross the street and visit the Mangrove forest.

I would recommend getting to Jozani forest before 9 am as busloads of tour groups arrive after that, and people bombard the monkeys.

Seaweed Center Zanzibar

If you’re wondering what to do in Zanzibar that is not beach hopping or wandering around Stone Town, a visit to the seaweed center is a must. We decided to visit the Seaweed Center right in Paje after reading this great post from our friends at Hey Dip Your Toes In.

The Seaweed Center (now called Mwani Zanzibar) is a women’s initiative that employs local women to make products from the abundance of seaweed around the island. Guest can take a full tour to see the daily tasks of the seaweed farmers, or they can relax at the shop with a glass of seaweed fruit juice.

House of Wonders

When wondering what to do in Zanzibar, a visit to Stone Town is essential. Or the “Palace of Wonders” is the tallest building in Stone Town and a main Zanzibar point of interest. It’s right next to the Old Fort and is a sight to see while in Stone Town. It is also the spot for the first elevator in all of East Africa. History buffs can learn about the history of Stone Town here and view old exhibits and rooms.

The name comes from the house’s modern amenities first in Stone Town, such as plumbing and electricity. However, it now has none of those wonders as it is under renovation, and at the time of writing, entering is not permitted.

Paje Beach

If there is a backpacker spot on Zanzibar, it’s Paje beach. The beach has hip cafes, burger joints, kite surfing companies, bars, and hostels, making it one of the great places to visit in Zanzibar. We spent a few days relaxing in the inviting turquoise waters, which is the perfect thing to do for those looking for free things to do in Zanzibar.

For those looking to have an active holiday in Zanzibar, the most popular thing to do in Paje is kite surf. There are an endless amount of schools and rental shops all dying to take you out on the water and show you the ropes of kitesurfing.

If you’re not a beginner, Paje has just the right amount of wind to spend the entire Zanzibar holiday improving your kitesurfing skills. It’s often considered one of the best places in the world to go kite surfing, and it’s easy to understand why when you feel the wind and see the gorgeous water.

Spice Tour

Zanzibar is often referred to as “Spice Island” for its centuries of clove, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon production and is one of the top five things to do in Zanzibar. Most of these spice tours depart from Stone Town and take you to a large spice farm to see, touch, and taste the many flavors of Zanzibar.

I would recommend bringing decent walking shoes as it may be muddy. Make sure to bring extra cash if you want to buy some spices and tea to take home. Don’t come full as there is a full tasting at the end of the tour.

Safari Blue Cruise

After having a memorable time sailing on a dhow in Mozambique, we decided not to miss it in Zanzibar. So we set up with the guys at Colors of Zanzibar for a fun day out at sea. We departed early morning from the fishing town of Fumba. The team specializes in individual tours, so we enjoyed having the entire dhow to ourselves.

We made our way to a little sandbank off the coast of Zanzibar, which was about three hours away from being swallowed by high tide. On this island, visitors can get the best views of the blue ocean while snorkeling and enjoying the cool morning air with fresh fruit.

Afterward, there are options to keep snorkeling or see a hidden lagoon before enjoying a seafood buffet lunch on Kwale Island. It is here that there are massive baobabs, small shops, and more beach paradise. Don’t expect the snorkeling to be great, though. Unfortunately, the safari blue cruise’s area has become so massively commercial that the reef has been ruined. A sad sight to see and a bit of a disappointment for the marine enthusiast.

Prison Island

Prison Island is one of those great places of interest in Zanzibar. Take a boat just 5 km away from Stone Town to reach the iconic Prison Island, or Changuu Island to be technical. Built in the late 1800s, this prison served as an island for slaves, violent prisoners, and quarantined.

The main joy of visiting Prison Island is seeing the nearby tortoise sanctuary. There are some of the giant Aldabross tortoises that also call the Seychelles home. Make sure to bring sunblock for the boat transfers and snorkeling.

Honestly, having a meal at this establishment is one of those must-do things in Zanzibar. Anyone wanting a night out in Stone Town should visit the Tea House Restaurant at Emerson on Hurumzi. The restaurant is located on top of the boutique hotel in the middle of the Kasbah. And it has one of the best views of Stone Town, making it my favorite thing to do in Zanzibar.

They get quite popular for sundowners and dinner, so we would recommend making a reservation beforehand. We spent an entire evening here drinking spicy cocktails, listening to live Zanzibar music, and chowing down on delicious Persian-inspired cuisine before retiring to our gorgeous room.

Visit the Rock

The Rock restaurant is pretty synonymous with Zanzibar and is usually mentioned in every Zanzibar guide. The restaurant is located in Pongwe (the southeast part of the island) and is accessible by motorbike or taxi cab from Paje. We made the memorable trip out to The Rock to get some lovely photos of the iconic spot. If you visit during high tide, a free boat taxi will deliver you to the rock (unless you feel like swimming).

We wanted to get food and drinks, but be warned that the prices are sky-high for Zanzibar. I suppose it’s the price you pay to have dinner on the Indian Ocean. We didn’t have reservations and weren’t given excellent service because of this, so I would highly suggest calling ahead if you plan to go. Even if you don’t have a meal here, just coming to see the unique building is one of the best things to do in Zanzibar.

Coffee at the Zanzibar Coffee House

This Zanzibar Cafe is located right next to Emerson Spice in the heart of Stone Town and is one of those Zanzibar points of interest you have to see. We had lunch and breakfast here a few times, but nothing was ever as memorable as when we sat there and documented Zanzibar life.

The Zanzibar Coffee house roasts its own coffee and serves up anything from cafe lattes to delicious vegetable chapatti wraps. Once you walk into the cafe, it feels as if you are transported back in time to a coffee house in the old Arabic world. Even if you don’t like coffee, this is a must-visit. Make sure to visit Upendo right across the street for any shopping you may want to do.

Upendo employs all local women through education and teaches them how to sew beautiful clothes. We found ourselves here a few times for unique clothing and jewelry for both men and women at an affordable price.

Catch Park Hyatt Zanzibar Happy Hour

For great cocktails in Stone Town, head to the Park Hyatt Zanzibar. There is a half-price happy hour every day starting at 18:00 and includes all drinks. So if you’re craving a New York cocktail off the coast of Africa, the Park Hyatt is calling your name. We even got our bourbon fix, making us two happy travelers.

Wander through Stone Town

One of the best things to do in Zanzibar is wander the streets of Stone Town. There are many unique places to see in Stone Town, including beautiful boutique shops and plenty of fabulous restaurants. Venture around the Forodhani Gardens and the Old Fort! You can easily walk around Stone Town yourself, but it’s best to book a walking tour with Colors of Zanzibar to learn more about what you see.

Go Shopping at Darajani Market

The Darajani Market (or Bazaar) is the main bazaar in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It’s the most popular place to come and get spices, dates, bread, fruits, and almost anything you could need. Beyond getting some souvenirs, it’s a fantastic place to soak in the culture.

Watch Locals Do Acrobats and Capoeira at Sunset

On pleasant evenings at sunset, many young local boys will head to the Stone Town public beach to enjoy the last light of the day with some acrobatics and capoeira. What is capoeira? This is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It’s pretty fun to watch from any of the nearby restaurants or on the beach.

It’s far from the nicest beach in Zanzibar, but if you are in Stone Town for sunset, this is one of the best things to do in Zanzibar. Look out for the large crowds – these tend to form around some of the most talented boys.

Learn About the Slave Trade

Zanzibar is best known for its white sandy beaches and bright blue water, but it has a darker past than many realize.

Zanzibar was the Africa Great Lakes’ main slave-trading port. It’s said that as many as 50,000 slaves passed through here in the 19th century. These slaves were sold at the slave markets until the late 1800s. This area of Stone Town is one of the last places to host open slave markets. It’s worth visiting a former slave market site in Stone Town to learn more; you can book guided slave trade tours here.

Enjoy the Many Beaches

Make sure to get out of the city and explore as many Zanzibar beaches as you can. There’s a beautiful one around every corner. My personal favorites are Nungwi Beach and Pongwe Beach, but there are so many others to explore. Of course, if you are staying at an Oceanside Zanzibar resort or hotel, you’ll likely want to chill at their beach for at least one of your days too. So choose a great hotel with the ideal location!

Nakupenda Beach

Nakupenda (Swahili for I love you) is the name of a slender slice of sandbank just off the coast of Stone Town. And what’s not to love? Abutting the brilliant blue of the ocean, this tiny beach is an idyll of sand as soft and white as baby powder. It’s the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling in clear waters flickering with marine life and generally keeping cool under the hot African sun. If you’re lucky you might glimpse the local superstars the much-loved dolphins, doing their own thing in the distance.


You can hire a 4×4 with a professional English speaking driver, or drive your own adventure with a self-drive rental option. Our cars are comprehensively insured, serviced regularly, offered on an unlimited mileage basis, with 24-hour road assistance and with a memorable trip back home.

Rwanda Named Among Top Tourist Destinations

Rwanda Hills

Rwanda has been ranked among the top 10 world adventurous places for 2013, according to Globe Spots, an international travel guide for tourists. Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest. Rwanda has once again been named a top tourism destination.

The travel guide on Monday released a list of 10 countries in the world that are of classic travel for great sights and convenient travel,  adventurous places for those who are going above and beyond, seeking out the best travel, and hardcore places for those who are willing to travel anywhere just for the buzz.

According to the web portal, Rwanda was ranked sixth globally. Portugal comes number one on the list, followed by Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, Panama, Armenia, Cuba, Ukraine, Malawi, and Canada in that order.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Rica Rwigamba, head of tourism and conservation at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that the ranking provides confidence to tourists.

“In Rwanda, we have much more to offer to tourists beyond the mountain gorillas. And we are proud of that. We are committed to showcasing Rwanda’s beauty to the world,” she said.

According to the Globe Spots website, there is more to visit in Rwanda than gorilla tours and Genocide sites, such as stunning ubiquitous mountains, national parks, excellent lake beaches, great culture, and a dynamic capital city.

“The country has a lot to offer its visitors and is working really hard to convince them to forget about its dreadful past. And with its incredibly well-paved roads, clean and safe streets, and friendly helpful people, Rwanda makes a perfectly smooth introduction to Africa,” it says.

For the fifth year, the travel guide magazine has captured what’s happening on the travel scene. As usual, they focused on destinations they thought will be hot – or at least should be.

Since the beginning of 2012, the country hosted about 493,744 visitors, representing an increase of 22 percent compared to the same period in 2011.

It recorded a remarkable 16 percent increase in leisure visitors as well as an eight percent increase in business visitors.

Last year, the tourism industry generated $252 million in revenues. Tourist sites in Rwanda include mountain gorillas, canopy walks, national museums, Lake Kivu, bird watching, Congo Nile trail, Akagera, and Nyungwe National parks, culture, among others.

7 Reasons Why Travel to Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest

While considering a visit to any African country this year – Rwanda should be the first country to click your mind as it is regarded as one of Africa’s most beautiful, most peaceful, cleanest and one of the most stable and smallest countries in all of Africa. Rwanda is known for its Volcanoes, Montane Forests, Pristine Lakes, clean towns and cities, its culture and history which alone is a very good reason to visit Rwanda. Rwanda is a home of misty rolling hills, terraced mountain sides but read on as to why you should visit Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills.

1. Serene Beauty

Explore Rwanda’s hills and mountains that attract people to come and see. Rwanda’s thousands Hills are a place where God comes to rest – a gentle nudge toward “Rwanda” by the creator himself who find rest, peace, renewal in the Hills of Rwanda. Every visitor is deeply touched by the seeming endless hills that dot the Rwandan countryside in the heart of Africa. Sounds like a good enough reason for you to come and visit Rwanda – the land of a thousand Hills.

2. See the Mountain Gorillas
Have ever watched a movie entitled “Gorillas in the Mist” by Dian Fossey? Then come to Rwanda to practically see gorillas in the mist in Volcanoes national park. Wake up in the morning and look toward the volcanoes where you will be heading to track the endangered mountain gorillas and what greets you is the pleasant mist over the mountains and valleys of Rwanda shrouding the Virunga Volcanoes – home of the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda.

3. Wild Chimpanzees

With a visit to Rwanda, you will be able to reveal the hidden treasures of Nyungwe Forest National Park–a vast track of Montane Forest that spills even over into Burundi.  Nyungwe is a home to 13 different primates – almost 25% of Africa’s primates including chimpanzees, hundreds of birds some only found only in this Forest. Nyungwe is also a home to East and Central Africa’s only Canopy Forest Walk.  50 meters above the ground – you can observe the primates, birds and butterflies as they move through and among the treetops of the Park.

4. Explore the Volcanoes National Park

Spend some time in Rwanda exploring Volcanoes National Park – not only for mountain gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey tracking in the Bamboo Forests but also volcano climbing and hiking in day-hikes or overnight hikes. Visit Lakes in the foothills of the volcanoes, hike up to the former research station of Dian Fossey – see the remnants of her former home and the graveyard of her beloved Gorillas and her own final resting place. The Virunga Volcanoes – more than home to the Mountain Gorillas but also a place for hike and climbs, for birding, for golden monkey tracking.

6. Immerse in Unique Culture

Don’t leave without exploring the Rwanda’s unique Culture and rich Heritage–living treasure to be experienced and admired by visitors to the Land of a thousand hills. Enjoy Intore dance in cultural performances or learn arts and crafts from Villages. Whether it is a village stay or village visit – Rwanda’s culture is all around you for you to experience and take with you in thoughts, pictures and lasting memories.

7. Visit Genocide Memorial Sites

Discover the Trail of Tears and Sorrows through visiting Rwanda’s Sacred Places including the Genocide Memorials found in various parts of Rwanda. The Genocide of 1994 in Rwanda left close to one million people cruelly murdered– It was a tribal war by the Hutu against the Tutsi People. The memorials not only are a place of mourning and remembrance but places of triumph over evil that being so visible all over the new Rwanda where people are no longer Tutsi, Hutu or Twa but Rwandans.  “Never Again.”

9. Relax at the Lake Kivu

In a landlocked nation, Lake Kivu gives you another reason to visit the Land of a Thousand Hills. Come, relax and chill out after volcano climbs, gorilla and chimpanzee treks across Rwanda in a place of scenic loveliness and enjoyable beaches where you can be instead of just do while on safari in Rwanda. Spend a few days along Lake Kivu’s sandy beaches, enjoying its tropical islands, maybe some fishing, boating, nature walks but mostly relaxing under the tropical sun along Lake Kivu.

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