To enjoy a self drive tour to Rwanda, starting from Uganda was an added advantage for me due to the exciting moments I had with my colleagues in some of the key a must visit places in Uganda and In this case, we had to first hire a car from Car Rental Uganda since we couldn’t manage to come with our vehicles. Before coming since we wanted to preserve our relationship with the company, we made all the reservations through them including booking permits for the different activities we were to do in the vast parks of Uganda and Rwanda.
Since the gorilla permit for Rwanda was expensively sold at $1500 we couldn’t manage it that’s why we decided to buy that of Uganda at $600. We had to stage first at Lake Mburo national park in the western Uganda. Having reached at the park in the afternoon we went to the park headquarters for briefing and in the evening we went deep in the swamp of Warikiri within in the park to watch birds including the brown parrots, white winged tit, and grey crowned crane and fin foot just to mention but a few. Here we slept at Mihingo Lodge on half board.
Early in the morning, we traveled to Kabale for gorilla tracking at Bwindi impenetrable national park, since tracking is usually scheduled for early morning, we couldn’t track at that day, and here we slept at Gorilla safari lodge on half/full board, early in the morning, we went to the park from where we were given the guides who briefed us and also escorted us through the deep in the forest from where we tracked the Mishaya gorilla group.
“Besides being a prominent sector, this has the largest number of gorilla groups. Bwindi in total is a habitant place for fourteen gorilla groups from its four sectors of Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo and the Buhoma sectors” quoted by a tour guide who led us in the tracking activity. In the evening, we went back to Gorilla Safari Lodge for an overnight. The next day we went to Kigali which was our major destination via the Katuna border but here we had to visit the two national parks of Akagera and Nyungwe.
We entered Kigali city where we slept at Landmark suites and since we had to track chimpanzees from Nyungwe, we first went to this park since it is located far in the south west of Rwanda and it is popular for its unique two chimpanzee family’s one in Uwinka and the second in Cyamudongo. Since chimpanzees are like early birds, they also move in the early morning therefore here we slept at Nyungwe Forest lodge on full board which enabled us to catch up with time the next day.
Early in the morning we started this challenging activity but fortunately we were given experienced guides who were well conversant with chimp movements and it didn’t take us long time by midday, we were in touch with them, here we got a chance to see some of the baby chimps on the back of their mothers, we also got experience on how these chimps behave in their habitat but even the Rwenzori black and white Colobus were busy looking at us with their mimicking voices.
The next day we did a community based tourism around the park from where we interacted with the local people at Kitabi cultural village where we got to understand the Rwanda kingship history, enjoyed their traditional local beer and the dances. In the evening we went back to Nyungwe Forest Lodge and the next day we went for a guided canopy walk which delighted our visit by giving us a frontal and an Arial view of bird species while we were high above the tree
Monkeys and other wild animals were wondering how we invaded in their territory since they knew that they are the kings of the sky, they were giving us an eagle eye plus communicating in their voices as a result of being suspicious and also telling one another that they are seeing unusual people. Having enjoyed Nyungwe forest, the next day we traveled back to Kigali where we staged and the next day we traveled to the Akagera national park which is located in the north eastern Rwanda.
From this park, we only subscribed for a boat trip and fishing which we did at 3:30pm, we did not stop at enjoying the boat and also sailing on the waters of Akagera but we also watched herds of hippos and crocodiles over the shores. As we were entering the park, the oribi and the impala animals were the first one to give us a sight. Unfortunately due to the minimum skills we had regarding fishing, we didn’t hook any fish but instead we bought fried ones from the existing fishermen, here we slept at Akagera Game Lodge.
The next day since it was our second last day on the African continent, we drove back to Uganda where we had hired the car and this took us a full day while on the way, on reaching Uganda, we went up to Entebbe from where we left the car since we paid all the dues and this was too exciting.