An epic Rwanda and Uganda road trip is remarkably one of the most memorable holidays you should expect this 2023/2024. How you intend to go about the trip matters a lot, and what is most important of all is never to forget about hiring a car whether you plan to visit Uganda or Rwanda. Adequate preparation is key when it comes to Uganda and Rwanda road trips.
Nothing leaves makes one stuck, like having no idea of what or how their road trips will be like. Check out some of our most amazing travel tips and advice to guide you in planning successful Rwanda and Uganda road trips.
Weather/Best time to travel
Rwanda and Uganda are among the few countries located astride the Equator crossing. They enjoy favorable weather and climatic conditions all year round, making them the preferred travel destinations. The day temperature rise in Uganda and Rwanda fluctuates from 24 to 28 degrees Celsius.
The best time to travel to Uganda and Rwanda is during the dry months of the year, and this is whether you are planning to go game viewing or primate watching. The dry months in Rwanda and Uganda are experienced in two phases, the long and short, with long dry months recorded from June, July, August, to September. The short dry months: December, January, to February. During these months, there is a bit of sun heat, and we encourage you to come with a wide-brimmed safari hat, sun cream, and others.
The rainy season is also experienced twice a year, from March, April, to May, and October till November. Note the wettest month of the year is November, while February is the hottest month. This is a very important factor to consider before renting a car in Uganda or Rwanda. It must be a 4×4, especially during the rainy season.
Before visiting Rwanda and Uganda, you need health certificates, especially the yellow fever card. You may also vaccinate against cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and other diseases. Additionally, carry some anti-malarial tablets prescribed by your doctor. Note Rwanda and Uganda have medical facilities, but they may not be of a higher standard than those back in your home country and are concentrated around urban centers.
Rwanda and Uganda visas
Valid visas are essential for anyone with plans to visit Uganda or Rwanda for a tourism or business tour. You need a tourist visa which you can obtain before your visit, and you can purchase the East African tourist visa. With the East Africa tourist visa, you can visit more than two East African countries using one visa. Alternatively, you can purchase individual visas (Rwanda visa and Uganda visa), which costs USD 50. Other essential travel documents you may require include valid passports, which should be valid for for at least six months.
While dollars and other foreign currencies are acceptable when booking Rwanda safaris or Uganda safaris, the local currency is vital for easier transactions in the remotest destinations or urban areas. You can exchange your foreign currency for local currency, that is, Uganda shilling (UGX shs) or Rwandan franc (Rwf). Note some places especially standard hotels/restaurants, also accept credit cards.
Packing list idea
Many factors come to play if you are to have a successful road trip in Uganda or Rwanda. Pack within the standard or recommended weight of the aircraft, and essentials include waterproof hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, a safari hat, a sweater, insect repellents, long socks, sandals, rain jackets, pair of binoculars, and others.
The widely spoken languages are English in Uganda and French in the case of Rwanda. Besides, numerous local languages are spoken in Uganda, including Luganda, and in Rwanda, it is Kinyarwanda.
Uganda and Rwanda have amazingly delicious food; never miss tasting local dishes on your holiday. Typical Uganda and Rwanda food comprise starchy food, including yams, Matooke, millet, rice, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, and more.
The power plugs used in Uganda are mainly British, and the EU charging system is widely used in Rwanda. This is important to note, especially if you plan to carry some gadgets that may require charging, such as laptops, phones, and cameras.
Safety & security
Uganda and Rwanda are some of the safest countries in the world. However, there is still a need for you to be cautious, especially while in cities like Kigali or Kampala. If you have expensive jewelry, please keep them safe or leave them at the hotel, and while in the city, have the car doors and windows properly locked.
Tipping is never a must-do thing, but visitors often do it to show appreciation for the good service rendered. Often tips range from USD 5 to 20 or even more depending on the visitor’s kindness. Tipping can be done for an individual or collectively; you can put your tips in the tipping box, and the staff can share it.
Image by Josep Monter Martinez from Pixabay