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1. Posted by TataUrthSafari (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I am in Tanzania right now and planing to self-drive to Rwanda and Uganda next month. Has anyone done that before? If, so what kind of advice do you have? I am a US Citizen and driving a Toyota Land Cruiser, Tanzanian registered.
Asante sana!

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 840 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I hired a driver to take me around Rwanda; and the roads were good. There was a lot of road construction when I was there in 2013. The road along Lake Kivu wasn't paved, but with a Toyota Land Cruiser, you'll be able to negotiate that easily as with other roads in Africa, paved or not.

Be wary of the numerous speed humps in Uganda.

P.S. Some of the best views of the volcanoes in Rwanda are across the border in Uganda.

Make sure you stop by Virunga Lodge near Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. You'll get spectacular views, including one of lakes Bulera and Ruhondo. There are some beautiful birds, too. I invited someone from Doctors Without Borders to join me on the ride there; and we enjoyed the patio with sweeping views of the Virunga volcanoes.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-May-2016, at 07:54 by berner256 ]

3. Posted by TataUrthSafari (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks a lot Berner! How far in advance to you need to permit for Gorilla trekking? Did you came from Mwanza, Tanzania or from somewhere else? How an about traffic stops along the way??

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 840 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

It's advisable to prebook the gorilla permits as they are limited. For example, in 2013 there were eight gorilla families that were accessible for visits in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The maximum number of people allowed to visit each gorilla family was eight. So, 64 people per day was the maximum. I was one of them.

I decided not to visit the gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park since I did not prebook. Had I wanted to see them, I would have had to change my schedule and itinerary, dropping a visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park. I didn't want to do that, since Nyungwe is one of the last remaining primeval forests in Africa.

I flew into Rwanda from South Africa and Burundi. I traveled overland to Uganda from Kenya. A UK friend of mine, who recently began a 6.5-month trip to Africa, soon will be in Rwanda. Afterward, he'll cross the border from Gisenyi into Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He already has his DRC visa; and will be trekking to see the gorillas there. From there he goes to West Africa, including Gabon.

There are checkpoints along the way; but they don't seem to be as prevalent as in West Africa.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-May-2016, at 09:21 by berner256 ]

5. Posted by derric (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes its possible to have self drive in all the East African countries though your required to get East African visa it will be cheap than you getting the country individual visas. Then if your interested in Gorilla trekking then the best i could encourage you is to work with inbound tour operator to help you get the permits then you just come and pick them from the operator as you proceed with your drive, in all the national parks they have the rangers who will help and guide you in the park for all the park activities.