Uganda and Rwanda are both East African countries which are contiguous to each other with both countries boasting numerous attractions that tourists can enjoy to explore. Rwanda can easily be accessed from Uganda through its (Uganda’s) western region. You can therefore enjoy your road trip tours in both Uganda and Rwanda at the same time and get immersed in one of Africa’s best travel safaris and experiences. There are very many attractions in western Uganda that you will explore before heading to Rwanda, which is so close.
If you are to take your road trip tours in both Uganda and Rwanda, you can either start from Entebbe International Airport (Uganda’s) or Kigali International Airport (Rwanda’s). The most convenient one seems to be from Kigali (Rwanda) whereby on your first day you can start with the city tours and visit some amazing places in Kigali such as the 1994 Genocide Memorial Sites, Museums and many others.
After your city tour, you can drive back to your hotel in Kigali for the overnight and it is in the next morning that you can drive to any of Rwanda’s three national parks. Therefore, contact any approved car rental company in either Uganda or Rwanda to organize for you this awesome 4×4 rooftop tent road trip tour from Rwanda to Uganda, or either way. Some of the best rental companies all over East Africa include 4X4 Car Hire Uganda but advance booking is very essential.
All its three parks are very unique, each in its own way, and worth a visit. Nyungwe Forest National Park is somehow far from the city centre, about 4 to 5 hours’ drive and hence if you are to explore this one, you should spend your night within the boundaries of the Park. Nyungwe is a premier spot for superb primate safaris, including chimpanzee tracking.
The other two parks in Rwanda are both just a two and half hours’ drive from the city centre and can easily be accessed and explored. Akagera National Park lies in the eastern parts of Rwanda and it is globally known for giving residence to all Africa’s big five species; African Lions, African Elephants, Cape Buffaloes, African Leopards, and the Rhinoceros. Besides the big five, the Park also inhabits many other wildlife species plus a myriad of bird species.
Volcanoes National Park is by no doubt the most sounding park in Rwanda due to its extraordinary and unique residents – the endangered mountain gorillas, which are only found in two places; the Virunga massif and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The Virunga massif comprises of three different national parks including Volcanoes National Park together with Virunga National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, respectively.
These three parks are on the same conservation area and can easily be accessed from one to another. With the major attraction in these three parks being trekking of the mountain gorillas, you can choose on which of the three is convenient for you to visit as prices for the permit differ.
Volcanoes National Park is the closest to the city centre and you do not need to spend a lot of hours on the way driving like in the rest of the Parks. A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500 but it will also cost US$ 1050 if you are to visit any other national park in Rwanda.
After your tour trip in Rwanda, you can then switch to Uganda for the other thrilling road trip and the easy way to access Uganda from Volcanoes National Park is to pass through Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, of which it will be your first exploration in Uganda.
In Mgahinga there are various amazing activities to take part into such as gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, hiking trails, birding, and the Batwa cultural encounters, among others.
A gorilla permit in Uganda costs US$ 600 well as a permit for trekking the golden monkeys’ costs US$ 50 and for a golden monkey experience a permit costs US$ 100, however these rates exclude entrance fee except for a gorilla permit.
However, if you are in shortage of time or money, you can skip some activities which you will have done and experienced fully in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park also offers golden monkey trekking though it lacks the golden monkey experience, hence if you have done the trekking in Rwanda it is better to only do the experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda).
From Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you can drive to another extraordinary gorilla park – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is about 100 kilometers away. Bwindi is known for protecting the largest population of the endangered mountain gorillas out of the four mountain gorilla parks in the world. Mountain gorillas in Bwindi are said to be somehow different from those in the massif and it is very rewarding for any gorilla lover to trek both gorillas in Bwindi and in the Virunga Massif for a great experience.
Bwindi comprises of four sectors where the trekking expeditions take place and these are; Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo. Trekking the gorillas in all the Parks are done in groups of eight individuals each group and you will spend strictly one hour with the gorillas once met.
From Bwindi via Buhoma sector, you can easily access the ‘’medley of wonders’’ – Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are many exhilarating activities to enjoy in Queen, including; viewing the unique tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector, boat cruises on the beautiful Kazinga channel, birding, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, fantastic game viewing, cultural encounters, game drives, and fishing, just to mention.
If you still have time, you can also go on to visit other western Uganda’s attractions like; Kibale Forests National Park (for primate safaris, mainly chimpanzee tracking), Semuliki National Park (for the most thrilling birding experiences in Africa), or visit Lake Bunyonyi for a chill as you enjoy many interesting activities like fishing and boat safaris.
After enjoying your gorgeous road trip tour in Rwanda and western Uganda, you will then decide to either pass through Kigali International Airport in Rwanda or Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, depending on your travel itinerary.
If on your itinerary you still want to enjoy the Kampala city tours, it is then better for you to drive to Kampala (Uganda’s capital city) of which the route is very scenic. In Kampala there are many impressive places to visit, including Uganda Museum, Buganda King’s Palace (Lubiri), King’s Lake (Akayaanja ka Kabaka), Bahai Temple, and also as you are heading to the Airport (if you are not against time) you can also break at the Uganda Wildlife Education Conservation Centre. After you will go to the Airport and wait for your flight back home, carrying brilliant and ever-lasting memories.
The company will do all the necessities for your trip to be an extraordinary one, including; booking for you a gorilla and chimpanzee permit, providing you a best-quality car fleet, designing for you a convenient travel itinerary (if you ask for), and booking for you fantastic and affordable accommodations.