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5 Best Cars for Family Travels in Rwanda

Planning a family trip in Rwanda but you are not sure of which cars to hire? Whether you are looking for a 4×4 car hire in Rwanda or a mass transportation vehicle, here are some of the best choices for family travel. Get on a family road trip in Rwanda in a comfortable way in one of our luxurious family size car rentals.

Safari Land Cruiser

Our fleet of safari Land Cruisers range from hard top to extended type, VX and V8. They are all ideal for family vacations in Rwanda especially if you plan for wildlife safari to Akagera National Park. They take from 5 to 8 people and perfect for outdoor camping tours in any part of Rwanda. Our luxurious Safari Land Cruisers consist of a pop up roof making them the best for game viewing. They also come with a mini fridge and air conditioners.

Toyota Prado

We have wide range of Toyota Prado car rentals for family trips in Rwanda ranging from TX, TZ and GX type. They have capacity of 6 seats with features such as MP 3, CD, FM radio station, air conditioner and many more. Whether you are planning to embark on a self-drive road trip, wedding, guided tours, conference, family vacation or airport transfers in the peal of Africa, our Toyota Land cruiser Prado will get you to that dream destination and at end of the day, you live within your dream. With pop-up roof/sun roof, you have amazing views while you are on a game drive in Rwanda’s savanna grassland protected areas.

Toyota Super Custom

Our Toyota Super Custom car rentals are the best 4wheel drive and they accommodate about 7 people. They are perfect for safaris the fact that it also features a pop-up/sun roof which is ideal for game drive. They also comprise of air conditioners front and rear as well as a luxurious boot which accommodates all that you plan to use while on your safari. They are the best for you to navigate through the remote areas where Rwanda’s attractions are located.

Toyota Rav4

The Toyota Rav4 equally comes in 4wheel and 4 doors accommodating about 2-4 people. They feature air conditioners and a comprehensive insurance. Our compact Rav4 come with adequate space for you to pack your property and pocket friendly the fact that it doesn’t consume much fuel. They are perfect for family trips, self-drive, conference meetings and others.

Safari minivan

Need to get the best of sightseeing tour in Rwanda? Embark on a family trip in our safari minivans and get your dreams achieved. They take up to nine visitors and feature a pop up roof making it a perfect choice for wildlife viewing experiences. It also features air conditioners, comfortable seats and adequate room for your cargo.

Coaster minibus

Planning a wedding, introductions or company getaway and you do not have any idea of how your people can get to reception or church? Our spacious Coaster minibuses are worth hiring. They accommodate between 25 and 35 people.

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Primates Watching in Rwanda

Nyungwe National Park situated in southwestern part of Rwanda, at the extreme border between Rwanda and Burundi in the south, and it borders Lake Kivu as well as Democratic Republic of the Congo on the western part. The remarkable Nyungwe rainforest national park is one of the best preserved and conserved montane rainforest in whole of the Central Africa and the park is one of the attractions responsible for the many safaris and tours to Rwanda. It is positioned in the landmark between the wonderful basin of the river Congo found on the western part of the park and the stunning basin of the world’s longest river Nile positioned on the Eastern part of the park and hence giving it the opportunity to host some interesting eco-systems in the whole of African continent.

Exploring Nyungwe after your gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda will offer one the opportunity to enjoy the remarkable 13 primate species found in the Nyungwe national park and the park contains almost 25% of the total numbers of primates in the whole of African continent. The natural endowed park houses both endangered and threatened primate species and hence taking safaris to Uganda where the park is found offers one with the opportunity to enjoy the sights of these species which are rare and unique and not easily got any where the world.

The remarkable species being the chimpanzee species and these can be easily watched and trekked by any visitor on his primate trekking safaris in Rwanda. The experience of seeing the human brothers living in the forest jungle is very fascinating to visitor.The most recommended species here also include the Rwenzori Colobus as well as the rare Angola colobus which can be only found in the Albertine Rift Valley. The primates in Nyungwe are unique other than other primates in other protected area and the uniqueness is expressed I n the way that these primates move in groups consisting of an estimated number of hundred. The habituated group or troop made up of 400 primate species can be easily found in the campsite Rwenzori Colobus is mainly arboreal as well as acrobatic leaf-eater.

The other interesting types of the monkeysin the park involve the L’Hoest’s monkey, Owl faced monkey, Silver monkey as well as golden monkey red tailed monkey, Vervet monkey, Dent’s Mona monkey plus even the crowned monkeyand Olive baboon which is considered to be a savanna monkey species and not easily sighted along the road through Nyungwe.

In addition to the mentioned species, one can also enjoy the sights of the four nocturnal primates and these can only be seen by the tourist trekking the primates at night and these species almost look like the lemurs found in Madagascar.

 

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Experience Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills

For those of you who are looking for an exotic destination for your next summer holiday, here is a unique country that you will love! Rwanda is one of the fast coming destinations in Africa well known for gorilla trekking within the jungles of Volcanoes National Park. For those who want to experience Rwanda as the majority of the population experiences it, you’ve come to the right place. Your day will be spent in community, putting forth some hard work and interacting with a host of beautiful personalities. Language barriers don’t matter as you share and learn from the experts. Through the opportunity Azizi has given them, these women create day full of Rwandan culture and share it with visitors. If you want to learn and experience rather than just tour, Azizi is the place for you to experience the Rwanda local community safaris.

The culture of Rwanda is varied. Unlike many countries in Africa, Rwanda has been a unified state since pre-colonial times, populated by the Banyarwanda people who share a single language and cultural heritage. Eleven regular national holidays are observed throughout the year, with others occasionally inserted by the government. The week following Genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated an official week of mourning. The last Saturday of each month is Umuganda, a national day of community service, during which most normal services close down.

Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is Intore, a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components – the ballet, performed by women; the dance of heroes, performed by men, and the drums. Traditionally, music is transmitted orally with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance, the royal drummers having enjoyed high status within the court of the mwami. Drummers usually play together in groups of seven or nine.

Rwanda has a growing popular music industry, influenced by East African, Congolese and American music. The most popular genres are hip-hop and R&B, often blended with raga and dance-pop. Popular local artists include The Ben and Meddy, both of whom have won awards, and more recent artists like Miss Shanel, Kitoko, Rider man, Tom Close, King James and others.

After this cultural experience take the unforgettable Rwanda gorilla safari, the mountain gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists consider the Bwindi population in Uganda may be a separate subspecies, though no description has been finished. As of November 2012, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas is around 880.

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The best of Rwanda’s tourism

There are several unique tourism activities to do in Rwanda; this country is long past its war torn days and now it’s one of safest countries visited in Africa. You will feel the real true African country with lots of unique attractions which have attracted many safari tours to Rwanda. This country is extremely small and there is one unique thing about this small country, this is gorilla trekking which is done in volcanoes National park and it has raised increased revenues for the country.
There is the Kigali city which is in the heart of Rwanda, this gorgeous city with great weather can get you taste the history here through visiting the genocide memorials and here you will learn about the turbulent past of this country. You will also have a chance to visit the different local markets which are found in the city as well as the art facts and the craft shops which are found within the city. These have also attracted many safaris to Rwanda.

Thinking about Rwanda makes you come close to the mountain gorillas and these can be spotted in volcanoes National park which is found some few kilometers from Kigali city. You will enjoy a very unique experience taking Rwanda Gorilla  adventure, take this advantage and experience the largest group of gorillas  when you come for a  safari . Gorilla trekking can also be carried out in Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo.

Rwanda has also got three national parks and these include; Akagera National park, Nyungwe National park and Volcanoes National park, there are many animal species which can be spotted in these national parks and some of these include; the chimpanzees, bird species, elephants, lions, leopards, and the monkeys. Lake Kivu also makes a border between Rwanda and Congo and it’s a great region where the tourists are safe to visit and swim, you will also visit the safari cities like Kibuye and Gisenyi near DR Congo border.
The other attractions which are found in Rwanda include; city tours, cultures, bird species and many wild animal species. The Butare is a cultural hub for the country and was once the most important city before 1965. You will also visit the great national museum which will help you explore the great history of Rwanda.

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Driving Around the Big Bend

Our car shuddered to a standstill beside a wooden sign on a deserted western region part of Uganda road. “This is fountain of the pearl of Africa”, I read as I stepped from the car into the shimmering mid day heat. We’d been heading through Queen Elizabeth National Park towards the Uganda-Rwanda border, to a town called Kisoro which boasted of a very conducive climate for a night. Unfortunately as we rounded a bend I was faced with a rock slide in progress and totally misjudged the clearance of my rented car from Uganda Self Drive, a reputable car renting company in Uganda opting to try and drive over the bouncing debris. There were a series of sickening thuds and bangs which caused my partner and I to cringe, and the car to grind to a standstill after around a hundred yards, with an alarming flow of unidentified liquid pouring onto the road surface.

We both looked under the car at the damage, then at each other then down the long straight road ahead of us. On average we’d been passing another vehicle about every half an hour and we were around an hour’s drive from our isolated hotel. Around ten miles back down the road, we’d passed a small garage at a cross roads, with a sign which read ‘this shop protected by a sawed off shot gun 3 days per week. You guess which days’. We’d also seen a hand painted sign pointing to the hills reading ‘Ghost Town Road’. That was the only sign of life and it looked like we could be waiting for some time to be rescued.

After about 20 minutes, with my partner berating me for my lack of driving judgment as we sat in the now roasting car, the air conditioner having failed with the engine, I notice a speck on the horizon, tailed by a large dust cloud.”Told you we wouldn’t wait long”, I said, trying to sound optimistic. It took around 10 minutes before I noticed that I had to do some thing very fast. I reached for my mobile phone, called the car rental company from which we had hired the car. This company is so generous that it contacted it’s area agent and with in a blink of an eye a rescue car was at our footsteps and we were 0ffered another car and off we proceeded with our journey.

Eventually we arrived Kabale town which is at the border of these two countries for at least a night before embarking on our journey. Reclaimed by a hardy bunch of artists, musicians, loners and eccentrics. Today, Kabale boasts a couple of eating options, some shops and lodgings and as we trudged, sweating into town we were greeted by the site of a graveyard with tumbledown tombstones, a few scattered dwellings in various states of disrepair…and the Starlight Theatre. An incongruous sight in this far flung corner of western Uganda, the Starlight had once provided entertainment for the miners and their families. Now it had been converted into the Ghost town’s only bar, and its appearance was so unexpected I almost expected it to fade, mirage like, from view as we approached.

There are some meals that stick in your memory. Sometimes because of their quality, but often because you were so hungry that whatever you ate would seem like a sumptuous banquet. Similarly with drinks. On an occasion where your mouth is parched and dry and you feel that you’ve perspired every last bead of sweat from your body, an ice cold beer can live as long in the memory as a bottle of the finest champagne. And so it was with the icy bottle of Shiner Bock which I threw down in one gulp in that strange little bar.

The room was populated by a number of bewhiskered characters who all looked strangely similar to the mailman… in fact one of them was the mailman! He raised an arm in greeting, while some of his drinking buddies glanced in our direction but barely raised a bushy eyebrow. It seemed that two sweaty, red faced, stranded travelers stumbling into their local bar was a regular occurrence. We sank a couple more cold beers and began to consider how we’d get back to the hotel to await delivery of the replacement car. It seemed that no one was making a water run that day so we headed back to the Main Road and continued with our journey to Rwanda the land of a thousand hills. After crossing the Rwandan border everything turned different. If you are to enjoy a Rwanda self drive, be prepared for a different driving experience. Within Rwanda, driving is on the right side, just like USA! However their roads are in a better condition than most rural roads in Uganda.

 

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A Fun But Not Inexpensive Safari in Africa

When you sit down to plan your safari in Africa, you want a fun vacation but not an expensive one and that is where the Internet comes in handy. Many years ago booking a safari to Africa was a hustle given the limited use of internet by African tour operators. Today you can easily book a fun but inexpensive holiday with a local tour operator based in Africa. Here are some important hints you should know before starting your search for your next holiday.

You can search different hotel sites, airlines sites and travel agent sites to find a cheap holiday vacation package that you can afford without going over your budget. You can plan a fun vacation to any location if you do a little searching and plan your vacation in advance. The idea of planning in advance usually offers you lower prices before the hotels and airlines book up for the holidays.

The first thing to do is look around at the different sites offering cheap holiday packages and compare the package deals to the individual deals. You will probably see that booking the entire vacation in one package will save you more money than if you were to purchase everything separate. You can visit sites like TripAdvisor to see what they have to offer as well as some of the other popular sites. You might even find some area hotels that you plan to travel to are offering accommodations and airfare for one low price. You can choose the type of room you need and for how many people as well connecting or direct flights.

By booking early, you will also save some money on your cheap holiday package. Hotels and airlines that are sure about occupancy will try to offer lower rates in anticipation that they will fill up early and allow them to have full planes when taking off for the destination. Buy checking the different sites you can compare and see where the biggest savings will be for you. You do not need to spend a big sum of money to have a fantastic trip to your favorite cheap holiday destination.

The best way to an affordable vacation is by searching around the Internet well in advance of your trip and finding the special that are offered for that particular area. You might even find something that is so affordable you can even afford to stay a few extra days without going over your budget that you have planned for the trip.

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Rwanda’s Tourism Still Growing

Travel and tourism is every new day becoming a vital sector for Rwanda’s economic development. 20 years after the 1994 Genocide the return of peace and stability in the country Rwanda has recovered a lot and realized development in terms of social, cultural and economic development. Today Rwanda has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and today the country has recovered from the limbo that it was in during the civil war that saw nearly a million people dying in the famous 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

Today Rwanda is one of the most popular travel destinations attracting a lot of tourists who visit the country to track the endangered mountain gorillas, watch the wild game, see chimps etc. Despite the past conflict, Rwanda safari trips are becoming more popular and the country has become one of the most attractive destinations in Eastern Africa. The success in tourism and the economy at large can be credited to many factors.

  • Rwanda has a provision of well connected road network, luxury bus and efficient mini bus facilities that transport tourists. Whether you are looking at affordable means to connect to various destinations or need luxurious transportation, all options are available.
  • 20 years of peace and stability is another factor. Today Rwanda is a very safe and secure destination to visit in Africa.
  • Development of accommodation establishments including safari lodges, luxury hotels, campsites etc.
  • The consented effort of the Rwandan Government to promote tourism.
  • There are also certain special flights that are availed when traveling to Rwanda. Charter flights are also available and commonly used for site seeing and for also those who don’t want to travel by road in Rwanda.
  • Though Rwanda has no connection through railways, it is well connected by road network to Uganda and Kenya which has made it easy accessible from these two countries when one is connecting safaris from Uganda and Kenya.
  • Rwanda has many tour operators housed in in different cities who help tourists while traveling to the country. Again Rwanda travel tours can also be arranged through the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Park and Office Rwandaise du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN), with some of the main tour operators in Rwanda including;
    • National Office for Tourism and National Parks
    • International Tours and Travel(ITT)
    • Albertine Safaris
    • Sat guru Travel and Tour Service
    • The Travel Company

All the above together with other factors have lead to steadily developing tourism as the a major source of export earnings in Rwanda. Tourism is currently one of the fastest growing sectors and, as a result, remains high on the government’s agenda.

As the industry is on course to become the leading foreign exchange earner, luring more tourists, as well as attracting substantial investment, especially in the hospitality sector more room for expansion is needed. However with the introduction of new products and venturing into the new market segments, this will help in diversifying the nation’s tourism portfolio, as well as foster sustainability. Despite the increasing contribution of travel and tourism to the national economy, there is still need for a long-term plan if Rwanda is to enjoy mass success on a global scale in tourism.

 

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South African Elections, 20 years of History

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.” -Nelson Mandela

Two days ago, on May 7th South Africa held its 5th democratic elections, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the end of white minority rule, the end of apartheid, and the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela.

The African National Congress (ANC) will retain control.  Jacob Zuma, (despite the controversy that has surrounded him) will go on to serve another five year term. The ANC has maintained control since the very first democratic elections 20 years ago.

It is a bittersweet time of reflection as we think of the sacrifices that have led to this day.

“People died for this right. They must not waste it,” – Desmond Tutu

The first time I was in South Africa was not 20 years ago but 40 – in 1974. This was a dark time in South African history.

The disease of Apartheid was rampant, infecting minds, killing people, and proving to be nearly fatal to the country.

In 1976, the Soweto uprising occurred, when over 20,000 high school students protested a government law stating that only Afrikaans was to be taught in the schools. Police quickly fired upon the protestors, killing many, among them, young Hector Pieterson.

In 1977, Stephen Biko was beaten and died in jail from his injuries.

Nelson Mandela remained incarcerated until 1990.

We cannot even begin to imagine what apartheid was like for those who lived through it.  We have heard these horrific stories of violence and suffering. and we must remember them. I also think of the many stories we will never hear; the stories of those who suffered long, silent, lonely lives. I remember a simple woman I once knew. She lives in my memory as a powerful reminder of those dark days.

Her name was Monica, a young Zulu woman who worked as a domestic maid and cook in the small community of Skukuza, within Kruger National Park. Although she was married with a young son, she only saw them once or twice a year. Out of necessity, they were separated; her husband and son working miles away in a township outside of Johannesburg. She earned less than the equivalent of $8.00 a month. I remember being so confused. I simply did not understand. She was gentle and kind. She was smart and funny; warm and comforting. She became a friend.

When it came time for me to return to the states, Monica took me aside and made one request. She asked me to photograph her. She explained to me that if I was to do this, she could go with me. Part of her could finally leave.   I carry her photo with me to this day. I wonder where she is and I think of what her life might be like now. I picture her somewhere with her husband, perhaps with her grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren. I think of her cooking for, and being surrounded by her family – at least that is my hope. And maybe, just maybe, Monica was able to vote….I hope so.

Nelson Mandela: 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013(2013-12-05) (died at age 95)

Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) (died at age 30)

Hector Pieterson (1963 – 16 June 1976) (died at age 13)

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born on October 7, 1931 (currently 82 years old)

I am grateful to these brave souls. South Africa is one of the most spectacular countries on the planet and is worth fighting for.

Following is a safari that honors this important anniversary and the rich history of South Africa. It includes visits to some of the most beautiful and historical areas of the country; culture, wildlife viewing, and more.

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Romantic Africa Safaris Webinar – Talk to an expert

Ahhh- love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, proposals are coming,  followed by weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. Take a moment to tune into this special Romantic Africa Safaris Webinar on Tuesday February 11th at 10am MST. Kent Redding, President of award-winning Africa Adventure Consultants and expert custom safari planner will  discuss some of the top romantic destinations in Africa, unique activities, and important information, all designed to ensure that yours is an adventure which not only gets your heart thumpin’ but also takes your breath away – just like that special someone!  – Register here