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Is a Rwanda Safari Road Trip to Kigali Worth the Time Spent on the Road?

Is travelling to Kigali from Kampala via road really worth the time spent on the road?

Any Uganda safari / Rwanda safari traveller heading to Kigali from Kampala asks themselves this question but until you undertake this Rwanda tour journey to Kigali yourself, you really won’t have a precise other to this question. So in a 2 part series, I am going to give you an insight into my journey to Kigali from Kampala and at the end of it I hope you will be in a position to have an answer to your question.

The arrival of the D-day

For weeks we were anxiously waiting for the day we were to go to Rwanda  for a Rwanda city tour as well as picking up our  clients these (16 guests)  who had flown into Africa via Kigali airport from Helsinki Finland for their Africa safari which consisted of a 1 day Kigali city tour, a Uganda gorilla safari and a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari experience all of which had been expertly been put into a single 6 days  Rwanda Uganda gorilla safari by the highly experienced and knowledgeable Prime safaris reservations guru.

The excitement and joy on our faces could evidently be noticed from a mile away as we really resembled a kid on his first trip to Disney land given our incessant laughter but this happiness also stemmed from the fact that one of our colleague’s brother is sitting his Uganda Certificate Exams this year and she had bought for him a success card which we filled with our success wishing and congratulatory messages to the young protégée and we also designed the card with paper money which we solicited from each and every person present in the office on the day, something that was quite unique given that none of us had ever received a success card designed with money during our school-going days, you could definitely see that this was going to jug his spirits up given the amount of pocket money he was to collect from this single card and also receiving success wishing messages from people whom he hardly knew but cared for him.

As the close of business hour drew closer, there was our 7 sitter stretcher van parked in the promenade of our office with our the guide who was the to drive us to Rwanda for our safari Rwanda experience, I just can’t really tell you how jovial we all got on the sight of the van because we now knew there is no turning back and dream was literally turning to reality each every minute that passed.

Not having ever had a chance to really enjoy a ride in a 4×4 safari land cruiser was also a bona fide reason to add on our ecstasy since now it was our chance to get a visitor’s treat in the famous 4×4 safari land cruiser for hire in Kampala / 4×4 safari jeep for hire in Kampala just like several of our clients during their Uganda wildlife safaris or Uganda gorilla safaris have had. We had our itinerary for this once in a lifetime Uganda safari trip to Rwanda well planned out and the first part of this journey was to take us up to Mbarara town where we were to have our overnight stay from.

The Journey to Mbarara

The drive to Mbarara was a serene one which took us about 4 hours and it was quite a fantastic one though I really can’t say we did get to have some great views of Uganda’s countryside since it was pitch black as we had travelled during nighttime.

However, we compensated for the lack of epic sights with having candid conversations about plenty of issues that affect us on a daily ranging from work to social but one conversation that really stood out was one on culture diversity which we had as we tried to dissect the impact of cultural differences on modern society in Uganda today especially as exhibited in cultural weddings.

On arrival to Mbarara, it was quite late into the night and we had to look for budget accommodations in Mbarara as we were operating a low budget safari Uganda trip but to our bitter-sweet shock, many of the budget Uganda safari hotels in Mbarara that we visited were already fully booked, something that was quite unfortunate for us but from the tourism industry point of view, it was good because that right their signified that there is some good business going on even though traditionally Uganda’s tourism curve is at a decline at this time of the year.

In our hunt for a Uganda safari lodge to stay in for the remaining part of the night, we experienced a cultural shock of our own because as we visited one of the lodges in Mbarara, we alarmed when a young lady probably in her mid-twenties came out to address us with only a towel wrapped around her!!

This was in the middle of the deadly silence of the night but and she came out to address strangers in such a fashion in this case 3 men from God knows where, thank God it was us who meant no harm or harboured any witty shenanigan because to this very day, every time when I think about it, I can’t help but shudder with fear at a thought of had it been a person with ill intentions on that occasion, I fear for the worst to have happened.

However, even when everything seems dark and gloomy, there is always hope at the end of the tunnel because at this point.

At this point in time, I had given in to desperation as I feared that we had run out of lady luck and the option of spending the rest of the night hours crunched in a car seat was fast making rounds in my brain but this lady managed to direct us to a somewhat new lodging facility within the area which she was sure it still had rooms to sell for the night. The rooms were quite comfortable and they had an ensuite bathroom which to me was everything I needed because I badly needed a shower so that I could catch some good sleep.

The Beautiful Scenery of  Rwamirama Hills & Kabale

For me the night was really short because no sooner had I gotten a wink of sleep than my alarm went off symbolizing the dawn of a new day before on this Uganda safari tour journey to Kigali, we had a nice breakfast of a hot milk cup tea and with an array of bites and the sweet yellow banana to ease digestion.

From here, we embarked on our next part of the journey. when someone tells you that Uganda is beautiful when you haven’t travelled beyond the confinements of Buganda, you might not be in position to really understand what he is saying although this doesn’t really mean that Buganda isn’t beautiful because it also has its own features that make it a land of wonders but when you travel beyond Buganda you get to have different views of spectacular landscapes that really don’t exist back in Kampala.

From Mbarara, I was ushered into a Uganda that I had never encounter before anywhere in my travels and I have made quite a number of them to various corners of this beautiful motherland.

The sceneries of rolling hills of Rwamirama filled with banana plantations and other crops is something you don’t get to see very often.

Hard-working Ugandans riding bikes loaded with a lot of farm produce on their bikes heading to the nearest markets is quite fascinating for someone who has never been to this part of Uganda. and when you get to make a stopover at roadside markets, you get to see a wide array of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables that are so organic and succulent.

Have you heard of the saying that Kabale is the Switzerland of Uganda? Well on this road trip, I managed to find out myself why this is true because having a glance at the steep hills of Kabale is something that reminiscences the hills towering of Davos only that this time around you won’t see snow patches getting a hold of these hills since Uganda is a tropical country.

The roads in Kabale are winding making never-ending corners which would sometime make you doubt whether you’re progressing forward or making a back trip.

A stop in Kabale at the Food hub restaurant for a great photo moment with the Kabale terrain in the background is all we needed to cement our Kabale experience on this Uganda safari tour road trip to Kigali for a lifetime.

Finally, we made it to Kabale town and where another stop for a lunch break which we had as we proceeded to the border point.

At the Ugandan border point of Gatuna, it was an effortless procedure as the emigration office took us through the registration process to allow us to leave Uganda.

Wait for what happens on crossing into Rwandan side of the borderline in my second part of this series because a dream can complete varnish in a space of a second.

Since Rwanda is a an Africa gorilla safari destination of choice to many Africa safari-goers, its prudent for you to choose a local tour operator in Rwanda to help you organize an epic gorilla trekking Rwanda and Prime Safaris is one of the Rwanda safari companies that has numerous Rwanda gorilla tour packages to Volcanoes National Park, chimpanzees safaris to Nyungwe Forest National Park and Rwanda wildlife safaris packages to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. here are some of the these packages

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