- Anyone been to Rwanda recently?
Thinking about going to Rwanda on holiday this year or at least somewhere round lake Victoria or possibly Malawi.
Anyone been recently and got any advice? Especially interested in trips that would cost less than £2000. First research has only shown up expensive Safari holidays. From our little experience of Africa I’m probably better sorting out trips when I get there.Posted 4 years ago
rwc03 – Can’t help you re Rwanda specifically I’m afraid but persevere – Africa is amazing and I’m sure Rwanda is no exception (and will be glad of your tourist dollars). A good place for info might be Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum – helpful folk on there. If you ditch Rwanda, try somewhere else – plenty of great options in Africa. Good luck.Posted 4 years ago
Not directly helpful, but we had a three-week trip around Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya and Uganda for about £1,500.
We figured out exactly what we wanted to do and when before we left. The only thing we book in advance was a 5-day safari. I’d definitely recommend booking ‘big’ stuff in advance, as it saves you a day of wandering around an unfamiliar city, failing to find places and then being a bit overwhelmed by choice and wasting a day. It also means you can find a company you’re happy with.
Other than that, we booked everything when we were there. We met loads of people who were happy to help book coach tickets and so forth. We stayed in hostels and cheap hotels, again, by just rocking up and booking. We did google a few places beforehand so we knew roughly where to head.
Dunno if any of that helps or not!Posted 4 years agoglobaltiMember
I went to Rwanda before the war and have travelled on business a lot in other East African countries. I wouldn’t restrict myself just to Rwanda – Africa is beautiful but there isn’t a lot to do in a city like Kigali unless you’re prepared to rough it a bit and get out into the country. I would sort out an itinerary using somewhere like Nairobi as my hub and taking KQ or the very good Precision Air services out to places like Kampala, Dar, Gaborone, Harare and do a few days in each country. If you are able to relax and go with the flow of Africa, you’ll have a rewarding experience but if you travel in fear and stay only in smart hotels you won’t get beneath the surface. I strongly recommend Botswana as a pleasant and safe country though we came close to being cleaned out by a robber who strolled casually into our hotel room one morning, so keep your wits about you.
Definitely want to go back to Rwanda though because I’ve heard great reports about the country now that it is being run by an apparently un-corrupt president.Posted 4 years ago
wl – It was awesome! I’d definitely go back. We flew into Dar es Salaam, stayed there for a couple of days and then got on the boat to Zanzibar. That was brilliant – bit of snorkling, boat trips, beaches, Stone Town, visit to a spice farm. Probably the most laid back bit of the trip.
We then got a bus up towards the Serengeti and went on a camping safari. I think this cost around £600 (there were quite a few of us). After that, most of my friends went back to Dar es Salaam and home and a mate and I jumped on a coach to Kenya.
Tanzania was definitely my favourite part of the trip.
Thinking about it, it might have been more like £1,800… Worth it though.Posted 4 years ago
Sounds great – glad you enjoyed it and £1,800 still a bargain for your trip. I was there myself last summer – got family in Dar. Always glad to hear of folk enjoying it, because Zanzibar sometimes gets stick for being overpriced and over-touristy. I can see people’s point if they go to the wrong bits or get unlucky, but it’s still one of the most beautiful, fascinating and rewarding places I’ve been (3 visits over a 20-year span). And Tanzania is ace too – one of the friendliest countries in the world, IMO.Posted 4 years ago
We did a trip from Kampala, Uganda, to see chimpanzees and gorillas, then back through Kampala and Nairobi (by bus) to Arusha, Tanzania. 4 day camping safari and then back to Nairobi to fly home. Took about 17-18 days and cost about £1,400 each 10 years ago. Probably my favourite holiday of all time, even though we got salmonella! I booked the permits, safari and planned for transport before we went because we had limited time.
The cost of the gorilla treking permits, safari and fuel (i.e. transport) will have gone up a lot since then. But if you are interested in wildlife I would recommend gorilla trekking (the Rwandan side would be just as good) and try and see chimpanzees too. We went to Kibale near Fort Portal which I would highly recommend for a 2-3 day stay. You could alternatively do Rwanda, Burundi and then Gombe in Tanzania (where Jane Goodall did most of her research). I have looked at it, but would personally want to take 3 weeks to do it properly. Uganda was incredibly friendly and back then the tourism industry was very limited.
My partner went to Malawi as part of an overland tour about 15 years ago and loved that too; very friendly and easy going part of the world.
To reduce costs, and increase the likelihood of great anecdotes for when you get home, use public transport. But expect it to breakdown or just not turn up. Which is why you need time! A lot of Uganda / Rwanda / northern Tanzania and Malawi away from the main highway are gravel roads. Is the £2k including flights? As above, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides to East Africa are a good start.Posted 4 years ago
I would add to wl’s comments that Africa, as much as I have seen, is an amazing continent and definately persevere with planning a holiday somewhere. If you have never been and want to go somewhere to get a ‘feel’ for it, I would highly recommend flying into Cape Town and travelling around the Western Cape (hire a car). There is a huge variety of landscapes, scenery, wildlife and the city to explore. Depends how adventurous you are!Posted 4 years ago
To reduce costs, and increase the likelihood of great anecdotes for when you get home, use public transport
Hell yeah! We counted 27 people squeezed into one HiAce minibus at one point. It was an experience if nothing else…
Tanzania is ace too – one of the friendliest countries in the world, IMO.
Definitely. While Uganda and Kenya were also incredibly friendly, we found the more developed areas we visited there to have a very different feel to what we found in Tanzania.Posted 4 years agoknottinbotswanaMember
A lot depends on how independently you want to travel, and how confident you are.
£2000 will get a lot done if you have the time to use local transport and make safari plans through backpacker hostels/lodges. If you are on a tighter schedule then it’s probably worth going with an operator that can build an itinerary around available time, transport and accommodation.
East Africa would work for this – Zanzibar, Serengeti, Kilimanjaro etc., and also (personal bias here) Botswana/Zambia/Zimbabwe/Malawi.
Globalti’s mention of Gaborone can be misleading: the only reason to go there is in transit from Nairobi to Maun or Kasane. If Botswana is an option you’re better to fly to Johannesburg and get a direct flight to Maun, and from there you can fly or bus to Kasane/Vic Falls and meander up through Zambia to Malawi.Posted 4 years ago
Botswana is, I think, one of the only success stories of passing rule from the British Empire back to the Africans and wasn’t without significant politics involved – read up on Seretse Khama. One of the great things that was done on setting up an Independant Botswana was the passing of laws that effectively means the people benefit from reinvestment of its profits from diamonds and other resources back into education, healthcare and so on. There are also laws with regard to the regulation of the Okavango Delta that means the area is a combination of private reserves.
So it is probably an amazing place to visit and is considered safe and easy to access. But it is comparatively expensive. Particularly for safaris, you effectively have to pay to visit a private reserve, and it is epxected you will fly in to Maun and then generally fly in to the reserves. This set up allows for greater control and management of the land but is obviously different to other areas like East Africa.Posted 4 years agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
Guy in my group grew up in Malawi and still goes back to see his parents – I asked him about it as a holiday destination and it sounded great, until he started talking about the baboon spiders that emerge in the rainy season. Stopped listening after that tbh..Posted 4 years agodavetraveSubscriber
Although not exactly on a holiday basis, I’m off to Uganda for 3 weeks in April, then in May will be spending 6 months based out of Nairobi and travelling round East and North Africa. Although not sure how much freedom I’llhave to break away on my own, but will have my own Land Rover…
Looking forward to it! For a number of reasons…Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘Anyone been to Rwanda recently?’ is closed to new replies.