Rwanda - driving without a driver?

Nov 25th, 2007, 11:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3
Rwanda - driving without a driver?

Is it safe/wise/practical to drive in Rwanda in a rented 4 wheel drive car by ourselves? We rented a car but not hired a driver, partially because of costs, but also not particularly wanting the constant presence of a third person.
We would like your advice on this?
We'd also like recommendations of drivers you have used and ways to contact them.
We are leaving in 4 weeks.
zds is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,867
May I ask how much per day your rental costs? I was under the impression that the majority of the cost of hiring a vehicle with driver is the vehicle.
Patty is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 836

When we hired a $wd + driver I looked into hiring just the 4wd but found that most places only hired the 4wd with driver and to be honest, when I saw some of the "roads" we drove to do the Gorilla Treck we were <bold>VERY</bold> we had a driver.

The driver we had was called Richard and I have to say he was THE most anazing guy!! He absolutely adores his job and our trip wouldn't have been the same without him. He was hired for us through ITT (International Tours & Travel) but I know he takes bookings on his own. If you like I have his e-mail address and you can e-mail me at im_civil at . Others on this board have had Richard as their driver and I have only heard good things about him from anyone who has had him drive them.

If you do e-mail me please put something like Fodors - Richard or something in the title so i can fish it out of my junk mail.

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
It is VERY easy and safe to self-drive in Rwanda. The roads to the main tourist attractions are possibly the best in East Africa!

Even the roads to most of the starting points for treks are very good tarmac!

4WD vehicles NOT needed but easy to get anyway! The worst roads are rocky, not muddy. It is possible to rent a self-drive 4WD car for as little as $70 a day (excluding fuel). Here is a picture of a car I rented in September 2007.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 105
I know nothing about Rwanda other than trip reports and I have read that the odometers may not be accurate on rentals so you may want to bring a GPS (to record distance) if mileage per day is not unlimited.

NOTE: I think this is because replacement tires may be the wrong size and this would change the revolutions and odometer.

This could also work in your favor and decrease actual miles.
tinlizzy2 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 836
Hi Eben,
Glad to hear that the roads you drove to the Gorilla Treck were quite good but I just want to say that unfortunately we were not so lucky and there would have been NO WAY that something other than a 4WD would have gotten through the roads we had to drive with the low wheel base. Now maybe those roads have been improved since we were there last year but in the condition they were in at the time not even hubby would have liked to have faced that part of the journey if he had been the driver ..... just thought I'd add that in to give the whole picture

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Hi Imelda

Yes, much have changed with the roads at PDV since your visit! You will not believe the difference.

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 836
Thanks Eben - that's great news - I hadn't realised they had done so much work .... definately a good sign that things are going well for them and the Gorillas!

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 03:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 29

Can you tell me the car rental company you are using and contact info? I am planning a self-drive trip in January.

tdean is offline  

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