East Africa 2012

7½ months - with Melanie - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

Information on the Journey

This journey was mainly about African Parks. For 7½ months, we slowly travelled only a small part of these four beautiful countries. During the Christmass and New Year season, we stopped for a month at the Twiwi Beach, in Kenya.

East Africa is quite easy concerning visas and insurances. There is some minor corruption. After more than 7 months there, a few policemen asked us for gift from Canada, but after a polite refusal, they didn't insist. It was often quite friendly.

Some data

Travelling with Mélanie
Regions visited:Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda
When? July 2012 to February 2013

The best

TanzaniaSerengeti - Tarangire - Ngorongoro crater - Zanzibar.
RwandaScenery everywhere - Lake Kivu - Nyungwe Forest.
UgandaQueen Elizabeth Park - Sipi Falls - 3 hippopotamus at 2-3 metres from our camp - Coffee Pot in Kisoro - Explorer Backpackers in the city of Jinja.
KenyaLake Bogoria and its thousands of flamingoes (in season) - Samburu Reserve - scenery around Rusinga Island (Lac Victoria) - scenery around Cherangani Hills - gravy Zebra at Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Mount Longonot.

The worst

TanzaniaLake Natron is not worth it (out of season) - park fees.
RwandaBeing yelled amazungu (white person) and being constantly asked for money or trinkets (it is worst than other East African countries) - adults often ask for money or food.
UgandaFees for foreign car in parks ($150) - no info from rangers in parks - paying again to see Murchison Falls after paying the entrance fees - Ssese Islands - The road around Soroti is full of holes.
KenyaMost parks and reserves have doubled their fees in 2012 - many locals say Kenya is dangerous, some say it is safe... I don't really know (I had no problem) - seeing Italians buying pens and candies for children at Marafa Depression.

Best Time to Go

The time to avoid is the big rainy season from March to May. In November, there is a small rainy season, but not serious enough to avoid travelling.

The coast is hot and humid from December to March.

For animal sightings, as the dry seasons progress, the animals stay more and more around the waterholes. At that time, it is easier to observe them. However, for birds, the rainy season or slightly thereafter is often the best time.

Technical Data

Travellers with a Canadian passport.

Tanzania (July 2012)

VISAObtained at the border or airport. $US 50 for 3 months.
CURRENCYTanzanian Shilling - $US 1 = 1580 TZS
INSURANCELocal insurance or a COMESA insurance that covers the country ($90 for 6 months for all the covered countries).
DIESEL$US 1.38 / litre (up to $1.45 in remote area)

Rwanda (August 2012)

VISARegister online 3-4 days before entering the country (online form to fill on the Rwandan government site - print the confirmation sent by email). Get the visa at the border. $US 30 for 1 month.
CURRENCYRwandan Franc - $US 1 = 605 RWF
INSURANCECOMESA - $90 for 6 months.
DIESEL$US 1.63 / litre

Uganda (September 2012)

VISAAt the border. $US 50 for 3 months. Road tax of $US 20.
CURRENCYUgandan Shilling - $US 1 = 2500 UGX
INSURANCECOMESA - $90 for 6 months.
DIESEL$US 1.33 / litre - $1.56 on Ssese Islands

Kenya (November 2012)

VISAAt the border. $US 50 for 3 months. Road tax of $US 50 for 3 months or $US 20 for 1 month.
CURRENCYKenyan Shilling - $US 1 = 85.6 KES
INSURANCECOMESA - $90 for 6 months.
DIESEL$US 1.20-1.30 / litre