Driving in a foregin country is both a daunting and interesting adventure! In Africa, driving in Rwanda, a remarkably the land of a thousand hills is an exciting and memorable experience. Whether you are traveling in your own car or a rented car, a self drive safari in Rwanda will inspiringly show your vacation but this does not come easy when you mess up and would turn to be a nightmare. However, rectifying the mess up is not rocket science. Here are some of the common mistakes holiday makers make driving overseas most especially Africa and how best to avoid them.
- Taking travel and car rental insurance for guaranteed
If you do not have insurance for car rental, you are putting yourself at risk of being liable for the damages that may happen to the car while driving it. It is very expensive to repair a car in case of any deformation. It is advisable to get make sure that the rental car has comprehensive insurance from either the car rental company or if you have car rental insurance from your home country then you can use that.
- Making rush hour or late booking
When you wish to use a rental car urgently or at the immediate effect, the car hire company is more likely to charge highly as they will take advantage of your desperation of wanting a rental car firsthand. Sometimes, during rush hour booking, you are likely not to get your preferred rental car if the cars are scarce since at that time of need, you are willing to settle for any. It is best to book a rental car in advance so that you have the time to negotiate for the right time and also get the right car.
- Failing to acquire an International Driving Permit or recognized permit in Rwanda
In Rwanda, one to drive car he/she is supposed to have a recognized driving permit that is an international driving permit or a French or English translated driving permit. However, some people come along with a driving permit in a language that is not used in Rwanda and they are denied to rent a car.
- Not asking about the local road rules
Different countries have different road rules, of which in Rwanda we follow the European standard of driving that is on the left hand but we have some rules that are different like the speed limits and communicating on phone while driving and also some of our road signs are different. But some traveler come here and then hit the road from there and then without familiarizing with our road rules and ending up being road offenders or even causing accidents on the road.
- Not planning your route thoroughly
Some people just hit the road even before planning for their journey. With modern GPS systems (and even something as simple as Google Maps) it’s so easy to navigate these days, but that’s no reason to become complacent. Make sure you plan your route thoroughly when you’re travelling so you don’t waste time or end in tricky conditions. It’s also worth keeping a physical copy of a map nearby just in case you get lost without a charger.
Have you ever rented a car overseas? What advice would you give? Let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.