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  1. #1
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    Default Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Hi guys,

    This forum has always been such an incredible resource, so don't worry I am investigating all aspects of this myself, but thought I would ask here anyway...

    Driving to Rwanda from Johannesburg, in about 14 days. Is it possible? Obviously I will have to get a whole load of covid tests, but otherwise?

    Thinking of going straight through Botswana, up the great north road in Zambia, into Tanzania, along the Western side of Tanzania and into Rwanda/

    If anyone has seen my YouTube channel, you'll see we were meant to do this in Feb last year, and were on our way, when covid hit. www.youtube.com/c/timhulme

    Any thoughts appreciated?

    Tim Hulme
    Check out http://www.youtube.com/c/timhulme for my latest overlanding vlog!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    The drive up would be pretty functional, I need to get there for a commercial film I am shooting, but the idea would be then to have the car and the girlfriend up in Rwanda, so that we can then explore East Africa and drive home over a couple of months.
    Check out http://www.youtube.com/c/timhulme for my latest overlanding vlog!

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    With Covid-19 doing the rounds.... Your adventure will be much less of an African nature. It can be done but if you can postpone to next year, do it. Otherwise take lots of bribe money with you... And keep us posted
    I love Mozambique!

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Tim, I would look carefully into doing it this year. I have been following this quite meticulously.

    A week or two ago Zambia placed South Africa on its red list. This appeared to mean that any South Africans that have not been fully vaccinated (eg Pfizer 2 doses, J&J 1 dose), would have to be quarantined in Zambia at a place of the Zambian's choice and at the visitors cost. This was regardless of whether they had recent negative Covid PCR tests or not. Phone the Zambian embassy in Pretoria.

    Currently Zimbabwe is not allowing any tourists to cross their land borders. Some have succeeded when they have documented proof they are visiting for business reasons but this seems very difficult. Strangely enough even tourists flying in, with documentary proof of destination bookings have been allowed to enter.

    Much as I enjoy an African challenge, I would not venture on such a trip again until I had myself have been fully vaccinated.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    OR
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Tim, I would look carefully into doing it this year. I have been following this quite meticulously.

    A week or two ago Zambia placed South Africa on its red list. This appeared to mean that any South Africans that have not been fully vaccinated (eg Pfizer 2 doses, J&J 1 dose), would have to be quarantined in Zambia at a place of the Zambian's choice and at the visitors cost. This was regardless of whether they had recent negative Covid PCR tests or not. Phone the Zambian embassy in Pretoria.

    Currently Zimbabwe is not allowing any tourists to cross their land borders. Some have succeeded when they have documented proof they are visiting for business reasons but this seems very difficult. Strangely enough even tourists flying in, with documentary proof of destination bookings have been allowed to enter.

    Much as I enjoy an African challenge, I would not venture on such a trip again until I had myself have been fully vaccinated.
    Ah what a pity, thanks for the details though Stan! I’ll have to fly to Rwanda then, and plan to do the journey when this all passes!
    Check out http://www.youtube.com/c/timhulme for my latest overlanding vlog!

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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Tim phone the Zambian embassy and check. Rules are changing so quickly.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Once you get there it should be fine - they've had about the same total number of Covid-19 cases as we had yesterday!

    I agree with others though - I think the trip will be a continual frustration, with a high risk of either delays or simply failure to reach Rwanda.

    Sadly...

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hulme View Post
    Hi guys,

    This forum has always been such an incredible resource, so don't worry I am investigating all aspects of this myself, but thought I would ask here anyway...

    Driving to Rwanda from Johannesburg, in about 14 days. Is it possible? Obviously I will have to get a whole load of covid tests, but otherwise?

    Thinking of going straight through Botswana, up the great north road in Zambia, into Tanzania, along the Western side of Tanzania and into Rwanda/

    If anyone has seen my YouTube channel, you'll see we were meant to do this in Feb last year, and were on our way, when covid hit. www.youtube.com/c/timhulme

    Any thoughts appreciated?

    Tim Hulme
    We discussed this route and timings at great length about 18 months ago - just pre-Covid. I don’t think 14 days from Joburg to Rwanda is possible even in the best of times pre-Covid. During a pandemic - with Covid tests and potential quarantine - it looks like a completely non-starter.

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    I don’t think 14 days from Joburg to Rwanda is possible even in the best of times pre-Covid. .
    Possible I think but pointless: Jo'burg to Beitbridge in a day, early start and Beitbridge to Victoria Falls in a day, day 3 cross into Zambia and head for Lusaka, Day 4 to Forest Inn, day 5 Forest Inn to Tunduma (long boring day but doable), Day 6 border crossing and to Lakeshore Lodge, Day 7 continue to Kigoma, Day 8 Kigoma to Rusumo (or more probably to Nyakanazi, then Day 9 to Rusumo. Border crossing into Rwanda.

    This is "non-Covid-19 travel" obviously.

    About 3800 Km, which would normally take us 3-1/2 weeks, although we'd no doubt stop at Victoria Falls and Lakeshore Lodge so more like a month, if for some reason we chose to travel this route.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    This is where we discussed it at some length pre-Covid.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...t=#post4333128

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Aha - thanks for the link.

    I was also reflecting, now that the Kazungula bridge is open (although I don't know whether the border is) that the other option would be from JHB to Kazungula rather than through Zimbabwe. Academic discussion I suppose.

    I was also conscious that my comment re "pointless" was unfair - there could be several reasons for wanting to make the trip as efficiently as possible.

    I'm just dreaming anyway - it's not sufficiently safe to drive out of the apartment right no : (

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by alannymarce View Post

    I'm just dreaming anyway - it's not sufficiently safe to drive out of the apartment right no : (
    Pole sana... It’s all very grim.

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  15. #13
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    WW, are Rwanda land borders now open, I recall a few months ago they were all closed? You could only fly in.
    John 2021 Toyota Prado GXL 2.8 (in Australia) and 2014 Toyota Hilux 4x4 3.0 D4D (in Africa)
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    John, with the current African Third Covid wave and concern about variants, African borders are opening and closing more often than mouths at the dentist. It appears all too easy to be suddenly marooned in the middle of nowhere for long periods. Often even regional travel within individual countries is precipitously banned.

    Out of self-interest I am painstakingly monitoring the situation as closely as I can. Closed borders are indeed an obvious problem but there are other considerations. If Covid quarantine is imposed upon you, what will the facilities be like, how much will they cost and how will your travel companion be managed should you test positive? Also if you become ill enough from Covid, will there be an empty hospital bed for you and will it be in a hospital with sophisticated enough intensive care facilities (ventilation) and even Oxygen to cater for life-saving medical needs? Few would be able to evacuate a Covid infected patient by air, tying up very limited medical resources.

    My personal evaluation is that this is not a good time to explore Africa by road and this will probably drag on for at least another year. For those that have been fully vaccinated, some just might be intrepid enough to cast safety doubts aside.
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2021/06/08 at 06:11 AM.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  18. #15
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    John, with the current African Third Covid wave and concern about variants, African borders are opening and closing more often than mouths at the dentist. It appears all too easy to be suddenly marooned in the middle of nowhere for long periods. Often even regional travel within individual countries is precipitously banned.

    Out of self-interest I am painstakingly monitoring the situation as closely as I can. Closed borders are indeed an obvious problem but there are other considerations. If Covid quarantine is imposed upon you, what will the facilities be like, how much will they cost and how will your travel companion be managed should you test positive? Also if you become ill enough from Covid, will there be an empty hospital bed for you and will it be in a hospital with sophisticated enough intensive care facilities (ventilation) and even Oxygen to cater for life-saving medical needs? Few would be able to evacuate a Covid infected patient by air, tying up very limited medical resources.

    My personal evaluation is that this is not a good time to explore Africa by road and this will probably drag on for at least another year. For those that have been fully vaccinated, some just might be intrepid enough to cast safety doubts aside.
    Agree 100% Stan. As you are aware we have two factors stopping us from returning to Africa at present, firstly Linda's ongoing foot issue and secondly the Aussie government will not allow citizens to leave Australia for holiday purposes, yes I hear some saying "police state", but it is working here and most Aussies support what the government is doing. However even without these restrictions we may return to Southern Africa but East Africa is not on our radar for 2021 and probably not even 2022. Latest indications are that our government will only allow travel in the second half of 2022 so too late to start our 7-month East African safari. Our reasoning mirrors pretty much what you have highlighted above, thanks for putting it into words better than I could have. We are hoping to get our first vaccine later this month.
    John 2021 Toyota Prado GXL 2.8 (in Australia) and 2014 Toyota Hilux 4x4 3.0 D4D (in Africa)
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hulme View Post
    Hi guys,

    This forum has always been such an incredible resource, so don't worry I am investigating all aspects of this myself, but thought I would ask here anyway...

    Driving to Rwanda from Johannesburg, in about 14 days. Is it possible? Obviously I will have to get a whole load of covid tests, but otherwise?

    Thinking of going straight through Botswana, up the great north road in Zambia, into Tanzania, along the Western side of Tanzania and into Rwanda/

    If anyone has seen my YouTube channel, you'll see we were meant to do this in Feb last year, and were on our way, when covid hit. www.youtube.com/c/timhulme

    Any thoughts appreciated?

    Tim Hulme
    I would just fly up and explore my girlfriend at home.
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

    083 399 2046

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedx2 View Post
    WW, are Rwanda land borders now open, I recall a few months ago they were all closed? You could only fly in.
    From a quick Google search, I don’t think the land borders are open for non-Rwandans. Best to check before with the embassy/government website.

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Nice channel!

    Yes I think it would be little crazy, for all the reasons Stan mentioned. Parks and campsites might be close as well, you might be limited as to what you see and experience. I would save the cash for later, when things are (hopefully) back to normal, for such an amazing trip.

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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedx2 View Post
    ...and secondly the Aussie government will not allow citizens to leave Australia for holiday purposes, yes I hear some saying "police state", but it is working here and most Aussies support what the government is doing. ....
    From where we sit Australia is doing a great job. Australia, with a population about half of ours, has had 30,207 Covid-19 cases in total in the pandemic; we had 30,000 new cases in one day last week!

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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Would I be crazy to drive to Rwanda now?

    Hey all, thanks for the great response as usual!Ok so the timeline shifted a bit tighter, so any doubt was removed. I will be flying to Rwanda and Tanzania for a film shoot, I'm then looking at the option of flying my GF up to join me, and seeing if we can negotiate some trade exchanges to road trip around Tanzania for a while.Alternatively I'll be heading back to SA straight away, and we will continue our Mozambique trip for 2 months, working our way up to the Zambezi, and then making a call depending on the border situations.
    Check out http://www.youtube.com/c/timhulme for my latest overlanding vlog!

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