10 Best Self Drive Camps For Self-Drive in Rwanda

While on self-drive tour in Rwanda, there are numerous budget and affordable lodges and guest house that you can stay to explore Rwanda on a budget experience. Find here a list of lodges and campsites suitable for travelers on Self-drive in Rwanda.

Affordable Lodges and Campsites in Akagera National Park

Karenge Bush Camp

This bush camp is in form of camping and it is located in the northern part of Akagera National Park. The word Karenge means ‘small footprint’ in Kinyarwanda, and it’s the name of the area where the camp was first established. The word also represents Karenge Bush Camp’s commitment to leaving nothing more than a light ecological footprint. The camp is open 11 months of the year, only closing for the month of April.

This bush camp contains six charming canvas tents and accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, making it an intimate wilderness experience for self-drive holiday. Every tent contains two cozy camp beds with mattresses and bedding, camp chairs, reed mat floors, and solar lights for reading before bed, the sounds of nature all around you. The camp’s six tents enjoy own private, outdoor bathrooms with bucket showers, toilets, and canvas basins. Warm water is provided daily.

Lake Shakani Campsite

Lake Shakani Campsite is one of the budget accommodations located just on the shores of Lake Shakani.  Lake Shakani offers four campsites for basic facilities for overnight park stays. Muyumbu and Shakani campsites are both located in the south of the park. Muyumbu is situated on a ridge overlooking lakes Ihema and Shakani. Tanzania is also in the distance, and Muyumbu offers a spectacular backdrop for the rising sun.

This campsite also offers a lakeshore camping experience for those on self-drive trips who opt for camping experience, where they wake up to birdsong and the distinct grunt of nearby hippos. Shakani is the only campsite with running water, and its ablution block has flushing toilets and solar-heated showers.  Mutumba campsite is further north in a game-rich area of high rolling grassland hills.

Note that only Muyumbu and Mutumba are fenced. Tents are available for hire at the reception for the southern sites only, and firewood is provided onsite. Visitors are asked to bring their own camping equipment and supplies.

Dereva Hotel

Dereva Hotel is conveniently located in Rwamagana District just in 50 minutes’ drive from Kigali City and 30 minutes’ drive to Akagera National Park. Dereva Hotel provides a refreshingly unique experience in Eastern Province.

Dereva Hotel offers a total of 78 rooms, modern and warmly decorated with amenities to tranquilize and meet the guest’s needs. Room service is available and Guests can start their day with a cooked-to-order breakfast in the trendy restaurant, with a variety of their choice. Amenities include: satellite television, WI-FI internet, line telephone, data port for internet connectivity, swimming pool, garden, free parking and bar.

The general facilities at the hotel include a bar and restaurant, offering venues for meetings that can accommodate 20 to 200 people, and a cozy lounge. Dereva Hotel also offers a wide and varied range of activities, designed for all ages and tastes including modern beautiful Swimming pool and Kids plays.

Affordable Lodges and Campsites in Volcanoes National Park

 Hotel Muhabura

Hotel Muhabura offers a peaceful stay in the Northern Province set in the Calm of the Musanze town surroundings. This Hotel has 30 rooms and apartments at very good rates and it also offers a beautiful environment to relax after gorilla trekking or a day visit to the Northern area of Rwanda. This is a very good hotel for those who are low budget.

Muhabura Hotel is found opposite the Musanze District headquarters on your way out of town on the main road to Rubavu (Gisenyi). You will find it on the right-hand site after you have passed the Bank of Kigali building.

Villa Gorilla Hotel

This Villa Gorilla Hotel is located at Kinigi near the headquarters of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, a mere 2 hour’s drive from Kigali international airport. It has 4 comfortable double occupancy bedrooms, each with private bath and toilet facilities.

Villa Gorilla is sweetly fit for small groups or a family looking for comfort, personal attention from attentive management, privacy and lovely views of the mountains.

Kinigi Guest House

Kinigi Guesthouse is a budget lodging located just down the road from the gorilla and monkey treks ranger headquarters where you start the treks. Wi-Fi is available in the main areas of the guesthouse (the dining room, lobby, terrace lounge). The room with the fireplace is great to relax in especially at night when the temperatures drop. The views are spectacular (don’t forget to look up at night and enjoy the star filled sky that is usually so hard to see in urban areas). Best part is, all of the guests there are mostly backpackers so it was really easy to make new friends.

Affordable Lodges and Campsites in Nyungwe National Park

Gisakura Guest House

The Gisakura Guest House is the perfect place to stay if you want to go for self-drive tours in Nyungwe National Park and visit the Gisakura Tea Estate and Chimpanzee tours. It’s simple and affordable, but very clean and it offers everything one needs. Nice clean room, comfy bed, with mosquito net. I can highly recommend staying there!

Kitabi Eco Guest House

The Kitabi Eco lodge lies on top of a hill giving you a fantastic view over the area, covered with tea plantations. Accommodations are very basic, in the style of the replica of KING’s Palace in Nyanza. All huts are beautifully-crafted thatched dwellings shaped like a beehive. One accommodates 4-5 persons, the other huts only 2.

Kitabi combines camping, a restaurant, gardens, and Ecotourism activities with an ecologically-friendly mindset. There is even a replica of the King’s Palace here that you can explore, and if you want, to stay overnight. Sanitary facilities are outside the huts. Hot water on demand available. Open campfire in the evening and highly motivated staff prepares excellent pizzas. Also guided tour over one of the tea plantations can be arranged at low cost.

Uwinka Campsite

Uwinka Campsite is found at the Uwinka Reception Center making it the only campsite to enjoy jungle camping in Uwinka area. Nyungwe Forest is one of the oldest rain forests in Africa. It is located in the South West of Rwanda. It has the source of river Nile and Congo, it has different fauna including 13 species of primates like chimpanzees and beautiful birds.

Accommodation is offered in tents, covered with a wooden plat thus providing protecting from the rain and given its location, guests are treated thrilling views of the verdant rain forest.

KCCEM Guest House

KCCEM is a budget accommodation facility that provides scenic views to the budget travelers. The guest house is located on the eastern side of the park adjacent to Kitabi booking office with 20 self-contained rooms constructed using bricks KCCEM guest house operating a 24-hour service both local internal dishes.

Guests will stay in clean and comfortable bungalows with bed and shared ablutions with toilets and shower. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the onsite canteen.


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