Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania, combining well with Nyungwe and Volcanoes National park to create a great safari circuit, as it is home to many large plains game species as well as species, restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the much sought- after Shoebill. The relatively warm and low-lying plains of Akagera comprise savannah, woodland, wetland and a dozen lakes. In partnership with African Parks, Rwanda is aiming at transforming the National Park into a world-class location to experience a safari and restore it to a Big 5 status.
The largely open expanse is ideal for game viewing, and we are taking steps to ensure the Big Five roam the park in greater numbers over the course of time. Since 2010 Rwanda has cut poaching to an all-time low, with the introduction of a helicopter, a canine unit and rhino trackers.
A family of lions from South Africa is settling in well, and breeding successfully, and 18 eastern black rhinos have also been reintroduced. Visitors can also encounter buffalo, elephant, antelope, zebra, giraffe, baboons, monkeys, an incredible 490 bird species, plus much more. A boat trip on Lake Ihema is also a highlight of any visit to Akagera, with its large pods of hippos, Nile crocodiles and abundant water birds on the island in the middle of the lake.
The only way to explore the park is by vehicle, whether through a tour operator or self-drive. The National Park also has a vehicle to hire, with individual spaces available on night drives. It is recommended to take up the services of a guide, which can be booked through the park. It is recommended to take up the services of a guide, which can be booked through the park. Sleeping within the park is possible, at various lodges, a bush camp in the north at select periods, or camping in specific sites.
To do in the Park
-Game drives and game viewing
While on a game drive, you get to explore the park along the tracks, through the savannah plains, past wide-leaved woodlands and into the habitat of bountiful mammal species in the Park. Your tour guide knows the areas where most animals usually spend their day and will endeavor to drive by. Some of the animals to look out for while on a day game drive include; The Defassa Waterbuck, Topis, Bohor Reedbucks, Oribis, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions and the recently reintroduced Rhinos are some of the mammals found in the park.
The night game drive is an experience in which you step into the wild to view the nocturnal animals especially the wide-eyed bush babies, serval cats, civets, leopards. You will be guided by your flashlight and an experienced ranger. experience if you are setting out to see the wild.
Guided Nature walks
The park management offers nature walks in some areas of the park with a ranger guide. This is a relaxed way to explore the park outside of a safari vehicle which you use while on a game drive. Also it allows more time and closer views concerning butterflies, insects and plants that you could easily miss while on a safari.
The boat cruise on Lake Ihema offers the opportunity to take up-close photos of these animals. As other animals come to the lake for a drink or bath, you can take a look at those that you may have missed while out on a game drive in the wild. It is a relaxed yet rewarding way to view wildlife. Lake Ihema is the second largest lake in Rwanda known for its abundant hippo population and crocodile dotted shores.
Akagera national park is home to over 500 species of birds with many only found in this park in Rwanda. The diverse habitats for birds at Akagera National Park gives you an opportunity to view different kinds of bird species. There will be birds in the savannah plains, in the hills, forests, by the lakes and at the river. The Red Faced Barbets, the Great Snipe, the Lesser Kestrel, the Armot Chat, Swamp Fly Catchers, the Papyrus Gonolek and the Shoebill are some of the most rewarding sights while birding.