Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park Rwanda is located in the northeastern part of Rwanda next to the Tanzania-Rwanda border and a 2 hours’ drive from Kigali. It is one of the 3 great national parks of the country along Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe forest national park. Akagera national park is one of the African Parks founded in 1934 to protect animals and wildlife in Rwanda and is Africa’s largest protected wetland. Akagera National Park is majorly covered by swamps woodland, low mountains with savannah vegetation. This park is so large, covers a space of 1,122 square kilometers divided into 2 sectors that are the Northern Sector and the southern sector. The Akagera National park is bordered by a 120km long electrified predator-proof perimeter wall. Most game drives are done in the Southern sector of the park as that is where the biggest population of the game is and also the most commonly booked accommodation the Akagera Game Lodge. The Lake Ihema where the boat trips of this park are done is found in the North of the park.
There are several activities carried out in Akagera so on your visit to Akagera, be sure to save some time to take on those of interest. The most commonly done activity is the game drive both day and night game drives where you get to see the big 5 animals in this park that is the lions, Masaai giraffes, eastern black rhinos, leopard, and buffaloes among others. There are also the smaller game like the elands, topis, sitatunga and the serval cats. Game drives in Akagera are carried out by a park guide who is well versed with the park including the flora and fauna that the park is blessed with. Also, ensure to listen to the guidelines the rangers give you to ensure your safety on your visit to Akagera.
Bird watching is also one common activity in Akagera especially done on lake Ihema where you get to see the 500 different bird species as well as butterfly species of this park-like the shoebill stork, and the unique red-faced barbet. If you are a birder, this can be a great destination for you with the several migratory, forest and savannah birds that can all be seen on your visit to the park.
Boat trips both private and scheduled on Lake Ihema are a highlight to conclude your trip to Akagera after the game drive or on a free afternoon in the park On this boat trip, you get the opportunity to see the aquatic wildlife like the crocodiles and a great number of hippos bathing on the shores of the lake along with the birds on the trees at the shores. If you don’t water phobic, take on this boat trip at only 35 USD if scheduled/ booked in advance. You can also hire out the boat for private use at a higher charge but it will surely be worth it. This boat trip on lake Ihema is in the northern sector of the park. Also, ensure to make it in time for your booked trip as you may miss out or asked to pay twice to join the next trip. Lake Ihema is also believed to have the greatest hippo concentration in East Africa.
Fishing can also be done in Akagera national park on Lake Shakani. This is only done if authorized so ensure to get the permit to avoid fines if caught. There is a great campsite on the shores of this lake which camp lovers could opt to stay at. The fish caught y you can be actually kept or roasted for consumption and is totally acceptable. The park often holds fishing competitions so if you are lucky and your travel dates align with the competition dates, you can take part and try your luck.
You can also take part in the Behind the Scenes program where you can get direct contact with the leaders of the park and rangers who will give you an insight in the park’s future plans and conservation efforts, also there is another activity known as “Walk the Line” where visitors get to walk a 7km section along the 120 km long fence for about 2 hours. There are also some cultural experiences one can take part of on their visit to Akagera.
Akagera National park has great lodging options of all ranges that is budget class, midrange option, and luxury option. The budget options could be the 3 campsites Camp Shakani, Camp Muyumbu, and Camp Mutumba. Akagera Game Lodge can accommodate budget and midrange clients as they have both offers. The luxury options of Akagera national park are the Ruzizi Tented Camp, Karenge Bush Camp, and the newly introduced luxury lodging the Magashi Camp.
The best time to visit Akagera National Park is definitely the dry season though temperatures don’t vary so much between seasons. The drier months are from June to September then again December to January. Then the rainy seasons vary from October to November then March to May so book your travel dates accordingly. Temperatures in Akagera National park vary from about 20 to 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year.
Reach out to us to plan your tour according to your interests and also provide you with the more detailed and essential information you may need on this visit and have the most remarkable visit to Akagera and in Rwanda as a whole.