Visit the Big Cats of Akagera National Park : If you’re looking for a truly wild adventure, be sure to check out the Big Cats of Akagera National Park. These magnificent creatures roam freely within the park’s protected confines, and it’s easy to get up close with the lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs and servals during your stay.
Rwanda’s biggest cat is the lion. At over 500 pounds and 6 feet tall at the shoulder, these big cats are awe-inspiring to behold. They are most easily spotted in the Ruhondo sector of the park, but are also present in other areas. According to local legend, the lion is the reincarnation of a fallen hero who saved a village from an attack by an army of crocodiles. To this day, the local people honour this brave warrior by leaving offerings at his grave near Lake Muhazi in the Ruhondo sector of the park.
Rwanda’s second largest cat is the African Leopard. These beautiful animals can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds. They live in small family groups and are excellent climbers and swimmers. An African Leopard can often be seen stalking through the tall grass of the Park’s grasslands looking for prey, Visit the Big Cats of Akagera National Park
The rarest and most elusive of all Rwanda’s cats is the Cheetah. These speedy predators can sprint at speeds of up to 75 mph, making them the fastest land animal in the world! Unfortunately, there are only about 8,000 Cheetahs left in the wild today, so it’s very important to protect them. Luckily, there are a number of programs in place to preserve this beautiful species.
In Rwanda, you can watch these majestic creatures in their natural habitat at the Cheetah Breeding Centre in Cyangugu. Here, biologists are raising these fascinating animals in captivity until they are old enough to be released back into the wild. This is a vitally important project and helps to conserve this amazing species for future generations to come.
FUN FACTS ABOUT BIG CATS IN RWANDA
There are over 50 different species of cat in Africa, but only about 30 of them are found in Rwanda. The Lion is the largest cat in Africa and can reach up to 500 lbs and 6 ft tall at the shoulder.
Smallest African cat: The genet is the smallest of African cats and can be found throughout Africa. It is rarely seen outside of its native habitat.
Mane less cats include the jungle cat, the sand cat and the fishing cat. All are native to Africa and have a thick coat of fur with no mane. Jungle cats are found in open savannah areas, sand cats live in the desert, and fishing cats live in the mangrove swamps along the coast.
Big cats are carnivores, which means they eat meat only. In the wild, they usually hunt their prey at night. They use their sharp teeth and claws to catch their prey and then drag it back to their den to eat. Be sure to book for a Rwanda tour safari and enjoy the sight of Rwanda’s big felines!