Akagera National Park Rwanda
Akagera national park is located in Eastern Rwanda on the border with Tanzania, covering 1,122square kilometers. It was founded in 1934 and is named after the Kagera River which flows along the Eastern boundary feeding into Lake Ihema and other several small lakes. The park is characterized by woodland, swamps, savannah, and low mountains with wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, and hundreds of bird species including the rare shoebill stork. Lake Ihema located in the Southern part of the park is home to crocodiles and hippos. Akagera national park is considered the only savannah park in Rwanda and this is where you can see most of the large mammals while on safari. The park can be explored at your comfort with a comfortable safari vehicle.
Things to do in Akagera National Park
Game drives/Day game drives
Akagera is home to the big five that is lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalos, and other wild animals that include antelopes, cape elands, bushbucks, and zebras among others. Primates like olive baboons, vervet monkeys, bush babies, and blue monkeys can be seen on night game drives.
Evening game drives
Night game drives give the tourists the opportunity to see nocturnals like civets, bush babies as well as several cats and leopards. This will be made possible by the help of an experienced and armed ranger guide with the help of a flash torch.
Birds in Akagera National Park
Akagera national park boasts of a rich bird checklist of over 525species and this reflects the extremely wide diversity of habitat. Bird species include Squacco herons, Giant kingfisher, Grey crowned crane, African open bill stork, Papyrus gonolek, African Darter, and Senegal Lapwings among others. The park also has a health mammal list of over 50 species among which include the African elephant that was introduced to the park in 1975.
While in Akagera national park, you get a chance to do fishing and this can be done on Lake Ihema and Shakuni. This is one of the most thrilling and unforgettable experiences of a lifetime because during this activity you are cheered up by the birds on the lakeshores as well as the sights and sounds of hippos in the water. You are also free to enjoy your catch from the lake at the end of the day
Boat trip / Morning boat trip
During this boat trip to Akagera national park, you are given the opportunity to see different animals, especially the early grazers. You also get to see the sun rising and this is the best time for clear and beautiful photographs of the sunrise. This is also the best time for birders to spot different birds like the Blue-cheeked bee-eater, common squacco heron, shoe bill, crowned lapwing, and shoebill stork among others.
Evening Boat Trip in Akagera National Park
During this evening boat trip, you are entitled to see different animals which you may have missed during the morning game drive. This is the perfect time to see carnivores as well as the big cats catching their last prey in the park. Here you also get the chance to get enjoy the sunset cruise with a glass of wine served at your convenience.
These are offered in some parts of the park with a ranger guide and this is in the same way the best opportunity to explore outside the park with the same vehicle that may be used in the game drive. You get to explore the park and beyond with the help of a ranger guide as you walk through the savannah plains in search of wildlife. Here you also get to see lots of butterflies and other small insects which may not be seen during game drives as you are seated in the vehicle.
Cultural tours near Akagera national park
Experience a rural Rwanda cultural village life by visiting the cattle-keeping communities near Akagera national park. Here you get the opportunity to observe as well as participate in grazing cattle, converting milk into products like yogurt, cow ghee, milking as well as spraying. This has made the locals get some additional income to supplement their agricultural produce hence improving their livelihoods.
This activity mainly takes place on Lake Shakani and this requires you to make an early booking with the park.