AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Akagera National Park is located in the northeast of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Although founded in 1934, much of the park was re-allocated as farms and in 1997 the park was reduced in size from more than 2,500 sq km almost 10% of the surface area of Rwanda) to its current extent of 1,122 sq km. Right from 2010, a joint venture with African Parks has seen Akagera return to its former glories.
It was named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest-fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains, and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
The park management has vehicles available to hire for game drives, that come with their own driver and guide, and a choice of half-day or full-day drives. However, it is also possible in Akagera to self-drive your own vehicle around the park. Guides are available to accompany you on your drive. The guides can direct you to areas where wildlife is most abundant and guide you to stunning scenic spots that you may otherwise miss.
ACTIVITIES IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
- Wildlife Game Drives [Day and Night]
Game driving at Akagera is like receiving a mature Bank Cheque for a long-awaited payment, it avails a full package of wildlife watching and scenic photo taking. The wildlife includes Monkeys, Leopards, Hyenas, Maasai Giraffes, Antelopes, Buffalos and Savannah Birds and many more
You will be guided by the Professional Park guides experienced with the flora and the fauna at the Park. While game driving, Tourists are encouraged to remain in the Tourist vehicles /van unless told so by the guides that it is safe for them to get out taking a look. For longer game drives, you will need to take snacks or even lunch and a lot of water before the drive actually starts.
About the Nocturnal, the night game drives are so electrifying as you will adventure out with a spotlight to view the wildlife creatures of the night that are found in Park. This night game drive is different from that of during the day as at night, there is a big opportunity to view the predators on the prowl as they look for dinner. You will also see quite a number of leopards, lions, serval cats, the hyenas, birds as well as the bush babies with their large eyes. This nocturnal drives a 2 hours’ drive and will surely give you a lifetime experience.
Akagera National Park harbors over 500 bird species so for birders you don’t need to miss out on this activity at the park together with the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Bird species range from water to forest and also Savannah as well as migratory bird species and some are endemic to the Park are rare like the Papyrus gonolex found in the Papyrus Swamps. The Park also has the localized red-faced barbets, and the swamp flycatcher as well as the elusive shoebill stork. So Birding is an Impressive experience for the Birders.
3. Sport Fishing
The Shores of Lake Shakani is a perfect site for Sportfishing, Tourists will spend their relaxing day time fishing from the lake shores before cooking their catch over an Open fire at the campsite. This will avail you with an added opportunity of being in an African wild with the wildlife in the distance plus the hippos and the water birds.
4. Boat safaris on Lake Ihema
Boat safaris are one of the main highlights of any tourist activity in East Africa and with this Boat Safari, you will adventure Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park which is endowed with the largest concentrations of hippos in East Africa with many crocodiles along the shores of the lake. Boating Safari on Lake Ihema will help to spot shoebill stork, water birds, Elephants heading to bathe.
5. Community Cultural Experience
WHY VISIT AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
- Strategically Located near Kigali Rwanda’s Capital. It is just a 2-hrs drive from Kigali with a beautiful and convenient savannah landscape for visiting the gorillas.
- Akagera National Park has a wonderful and inspiring wildlife conservation story with the only “Big Five” (5) wildlife and home to many wildlife that is Lions, Rhinos.
- Exceptional Birding Experience. Akagera provides you with delightful birding with more than 482 bird species including both the rare and prehistoric shoebill and Lake Victoria endemics
- The Park has a unique diverse habitat which includes the River, Savannah, Lakes, Mountains, Marshes, and Woodland which gives it spectacular scenery.
- Tourism camps and hotels which include the Ruzizi Tented Lodge and the Karenge Bush Camp established within its territory provide Tourists with international life tour experience.