AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK RWANDA.
About the attractions in the Akagera National Park.
Akagera national park found in eastern Rwanda is a 2500 sq km of mainly Savannah land. The park is named after Kagera River that flows along Rwanda’s eastern boundary. The river feeds into Lake Ihema and other smaller lakes in and around the park. The park protects an African Savannah landscape of acacia and bush, with patches of open grassland and a dozen swampy lakes.
It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms a large protected wetland. Akagera national park is the only Savannah national park in Rwanda and the only place to sight most of the large mammals while on safari. Whereas there are forest elephants in the other parks, it is very difficult to sight them. Explore the park in the comfort of your safari vehicle while on a game drive.
Best time to visit Akagera National Park
Like other parks in Rwanda, Akagera National Park equally comprises of 2 (two) dry seasons with the long one that starts from June to September and short one begins from December to February. Its wet season begins from March to May and the second one starts from October to December. Interestingly, rains come with new vegetation cover which makes this park more spectacular and there is much water and pasture for wildlife to depend on. Given kind of climate experienced at this park, visitors need to expect rains at anytime of the day whether it is a dry or wet season
Getting to Akagera National Park
This park is 135 kilometers’ drive from Kigali capital approximately 2-3 hours. Visitors can connect up to the park from Kibungo or Rwamagana trading center. Its gate is about 500 meters from Akagera Lodge. To reach to this park, y0u will need to hire a safari car and most preferably a four wheel drive that can navigate through the remotest routes. Alternatively, you can use public means as there are many taxis that set off from Kigali to Kayonza and Kibungo.
In conclusion, Akagera National Park is remarkably a few most spectacular savanna grassland protected areas that reward visitors with amazing views of wildlife species. Visitors on gorilla safari in Rwanda can also incorporate this park in their travel plan for memorable experiences
What to do while on tour in Akagera National Park
Wildlife Viewing / Game Drives
If you love wildlife safaris then don’t miss to pay a visit to this park and you will be amazed by the exceptional wildlife encounters. In Africa, game drives feature among the major safari highlights and while on tour in Akagera National Park, you will be rewarded with incredible sights at wildlife species especially the big game-African elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, rhinos as well as.
Other wildlife species such as the roan antelopes, Defassa waterbuck, elands, duikers, Oribis, Klipspringer, Maasai giraffes, zebras, Bohor reedbuck, bushbuck, hyenas a mention but a few. For visitors who are interested in wildlife experiences at this park, you will need wide brimmed safari hats, comfortable safari clothing and preferably environmentally friendly, sunglasses and others. A game drive in Akagera National Park is mainly ideal in the northern side.
With over 525 bird species that thrive in this park, birders on safari in Rwanda won’t be disappointed. This park is one of a few most significant bird areas and comprises of savanna and water birds. While on birding tour at this park, you will be rewarded with amazing sights at shoebill stork, Ross’s Turacos, black headed Gonolek, red faced barbets, lilac breasted roller, heuglin’s robin chat, grey hornbill, swamp flycatcher and many more. This can also be done while you are on game drive or boat cruise. Most of park’s birds can be spotted in the southern part. If you are interested in this lovely experience, you will need a pair of binocular, tripods, bird classification book, rain jacket, sunscreen and others.
Night Game Drive
For those of you who are interested in nocturnal wildlife species while on Rwanda safari, a night game drive is best option for you and you will spot out most of the bush babies.
For those of you who are interested in water species while on safari in Akagera National Park, a boat cruise is the best choice you can make. This takes you along Lake Ihema in the southern side of the park and features as Rwanda’s second largest water Lake. While on boat ride on this lake, you will be amazed by spectacular views of crocodiles, hippos as well as several bird species that include among others plovers, herons, sandpipers, hawk, malachite kingfishers, shoebill stork, ibis, jacana, papyrus Gonolek and others. To be part of this experience, you will need $30.
If you want something a little bit challenging then sport fishing should be a must to including in your travel plan. This exciting and yet challenging experience is conducted in Lake Shakani which offers you opportunity to catch the most impressive fish species in its tropical water
Helicopter / Aerial Adventures
This is another most exciting experience that you shouldn’t miss to be part while on safari in Akagera National Park. It offers you opportunity to sight at the vast savanna grassland and swamps as well as varied wildlife species that thrive at this park while in the air.
The other activity that you shouldn’t miss to engage in while on safari at this park include community cultural experiences where you will have opportunity to share some of cultural values, traditions and beliefs with the locals or have a hand practically in some of their daily activities, explore more about their daily lives and be able to share with them exciting stories.
The major areas of interest for this amazing experience include the Imigongo art and craft center-designed by Prince Kakira who made the art of house decoration using cow dung, Humure refugee village where you will have opportunity to engage in cooking and dancing. This beautiful village is just 40 minutes’ drive off from the park and features a number of unique activities that gets visitors out of the usual experiences.
Where to spend a night while on safari in Akagera National Park
The available accommodation options for you to spend a night at this park include Ruzizi Tented Lodge (Luxury), Akagera game lodge (Midrange), Dereva hotel as well as several campsites especially Shakani campsite, Muyumba campsite, Mutamba campsite and others.