About Akagera National Park
Brief Over view
Akagera National Park lies in eastern Rwanda, hugging the border with Tanzania. It’s characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork. In the southern part of the park, vast Lake Ihema is home to hippos and crocodiles.
Area: 1,200 km²
Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. The park is 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.
WHAT TO DO IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Akagera National Park – a different landscape than the rest of Rwanda – Rwanda’s Big-5 Game Park with lots of Things to do and see
You will find splendid open Savanna Plains, broad-leaved forests and pleasant hills, candelabra Euphoria Trees, Lakes teaming with crocodiles and the large concentration of hippos. Maasai Giraffes, Burchell Zebras, Elephants, Buffaloes, various species of Antelopes such as the Defassa Waterbuck, Topi, roan antelopes, the large Eland Antelopes, Bohor Reedbuck, Oribi, Common Duiker, Klipspringer and the semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelopes and the Lions and Rhinos are back in Akagera National Park.
Birders will find Akagera National Park a natural treasure trove with over 520 species represented here with over 100 species of birds not found elsewhere in Rwanda.
You can find 44 species of Raptors, Papyrus Gonolek, Shoebill Storks and a lot of Migrant birds, among them, are the Lesser Kesterel, Great Snipe.
Game drives mean that you are accompanied by a Guide who is knowledgeable about the flora and fauna found in the park.
While on game drives one should stay within the vehicle unless the park guide sees it as safe to get out and take a look around.
For longer game drives take a snack or lunch from the lodge and in our case, we will an ample supply of drinking water for you.
Guided Nature Walks including Birding Walks can also be taken at Akagera National Park – Rwanda.
In partnership between the park and the local communities, the freelance community guides have also organized for some interesting safaris as well as cultural adventures for park visitors to participate in. there are also 4 choices; the Heritage which is the culture of cattle, the local production that’s beers and the bees, arts and crafts as well as the celebration which is food and festivities.
You can try your hans at each and everything form milking a cow to making the Imigongo paintings, sampling of honey on the comb, helping in preparing a local meal, engaging in a traditional Rwandan dance
Boating Safaris are normally the highlight of a visit to a park in East Africa and so it it is with a boating safari on Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park.
Lake Ihema has one of the largest concentration of hippos in East Africa and it certainly is a sight to behold and so are the very large crocodiles that you will find along the shores of the lake.
There are also countless of water birds you will find while on a boating safari on Lake Ihema and hopefully, you will spot a Shoebill Stork.
Exploring the beauty in Akagera National Park
ACCOMMODATION IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
There are a number of lodges and hotels in Rwanda where you can stay for the duration of your safari in Akagera National Park
Hotels & Lodges in Pictures
Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Designed and built by the Akagera management company, Ruzizi tented lodge was opened in 2013 and has since then been offering good accommodation for tourists in Rwanda. It is a 20-bed tented Eco-camp linked together using boardwalks, and is the first of its kind in Rwanda. It is located on the shores of Lake Ihema and has some very impressive African style decor.
It was creatively designed to blend in with the surrounding environment giving it a very natural habitat feel. It is quite small, accommodating a maximum of 20 guests, but it so worth the trouble to book accommodation here. The peace and quiet create the perfect atmosphere to commune with nature.
Akagera Game Lodge
The lodge offers comfortable accommodation with a simple but tastefully furnished rooms, restaurant, swimming pool, curio bar, tennis court and a few other life comforts. Usual board basis is full board, with breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is constant power supply, access to WiFi and television for those who cannot live without communication channels.
Safari activities you can enjoy while staying at the lodge include: game drives in Akagera national park, guides for the game drive can either be from the park or from the safari company. Animals such as the sitatunga, lion, buffalo, masai giraffe are some of what you will see on the game drive. You an also go birding and enjoy the wide variety of bird life in the park.
Akagera game lodge can be accessed by either road, or air transfer means.
The lodge does not accept debit or credit cards, payment can be made in cash in either RWF, US dollars, Euros or British pounds.
These two lodges are the only accommodation options in Akagera National park except for the camping grounds. If you are an outdoorsy person, or more adventurous looking to enjoy the African wilderness fully in all its splendor , then you can opt for the camping sites. Camping can actually be fun with groups of friends, and is much cheaper than staying in the lodge, although of course less comfortable as well.
Camping Sites in Akagera National Park
This means sleeping in the park with completely nothing between you and the animals but just a thin sheet of super nylon and this is an exciting adventure and it’s so fair to Akagera Park. However, be aware of the roaming gangs of the baboons. These are so cheeky and will also do their best of stealing the food as well as terrorizing you since they are jerks and have got weird bums. Also spending the night around the campfire with friends, beers as well as the open sky which also makes a good break from the city life and is also one of the best overnight or weekend tours that can be done in Rwanda. There are also three campsites with the one in the north at Mutumba and it’s known as the most fantastic camp.