Akagera National Park: Rwanda’s Wildlife Haven

Akagera National Park is one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Rwanda, located in the eastern part of the country, on the border with Tanzania. The park was established in 1934 to protect the diverse flora and fauna of the region, and today it is a major tourist destination in Rwanda. In this essay, we will explore the history, geography, wildlife, and tourism opportunities of Akagera National Park.

History of Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park has a rich history dating back to the 1930s, when it was first established as a game reserve by the Belgian government. In 1958, the park was officially declared a national park by the Rwandan government, and it has been managed by the Rwanda Development Board since 2010. The park has gone through several changes over the years, including the reintroduction of key wildlife species and the expansion of the park’s territory.

Geography of Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park covers an area of approximately 1,200 square kilometers, making it the largest protected area in Rwanda. The park is characterized by a diverse landscape of rolling hills, grasslands, swamps, and forests, which provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The park is also home to several lakes and rivers, including Lake Ihema, which is the second-largest lake in Rwanda.

Wildlife of Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, including over 500 species of birds, 12 species of primates, and more than 80 species of mammals. Some of the park’s most famous residents include elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, and several species of antelope. In recent years, the park has undergone a successful reintroduction program for black rhinos, which were once extinct in the park.

Tourism Opportunities in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is a popular tourist destination in Rwanda, offering a range of activities for visitors. Game drives are the most popular activity in the park, with guided tours taking visitors through the park’s diverse landscapes in search of wildlife. Boat tours on Lake Ihema offer a unique perspective of the park’s wildlife and landscape, while birdwatching tours allow visitors to spot some of the park’s 500 bird species. Accommodation options in the park range from luxury lodges to camping sites, catering to a range of budgets and preferences


Akagera National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and nature in Rwanda. With its rich history, diverse landscape, and abundance of wildlife, the park offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. Whether you’re a seasoned safari-goer or a first-time visitor, Akagera National Park is sure to impress with its stunning scenery and incredible wildlife.