Akagera National Park is one of the protected areas in Rwanda that inhabit a very big number of wildlife species. Akagera national park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda near the border of Tanzania in just about two to three hours’ drive from the capital Kigali. Akagera national park was named after the Akagera River the most remote source of the Nile which flows a long its Eastern boundary feeding into several lakes the largest of which is Lake Ihema. The park was recognized in 1934 to protect wildlife species it’s known as the largest protected wetland Park covering almost 1,2000k2 and one of the oldest national parks in the east and central Africa. Several species of wildlife inhabit this park some of which are not found elsewhere in the world. It houses the big five mammals except rhinos others include elephant, leopard, lion, buffaloes, other small mammals the park inhabit include several species of antelopes most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala, cape eland oribi and secretive bushbuck, warthogs can be seen at the park, giraffe, zebra, warthogs just to mention but a few are all present at the park, hippos and crocodile can be spotted on the lake Ihema during a two hours boat cruise on the lake. Bird life at the park is superb, the park is gifted with over 500 species of birds a number are endemic only here. It’s a home to many sun birds, Savannah and wetland birds the most interesting to see is the rare shoebill.
What To Do At The Park
- Game viewing:
This is the best done in a comfortable tourist 4×4 vehicles, game drives are conducted daily at the park either in the morning, afternoon or in the evening. Each session is rewarding with incredible species of wildlife, game drive are escorted by the park guide to take you through the process, games always concentrate in the Savannah grassland, or woodland area of the park. The guides provide information on any species of animals you meet during the search. Games expected to see include elephant, buffaloes, different species of antelopes, gazelle, spotted hyena, warthogs, Burchall’s zebra and giraffe
- Boat trips:
The boat trip is magnificent as it provides more opportunity to view various species of wildlife and birds including schools of hippos and crocodiles, elephants and buffaloes can be spotted along the shoreline plus many species of birds that live and feed on the lake, if luck you can even come across the rare shoe bill.
- Spot fishing:
This activity is carried out at Lake Shakani, so if you are interested in fishing, this activity is readily available at the park. However, visitors are recommended to come with their fishing equipment’s in order to avoid being disappointed, or you can hire them at the park headquarters. Tilapia, are the common type of fish caught in the lake among other fish species
- Bird watching:
Birders are gifted with over 500 different species of birds which are recorded at the park, sighting is a guarantee, and the park has experienced birders who are ready to take you in the wild to spot them, spotting can be done in the morning, afternoon and evening, each time at the park is bird watching. Birds to see include Papyrus gonolek, shoebill stock, as well as migrant birds attracted by seasonal fluctuations in the water levels among others and if you are lucky you may even get to see the elusive shoebill stork the latter perhaps the most eagerly sought of all African birds.
Where to stay
- Akagera game lodge
- Luzizi Comp/Umbrella Pine
- Dereva Hotel