Akagera National Park
Akagera national park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda in Kayonza and Nyagatare districts. The national park covers a total area of 1,122 square kilometers which is comprised of savannah vegetation, woodland, montane forests, swamps, lakes, grasslands among others which act as habitats for wildlife species including buffaloes, zebras, elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos, leopards among others. Akagera national park is the only savannah national park in Rwanda and it derives its name from Kagera River which flows through the park along Rwanda’s eastern boundary with Tanzania.
Attractions in Akagera national park
Wildlife, Akagera national park is blessed with abundant wildlife species including elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, waterbucks, impalas, Topi, Klipspringer, Oribi, reedbucks, hyenas, hippos, duikers, giraffes, zebras, Sitatunga among others.
Birds, Akagera national park harbors over 500 bird species including savannah birds, water birds and migratory birds such as the elusive shoebill stork, papyrus gonolek, lilac breasted roller, swamp flycatcher, Ross’s turaco, grey hornbill, red faced barbet, pied crow, fan tailed widowbird, cattle egret, Bateleur, African harrier hawk among others.
Things to do in Akagera national park
Game drives in Akagera national park
Game drive is the main safari activity in Akagera national park which gives you an opportunity to explore the park in the comfort of a 4WD pop up safari vehicle. Game drives in Akagera national park are done in different sessions, the morning game drive, evening game drive and nocturnal game drive. During the game drives you will get a chance to spot different animals such as giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffaloes, bushbucks, impalas, topi, lions, leopards, hyenas, variety of bird species such as Rwenzori batis, red throated alethe, chains flycatcher, long crested eagle among others.
Boat safari in Akagera national park
Boat cruise is one of the interesting and exciting activities in Akagera national park which is done on Lake Ihema which is one of the largest lakes located in the southern part of the park. Boat safari in Akagera national park is done in two sessions that is the morning session which start at around 7:30am, 9:00am and the afternoon session which starts at around 3:30pm, 5:00pm. During the boat cruise which takes about 1 to 2 hours you will enjoy great views of the beautiful scenery, view hippos and crocodiles in water, herds of buffaloes, elephants and antelopes drinking water along the shores, view aquatic bird species such as African fish eagle, giant kingfishers, African wattled plover, Senegal lapwing, squacco herons, cormorants, papyrus gonolek, open billed stork among others.
Sport fishing in Akagera national park
Sport fishing is an exciting activity in Akagera national park and it’s done along the shores of Lake Shakani. During sport fishing fish anglers will be able to learn about different fishing methods such as spear and shoot arrow method, gill net method, scoop net method, hooking method and lampara method which give you an opportunity to catch different fish types such as cat fish, tilapia fish among others.
Bird watching in Akagera national park
Akagera national park is a home of more than 500 recorded bird species including savannah birds, migratory birds, endemic and water birds. Bird watching in the park can be done during the game drive, boat cruise and nature walk with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species including the prehistoric shoebill stork, red faced barbet, swamp flycatcher, Heuglins robin chat, Bateleur, brown snake eagle, African fish eagle, red winged francolin, African jacana, papyrus gonolek, Denhams bustard, Shelleys francolin, blue shouldered robin chat, brown chested lapwing, northern brown throated weaver, black headed gonolek, grey hornbill, Ross’s turaco among others.
Nature walks in Akagera national park
Nature walk is an interesting and adventurous activity which gives you an opportunity to explore the park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and park ranger to protect you from dangerous animals. During the guided nature walk you will get up-close and personal with different wildlife species including animals like zebras, giraffes, elands, impalas, elephants, buffaloes, variety of bird species, different plant species, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, breathe fresh air among others.
Best time to visit Akagera national park
Akagera national park can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the park therefore vegetation will be thin which makes wildlife viewing easy and large concentrations of animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water hence giving you a chance to view different animals and take beautiful photos.
Akagera national park can also be visited during the wet season in the months of March to May and November because that’s the best time for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species.
Where to stay during your safari in Akagera national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Akagera national park where you can stay during the safari including Akagera Game Lodge, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Magashi Camp, Karenge Bush Camp, Dereva Hotel, Vintage Cottage, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel among others.
How to get to Akagera national park
Akagera national park is located in eastern part of Rwanda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kigali city to through Rwamagana to the park headquarters which takes about 2 to 3 hours drive.