Akagera National Park gets its name from the river, River Kagera, which runs through it. Akagera is a very scenic and stunning savannah park in the eastern province of Rwanda. The park is made up of splendid open savanna plains, broad-leaved forests and pleasant hills, candelabra Euphoria Trees, Lakes teaming with crocodiles and the large concentration of hippos.
While on your Rwanda tour and take a visit to Akagera National Park is really worthwhile as you will be filled with surprises; spotting several wildlife species. As remainder, this is the only Park in Rwanda which gives you a perfect Savannah Safari Experience. That all said, below are some of the top things to enjoy on your visit to Akagera National Park:
Game Drives and Game Viewing
The prominent and highlight activity in Akagera is game driving through which you will be able to view some of Africa’s big game. Game drives are always conducted from a personal vehicle, therefore consider hiring a perfect travel vehicle from your trusted tour operator in that you fully enjoy the game driving activity in Akagera.
Each game drive in the Park hold new surprises as nature reveals its treasures in the form of scenic wonders, wildlife, and bird life, among others. The Park comprises of numerous wildlife species to spot such as; African Savannah Elephants, African Cape Buffaloes, Rhinos, African Lions, African Leopards, Zebras, Masai Giraffes, Serval Cats, Hyenas, vervet monkeys and several antelopes species like Topis, Kobs, Bush bucks, and Elands, and very many bird species.
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; otherwise it’s really dangerous to get out of the vehicle while in the jungle.
Night Game Drives in the Park are also inevitable and they are really exciting as you will venture out with spotlights to see the creatures of the night found in Akagera. A night game drive is quite different from the day as at night there is a good opportunity to see the predators on the prowl looking for dinner. On the night game drive you might see some leopards, lions, serval cats, civets, and hyenas, among others.
Boat Trips on Lake Ihema
Boat Trips on Lake Ihema are among the most exciting activities in Akagera. Lake Ihema has one of the largest concentration of hippos in East Africa and it’s certainly a sight to behold and so are the very large crocodiles that you will find along the shores of the lake.
There are also numerous water birds you will find while on a boat trip on Lake Ihema and luckily, you may spot a Shoe bill Stork as well. That aside, many other animals like Cape Buffaloes, Elephants find their way to the lake to bathe and you have the opportunity to see them up-close than you would in a vehicle on a game drive.
Fishing on Lake Shakani
Akagera is really a must-visit Park as attractions there are really endless. Fishing along the shores of Lake Shakani is another extra-ordinary activity in the Park. Fishing anywhere is enjoyable but at Akagera you have the added pleasure of being in the African Wild – wildlife in the distance – hippos – and water birds all within your proximity.
When luckily you catch a fish on your fishing trip on Lake Shakani you will keep your fish; you might want to start a fire and get ready to roast your catch just in time for lunch. The major fish species in Lake Shakani are Tilapia and Cat Fish.
Birding (Bird Watching)
Akagera is not only a perfect place for wildlife safaris in Rwanda but also an ideal birding site – a birding paradise as the place resides over 520 species bird species. The Park has both savannah and migratory bird species – many of them endemic to the park – plus extremely rare species are also as for example the threatened papyrus gonolek which you will find in the papyrus swamps, the localized red-faced barbes, the flycatcher, and luckily one might spot the elusive shoe bill stork.
Magashi Camp is situated in the productive and phenomenally diverse north-
Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Ruzizi is a luxury eco – lodge nestled on the shores of Lake Ihema. Its nine tents are set back from Ihema’s serene shores and hidden among swaying palms and fruiting fig trees. They flank a thatched reception and dining area, and wooden walkways lead to a stunning deck that hangs over the lake. It contains a central fire pit and is the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee or post-dinner digestif.
This eco – friendly camp opened in 2012, and is the first of its kind in Rwanda. The beautiful camp is a leisurely three-hour drive from Kigali and it is situated in Riverine forest on the banks of Rwanda’s second largest lake, Lake Ihema. The tranquil setting attracts a great variety of birds and animals, including hippo and African fish eagles.
With a 20-guest maximum, Ruzizi is an intimate retreat. Each tent boasts en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, a bathtub or outdoor shower, a dressing area, and a cozy queen bed (alternatively, guests can request two twin beds, and camp beds can be added for children 15 and under). All of Ruzizi’s tents enjoy shaded verandas containing campaign chairs, a tree-trunk table, and a hammock.
The lodge was designed to blend in with its surroundings to ensure guests connect with nature. During construction, trees and vegetation were left undisturbed when possible. Some natural elements have been incorporated into the structure, and many of Ruzizi’s decorations and furniture were hand-crafted by local artisans and cooperatives. The lodge is powered by solar energy and prides itself on being environmentally conscious.
Meals at Ruzizi are most often served on a large boarded terrace overlooking Lake Ihema with a central fire at dinner time which adds to the lovely alfresco atmosphere. Try local Rwandan delicacies like sambaza (small fish) and Urwagwa (banana beer) as well as modern continental dishes. Breakfast is served early before the morning’s activities and in time for sunrise as kingfishers and weaver birds’ bustle across the Lake.
Akagera Game Lodge