Boat safaris in Akagera National park – Boat cruise on Lake Ihem in Rwanda – Sunset and boat trips on lake Ihema
Boat safaris in Akagera National park – Sunset boat cruises are offered daily out onto Lake Ihema, one of the largest lakes in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. This one-hour boat safari is led by an experienced guide, who’ll take you out across the lake, to meander along the forest-fringed shores in the hope of spotting some of the 480 bird species identified in Akagera national park.
Akagera counts some rare and unique birdlife, including the iconic African fish eagle and large flocks of crowned cranes, along with the Carruther’s Cisticola, endemic to the wider Lake Victoria area, and of course the extraordinary shoebill stork. The latter is very much a birder’s bucket list species and is exceptionally rarely seen anywhere around the lake (your best chance is deep in the papyrus swamps at the far northern end of the park – but do not hold your breath).
Many hippos and crocodiles are also resident in Lake Ihema, plus you have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife on the lake shores – often herds of buffalo wander down to the lakeshores, and individual topi makes use of the nearby anthills to stand sentry.
Your private guide will drive you to the jetty to meet an Akagera National Park guide, who will accompany you for the duration of the cruise. The guide will give you a safety briefing before getting on the water, and full instruction throughout. Your guide will also have a cooler box with drinking water. It is possible to book your private trip – chat with us for more details.
There is a lot of water hyacinth on Lake Ihema and this is one of the major threats to the lake. The existence of water hyacinth on the lake threatens the livelihood of many aquatic mammals, as well as birds. The water hyacinth also affects the easy movement of boats on the lake, and also affects the quality of water in the lake.
The lake is also connected to most of the swamps in Akagera National Park and the Akagera River, also known as the Kagera River. Most boat trips in Akagera National Park are scheduled, with boat trips conducted four times a day at 7:30 am and 9 am 3 pm and 4:30 pm. However, there are also non-scheduled boat trips available in the national park for visitors who wish to take private tours.