Visit Akagera National Park Rwanda – The relatively warm and low-lying plains of Akagera comprise savannah, woodland, wetland and a dozen lakes. In partnership with African Parks, we aim to transform the National Park into a world-class location to experience a safari. The largely open expanse is ideal for game viewing, and we are taking steps to ensure the Big Five roam the park in greater numbers over the course of time. Since 2010 we have cut poaching to an all-time low, with the introduction of a helicopter, a canine unit and rhino trackers. Visitors can also encounter buffalo, elephant, antelope, zebra, giraffe, baboons, monkeys, an incredible 490 bird species, plus much more.
A boat trip on Lake Ihema is also a highlight of any visit to Akagera, with its large pods of hippos, Nile crocodiles and abundant water birds on the island in the middle of the lake.
The only way to explore the park is by vehicle, whether through a tour operator or self-drive. The National Park also has a vehicle to hire, with individual spaces available on night drives.
It is recommended to take up the services of a guide, which can be booked through the park.
Sleeping within the park is possible, at various lodges, a bush camp in the north at select periods, or camping in specific sites.
Visit Akagera National Park is a more conventional Africa savannah reserve where all the Big Five might be seen. Buffaloes and elephants are most common, but leopards are observed with increasing frequency on night drives, and lion and black rhino – respectively reintroduced in 2015 and 2017 – are also quickly growing in visibility. Other wildlife includes Masai giraffe, Burch ell’s zebra, warthog, olive baboon, Vervet monkey, hippo, impala, Deface waterbuck, bushbuck, common duiker, eland, Topi, Bohor reedbuck, oribis, roan antelope, klipspringer and the secretive semi-aquatic Sitatunga. Spotted hyena, genet, civet, white-tailed mongoose, bushbaby, elephant-shrew and various species of owl and nightjar are often seen on night drives.
Akagera offers a variety of tourism activities, some of which require minimum participant numbers. If you would like to learn more about these activities, please contact us via email below, ask park staff upon arrival or speak to your lodge of choice.
Travelers seeking a variation on the typical safari should consider a boat trip on Lake Ihema, where you can drift along the forest-fringed body of water in the midst of hippos and crocodiles. For serious birders, a boat trip is a must. Outings take place four times a day—at 7.30am, 9am, 3pm and 4.30pm. Non-scheduled, private trips can also be arranged.
Lake Shakani is the perfect site for sport fishing. Spend a relaxing day fishing from the shores of the lake before cooking your catch over an open fire at your campsite. Please bring your own equipment.
Behind the Scenes
For additional insights into Akagera, take a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of park headquarters, where you’ll meet employees integral to park management while learning about exciting conservation developments.
Guided night drives that commence at sunset are a fantastic way to cap off your day in the park. Night drives offer the best chance of seeing nocturnal wildlife, from lions to leopards which are among the most sought-after sightings! Night drives are operated by the park’s safari vehicle, which can accommodate up seven guests.
Walk the Line
Spend the morning in the shoes of one of Akagera’s fence attendants, who walk a portion of the 120-km perimeter fence on a daily basis to make sure the fence remains intact and is fully operational. These walks, which run alongside the park exterior, begin at the park entrance, are seven km long, and take visitors into the hills. When you come to the end, you’ll be atop a ridge that enjoys spectacular views in every direction. Walks are led by freelance community guides and take approximately two hours.
Community Cultural Experiences
working with local communities and Akagera staff, our Community Freelance Guides have developed several cultural experiences to share with guests. Learn about milking cows and traditions around cattle and milk on a farm in the Eastern Province; or spend time with banana beer and honey artisans to see how local products are made. All revenues generated by these visits are shared with members of the communities you visit.
Akagera’s temperature does not vary much throughout the year, but the long dry season (June – September) brings warmer temperatures whereas cooler weather follows the rains (October – November and March – May). In general, temperatures typically range between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Akagera National Park is located north eastern Rwanda about 110 kms from Kigali usually its 2-3 hours drives from Kigali.
The easiest road from Kigali to Akagera national park is via Rwamagambo-kayonza from there you proceed towards Kabarondo town from their you take a left turn after the petrol station in Rwinkwavu and you will see the sign post of Akagera national park which shows 13 kms to the park gate. It’s recommended that you use 4×4 safari vehicle.
Akagera game lodge.
Akagera game lodge was the only accommodation in Akagera national park and it was basic by then, after the park’s developments kicked started the lodge was rehabilitated and now it’s one of the best lodges to stay inside the park near Lake Ihema.
Ruzizi tented Lodge.
Ruzizi tented Lodge. Ruzizi tented lodge was opened in 2013 and has since being offering accommodation services to tourists visiting the park, it’s a 20 bed tented eco camp linked with board walks and the first of its kind in Rwanda.