About Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Akagera combines well with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes NP to offer a great safari element as it is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala.
Location of Volcanoes National Park
Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Although founded in 1934, much of the park was re-allocated as farms and in 1997 the park was reduced in size from more than 2,500 sq km (nearly 10% of the surface area of Rwanda) to its current extent of 1,122 sq km. Since 2010, a joint venture with African Parks has seen Akagera return to its former glories.
What to do at Akagera National Park
Mountain Game Drives and Nature Walks
A game drive is like unwrapping a present each game drive hold new surprises as nature reveals its treasures in the form of scenic wonders, Wildlife such as Elephants, Buffaloes, Antelopes such Topi or Elands, Burchell Zebras, Maasai Giraffes, Savannah Birds, Monkeys, Leopards, Civets, Lions, Serval Cats, Rhinos among others.
Game drives mean that you are accompanied by a Guide who is knowledgeable about the flora and fauna found in the Akagera National park.
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.
Nocturnal – Night Game Drives
Nocturnal-Night Game Drives are most exciting as you venture out with spotlights to see the creatures of the night found in Akagera National Park.
A nocturnal drive through thePark is quite different from the day at night there is a good opportunity to see the predators on the prowl looking for dinner.
You might see a few leopards, a Lion, serval cats, civets, lions, hyenas all out during the night.
One drives quite slow during the nocturnal drive in order not to miss wildlife. even nocturnal birds and bush babies their large eyes.
Akagera National Park is one place that is not to be missed by Birders. There are over 520 species of bird species that are found in Akagera National Park.
Birders who come to Akagera National Park are impressed by what they find, in particular the variety of birds and abundance of birds found in the park, ranging from water to forest and including 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 one can be pretty sure that one just might spot the elusive shoebill stork while birding in Park.
Boating Safaris on Lake Ihema
Boating Safaris are normally the highlight of a visit to a park in East Africa and so it it is with a boating safari on Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park.
Lake Ihema has one of the largest concentration of hippos in East Africa and it certainly is a sight to behold and so are the very large crocodiles that you will find along the shores of the lake.
There are also countless of water birds you will find while on a boating safari on Lake Ihema and hopefully, you will spot a Shoebill Stork.
Other animals such as Elephants find their way to the lake to water and to bathe and you have the opportunity to get closer to them than you would in a vehicle on a game drive.