Akagera National Park Rwanda

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Akagera National Park Guide

The complete guide to Akagera National Park, Rwanda’s only savanna national park. This guide provide you information and updates about Akagera National Park in Rwanda. This includes, what to do, what to wear, when to visit, and much more. Please note that this is a  privately owned website and it is not managed and run the government of Rwanda.

Located in Northeastern part of the Republic Rwanda along Rwanda’s boundary with Tanzania is the Famous Akagera National Park.  The Park is closer to a town called Kibungu the perfect starting point for tourist activities in the park.

Name after River Kagera, Akagera park currently covers a land area of 1,200sq kilometers. This is dominated by tiny lakes and swamps because of the zigzagging of River Kagera. River Kagera is the most distant head-stream of River Nile as well as Lake Victoria’s largest tributary. The different water sources form a spectacular network making an amazing Eco-system.

Surrounded by beautifully cultivated hills that form a breathtaking background perfect for photographs. Akagera national Park vegetation is majorly comprised of  a low landscape comprising of broad plains that are covered with grass, shrubs of Euphorbia candelabra similar to cactus and patches of forests. Unlike most parts of Rwanda the terrain here is not hilly and rocky.

ACTIVITIES IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

  1. Game Drives

On a game drive during the day, you get to be driven along the tracks, through the green savannah plains, past wide-leaved woodlands and into the habitat of bountiful mammal species in the Akagera National Park. Your tour guide knows the areas where most animals usually spend their day and will endeavor to drive by. Some of the animals to look out for while on a day game drive include; The Defassa Waterbuck, Topis, Bohor Reedbucks, Oribis, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions and the recently reintroduced Rhinos are some of the mammals found in the park.

The night game drive is an experience in which you step into the wild to view the nocturnal animals especially the wide-eyed bush babies, serval cats, civets, leopards. You will be guided by your flashlight and an experienced ranger. Experience if you are setting out to see the wild.

  1. Nature Walks

Akagera national park management offers nature walks in some areas of the park with a ranger guide. This is a good way to explore the park outside of a vehicle which you use while on a game drive. Also it allows more time and engagement concerning butterflies, insects and plants that you could easily miss while on a safari.

  1. Fishing

You have an opportunity of fishing while in Akagera national park. You can do this on both Lake Ihema and Shakani which is a thrilling experience. At the serene waters you can fish to the background music of chirping birds and hippos that grunt as if to cheer you on. You are free to keep your catch to roast, fry or grill it and enjoy the taste of fresh fish from Rwanda.

  1. Birding

Akagera National Park is home to over 480 species of birds with many only found in this park in Rwanda. The diverse habitat for birds at Akagera National Park gives you an opportunity to view different kinds of bird species. There will be birds in the savannah plains, in the hills, forests, by the lakes and at the river. The Red Faced Barbets, the Great Snipe, the Lesser Kesterel, the Armot Chat, Swamp Fly Catchers, the Papyrus Gonolex and the Shoebill are some of the most rewarding sights while birding.

  1. Boat Safari

A boat safari is a relaxing yet rewarding way to view wildlife. It is an even more rewarding experience when on the lake. Lake Ihema is the second largest lake in Rwanda known for its abundant hippo population and crocodile dotted shores. The boat safari on Lake Ihema offers the opportunity to take up-close photos of these animals. As other animals come to the lake for a drink or bath, you can take a look at those that you may have missed while out on a game drive in the wild.

BEST TIME TO VISIT AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

June- September mark the long dry seasons in Akagera National Park. The national park can be dry and dusty during this time of the year, as it marks the warmest time of the year. This time is very suitable for visitors taking a game drive in Akagera national park since it is easy for visitors to spot a variety of wildlife animals in the park. Also, remember to carry with you enough mineral water to keep hydrated during this time of the year and throughout your game drives.

The months of December- February are the short dry seasons in the national park. However, visitors may experience a bit of rainfall during this period, so make sure you carry a light raincoat just for emergency purposes.

The months between March to May mark the long rainy season in Akagera National Park. The park receives a lot of rainfall during this time period and usually the roads in the park are muddy. Visitors travelling to the national park during this time of the year should hire 4×4 wheel drive vehicles to ease your movement in the park. In addition to this, visitors should also pack a lot of warm clothes as nights in the park tend to get extremely cold during this rainy season.

The months from October till November characterize the short wet season in the national park. During this period, visitors travelling to Akagera national park can take part in bird watching activities in the park. Visitors can get an opportunity to view migratory birds pass through the park during this time of the year.

HOW TO ACCESS AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Akagera national park can be accessed by visitors travelling from Kigali City. The national park is located about 110km from Kigali and visitors can reach the park in 2½ hours. Travelers planning to visit Akagera national park can consult a trusted tour operator for better travel options and tour packages to the national park.