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Akagera National Park in a few words...

Demarcating Rwanda’s north-eastern border with Tanzania, the landscape of Akagera National Park could scarcely provide more of a contrast to the terraced hills that characterise much of the rest of Rwanda.

Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Akagera National Park (Rwanda)


Demarcating Rwanda’s north-eastern border with Tanzania, the landscape of Akagera National Park could scarcely provide more of a contrast to the terraced hills that characterise much of the rest of Rwanda. Dominated by the labyrinthine network of papyrus swamps, lakes and marshes that mark the course of the Akagera River, a major source of the Nile, this is a quintessential African safari landscape of dense acacia woodland interspersed with open savannah plains.

One of Africa’s oldest safari parks (1934), Akagera is to this day Rwanda’s only big game park. Though small compared to the more famous safari parks of East Africa, within its borders it houses a diversity of game, including significant herds of buffalo and elephant, big cats (leopard and lion), hyena and an array of antelope, including Cape eland.

Akagera is also Eastern and Central Africa’s largest protected wetland. Camping on the banks of the Akagera River or one of its beautiful lakes is a magical experience. These lakes attract huge concentrations of waterbirds, while the marshes that they feed are the haunt of such rare species as the gonolek and the fascinating shoebill stork.

In and around Akagera National Park, Rwanada
4x4 game drives and walking safaris will give you the opportunity to explore Akagera’s varied terrain—acacia woodland, extensive wetlands, and vast savannah plains—in search of its wildlife.

While few safari-goers travel to Rwanda specifically to visit Akagera, the park is well worth a visit if you are travelling through the country and have 2-3 days to spare. It can be visited on a day trip from Kigali (3 hours driving), but we recommend that you spend one or two nights in the park.

There are few places to stay in Akagera, with just two lodges/camps: the adequate Akagera Game Lodge, close to Akagera’s southern gate, and the more-recently opened Ruzizi Tented Lodge, a stylish bush camp overlooking Ihema Lake. New camps are expected to open soon in the more beautiful northern regions of the park. Private camping is also an option, and arguably the best way to experience Akagera. Contact us for more details.

Akagera suffered badly from poaching in the years following the civil war, but today it is better managed and beginning to see a return to life. The game isn’t nearly as prolific as it is in the Serengeti or the Masai Mara, but then neither are the visitor numbers.

Accommodation in Akagera National Park (Rwanda)

Akagera Game Lodge

Akagera Game Lodge is currently the only place to stay in Akagera Game Lodge. A large, not entirely attractive hotel, it does have the advantage of a marvellous location, overlooking a busy watering hole.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Rwanda

Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Ruzizi Tented Lodge is a small, eco-friendly safari lodge situated on the banks of Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park, Rwanda. It is the only traditional safari camp of its kind in Akagera.

Other regions in Rwanda

Kigali

The capital and main port of entry to Rwanda, Kigali is a relaxed city with a moderate climate and a good range of hotels. It offers easy access to Akagera, Volcanoes and Nyungwe National Parks.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park offers marvellous primate safaris, with a particular emphasis on chimpanzee viewing. Baboon, Hamlyn's monkey, and mangabey are also present in this little-visited forest park. The chimp-tracking safaris take place on foot.

Volcanic Lakes

Rwanda's lakes offer visitors glimpses into ancient African lifestyles. Here, fishermen still fish in dugout canoes unchanged in design for centuries, while the local populace can be seen working, or sitting on the shores in colourful local dress, smoking traditional wooden pipes.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is situated in the Virunga Mountains in northwest Rwanda. The Virunga Mountains, among the highest in Africa, are home to the rare mountain gorilla. Gorilla trekking safaris are the park's primary attraction, but the region is also home to a diverse range of wildlife aside from the gorillas, including buffalo, hyena, duika and the rare golden monkey.

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