Akagera national park
Akagera national park is found in the north eastern region of Rwanda extending to the Rwanda border with Tanzania, Akagera national park stretches over an area of 1122 square kilometers which features savannah, montane and swamp vegetation.
History of akagera national park
Akagera national park derives its name from river Akagera/ Kagera river which flows along its eastern boundary, the park was gazetted in 1934 primarily to protect the animals and unique vegetation becoming the largest protected wetland in Africa. Initially akagera national park covered an area of 2,500 square kilometers until in 1997 when approximately half of its land was taken off and given to the refugees after the Rwanda genocide of 1994. Currently akagera national park stretches over an area of 433 square miles (1122 kilometers).
Attractions in akagera national park
Akagera national park is one stop tourist destination with a variety of attractions which will blow your mind and welcome you into one of the most fascinating wilderness in the Rwanda and the world, attractions in akagera national park include.
Akagera national park is a habitant to numerous wildlife species which find home in the savannah vegetation, swampy vegetation and lakes dotted around akagera national park. Wild life species in akagera national park include Lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, cape elands, impalas, wide eyed bush-bays, warthogs, Oribi, bush buck, Tsessebe, Sitatungas, defassa waterbuck, reedbucks and many more. In the forested park of the park lives primates which include vervet monkey, the olive baboon, silver monkey and blue monkeys. The beautiful animals facilitate exciting game drives offered in in akagera national park.
Akagera national park is an important birding site harboring approximately 500 bird species, Lake Ihema is the main concertation of birds in the park. This is because of it is surrounded by both seasonal and perennial papyrus providing home to many bird species like the rare shoebill, the endemic papyrus gonolek and migrant birds such as lesser kestrel and great sniper. Other bird species present in akagera national park include lilac-breasted roller, black headed gonolek, Heuglin’s robin-chat, grey hornbill, Ross’s turaco, crested barbet, red-faced barbet, African grey hornbill, long crested eagle, woodland kingfisher, marabou stock, palm-nut vulture, culture egret, little bee-eater, swamp flycatcher, and grey crowned crane and many more.
Vegetation and lakes
Akagera national park features beautiful vegetation cover which consists of savannah grassland, seasonal and perennial swamps and montane vegetation cover which are comfortable habitants to numerous wildlife which reside in the park. Akagera national park also consists of many small lake with two prominent lakes that is Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani. Swamp vegetation and lake are great spot for bird watching and wildlife spotting as they harbor the largest concentration of birds and many wildlife species visit them for food and water.
Activities in akagera national park
Akagera national park offers very entertaining and breathtaking activities done while on a safari in this spectacular national park, these activities will give you the best time of your life together with everlasting memories.
Looking for adventure game drive in akagera national park is your perfect choice, Akagera national park is made up of beautiful landscape, spectacular scenery filled with wild flowers, savannah vegetation, montane and swamp vegetation, lake that is Lake Ihema and other small lakes. Akagera national park is a habitat for amazing wildlife species which are always seen while on a game drive, these animals include zebras, giraffe, impalas, mongoose, elands, African swallows, top, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephants, Oribi, defassa waterbuck, reedbucks, sable and roan antelopes and buffaloes. There is also primates in the park which are seen such as vervet monkeys, baboons and many more. A game drive in akagera national park is undeniable enjoyable activity but when your embarking on it make sure your using a 4X4 wheel car and your fuel tank has enough fuel to last you through the drive driving from south to north of the park.
Akagera national park is a perfect spot for bird watching and bird lovers find the park amazing and have referred to it as a birding paradise, Akagera national park is a home to approximately 500 bird species that are recorded to be present in the park. For an exquisite bird watching safari, the south region of the park is the most wonderful spot as it harbors a variety of bird species more than the north region. Akagera national park’s bird species includes land bird species, water and forest bird species. Many bird species are seen while on bird watching safari in the park such as gorgeous lilac-breasted roller, black headed gonolek, Heuglin’s robin-chat, grey hornbill, Ross’s turaco, crested barbet, red-faced barbet, African grey hornbill, long crested eagle, woodland kingfisher, marabou stock, palm-nut vulture, culture egret, little bee-eater, swamp flycatcher, grey crowned crane and many more.Akagera national park also harbors rare and threatened papyrus gonolek which is more loved by bird enthusiast.
Boat rides on Lake Ihema is also one of the best ways of touring akagera national park, in the park boat rides are scheduled in three trips that is day, morning and sun set boat rides. While on the boat ride you enjoy the scenic sights of the park, its animals like giraffe, impalas, mongoose, elands, African swallows, top, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephants, Oribi, defassa waterbuck, reedbucks as the graze in the short savannah grass. Lake Ihema contains hippopotamus and crocodiles which are easily spotted, for a fact Lake Ihema is a breeding spot for many bird species in the large seasonal and perennial papyrus swamps surrounding it. This make the lake a special place for spotting various bird species such as shoe bull, papyrus ganalex, Heuglin’s robin-chat, grey hornbill, Ross’s turaco, crested barbet, red-faced barbet, African grey hornbill, long crested eagle, woodland kingfisher and many more.
Fishing expedition in akagera national park take place on Lake Shakani, Lake Shakani consist of many species such as tilapia, cat fish and many more which are caught using various methods of fishing. On sport fishing expedition methods such as hooking, gill netting, lampara method, spear and shooting, scoop method and cast net are used. At Lake Shakani you not only enjoy fishing but also the scenic beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding.
Note: During day hippopotamuses stay in water and crocodiles are easily sighted when approaching you, this is facilitated by gently sloped banks of the shores of Lake Shakani. This means when fishing you should have no worries but enjoying the expedition.
Accommodation in akagera national park
Accommodation is plays a significant role in making your safari in akagera national park amazing and comfortable as it is where you get were to sleep, get food and other services. As a great tourist destination akagera national park features many accommodation facilities which are at your disposal for you to choose from, for a comfortable stay the following facilities can be one of your choice.
Ruzizi tented lodge
Ruzizi tented lodge is an amazing accommodation facility operating since 2003, it consists of 20-bed eco camp that are linked together using board walks with a very impressive African style décor. Ruzizi tented lodge is found on the shores of Lake Ihema.
Akagera game lodge
This accommodation facility is situated inside Akagera national park, this lodge is features tastefully furnished rooms, restaurant, swimming pool, curio bar, and tennis court. Rooms at Akagera game lodge consists of free Wi-Fi, television and constant power supply.
For camping interested tourists, akagera national park consists of 3 campsites which open for camping. Camping offers you direct interaction with wilderness of akagera national park.
Outside the park, there are hotels which also offer accommodation such as seeds of hope guest house, grand legacy hotel, Cari hotel, top tower hotel, Umubano hotel, LeMigo hotel, the manor hotel and many more.
Directions to akagera national park
Akagera national park is situated in the north eastern region of Rwanda which is approximately 110 kilometers (2-3 hours’ drive) from Kigali town the capital city of Rwanda and the main entry city for international tourists using Kigali international airport. From Kigali town you drive 100 meters out of Kigali town towards the airport, you take a left turn heading east towards Rwamagana, drive through Rwamagana to kayonza and in kayonza take a right turn at the roundabout and continue driving till you get to discentre station on the left side of the road leading you into kabarondo town. After the petrol station you will turn left and drive for about 15 kilometers as you approach a junction at Rwinkwavu, at this spot you will see a sign post indicating Akagera national park on the left a drive to the get which is 13 kilometers a head from the sign post.
The best time to visit akagera national park
It is always a best time to visit akagera national park depending of your choice and preferences, practically and as per most tourists who have visited akagera national park the best time is in the dry season which takes place in the months’ period from June to September, what makes the period the best is because the route are dry meaning they are navigable and the vegetation mostly savannah grassland are shot making wildlife watching easer. Some tourists prefer touring in the park in low season which happens in the months of March, April, October and November and others prefer to visit in high season periods which takes place in months of June to September. No matter the time of your choice akagera national park is forever a wonderful destination you should always consider to visit while on your safari.