Looking for Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda? Welcome to Akagera National Park; the park is hugging Rwanda’s eastern border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park covers about 1,120km² and is one of Africa’s oldest national parks, first gazetted in 1934.

The north of Akagera is mostly fairly low-lying grasslands and savannah plains, similar in feel to the ‘traditional’ safari areas of East Africa. To the west are rolling hills and valleys more typical of Rwandan countryside while to the east, the Akagera River feeds into a series of lakes, marshes and papyrus swamps that constitute central and eastern Africa’s largest protected wetlands. So, for a fairly small National Park, an Akagera safari can be extremely diverse with a variety of habitats, wildlife and birds, and some lovely scenery.

Akagera National Park has had a troubled past, with refugees from Rwanda’s civil wars returning to live in the area in the late 1990s, harming the environment through cattle-grazing and poaching. Consequently, the government reduced Akagera by half, allowing the new residents to stay in one part and protecting the rest. Book for Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda with Us.

What To Do in Akagera

Activities

Akagera Game Drives

Akagera’s wildlife has increased significantly over recent years and the latest count estimated that the Park is now home to some 8,000 large animals. The new perimeter fence completed in late 2013 has also impacted positively on numbers. In 2015, seven lions were reintroduced to Akagera which became the first lions to roam these plains for 15 years. Since their reintroduction they have done extremely well and their numbers have improved year on year. 18 eastern black rhinos were re-introduced in May 2017, making Akagera National Park a “big five” destination once again – and the first wild rhino to be born in the country in over a decade was welcomed in September 2017. In the meantime, because of the lack of predators, game is surprisingly relaxed and relatively easy to spot – as long as you don’t expect massive numbers, an Akagera safari won’t disappoint.

Boat Rides / Safaris in Akagera

Park authorities can arrange boat trips on Lake Ihema to see the hippo pods and some of the huge Nile crocodiles that are otherwise difficult to observe. This is also the best way to view the park’s abundant waterbirds, including swamp flycatchers, African fishing eagles, African darters and breeding colonies of noisy and smelly cormorants and open-bill storks. For our money this is the single nicest way of exploring the park. It’s important to make a reservation through the park office at least an hour or so in advance. One-hour tours cost US$30 per person, while the sunset trip is US$40. Trips depart at 7.30am, 9am, 3pm and 4.30pm. The boat cruise will give you a chance to have a good view of more game which includes elephants, buffalos, and these will gather at the banks in order to drink water.

Birding in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is especially good for birding, with over 480 species attracted by its diverse habitat. Savannah birds and raptors are prevalent and several endemic species such as the red-faced barbet are often seen. Short boat trips are available on Akagera’s lakes which will give you the opportunity to get close to the plentiful waterbirds including numerous African fish eagles, marabou stork, crowned cranes, open-billed stork, cormorants, herons and egrets. If you are lucky you may even get to see the elusive shoebill stork.

Wildlife Safaris in Akagera

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See the absolute highlights of Africa’s wildlife on this ten day odyssey. Not only do you get to trek into
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1 Full Day Safari in Akagera

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