The 2 day Akagera safari will take you to Akagera national park where you will have a remarkable game viewing experience.
Akagera National park is among the few national parks around the world which host an array of wildlife species. During the visit to Akagera National park, it is likely that you will witness the African big 5- lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopard, and rhinos as well as other wildlife species. The park has some of the best tranquil accommodation facilities which are perfect for a wonderful African getaway.
On this 2 day safari, you will be escorted by our wonderful tour guide. We have a great team of knowledgeable tour guides who shall ensure that you have the greatest experience in Rwanda. Each our tour guides has the passion for tourism and you will always get first-hand information from them.
To have a great experience in Akagera, you will need to travel in a car that supports a wonderful game viewing experience. We have a fleet of 4×4 safari cars that have popup rooftops and window seats. All our cars are ideal for the perfect game viewing experience.
We shall pick you up from the airport before the start of this tour.
This safari is expected to start and end in Kigali. If you are in another province around Rwanda, we shall do the necessary effort to start your tour from that location.
Day 1:Game drive and boat cruise in Akagera
Early in the morning, our tour guide will pick you up from the hotel and you will be transferred to Akagera National Park. It takes approximately 2 hours to arrive in Akagera National Park.
On reaching the park, you will be driven to the lodge where you will refresh a bit and afterwards, you will be driven to the park for an amazing game viewing experience. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Akagera National Parks thanks to the abundance of wildlife species.
Apart from the big 5, Akagera is home to hippopotamus, crocodiles, zebras, giraffes, oribis, roan antelope, waterbuck, bushbuck, cape eland, impala, Klipspringer, and several other species. You will have a lunch break where lunch will be served.
After lunch, you will take a boat cruise along Lake Ihema where you will the chance to witness many bird species, various land animals along the shores and aquatic species such as hippopotamus and crocodiles.
And by evening, you would have experienced many wildlife species. After enjoying the sunset, you will retire to the lodge where you will be served with delicious meals. Inter-continental and local meals are always served.
Day 2: Akagera – Kigali
After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive back to the park for another game viewing experience.
During this day, you will look out for some of the wildlife species that you could have missed during the previous game drive. It will be a great time to witness several wildlife species. After the game drive, you will return to Kigali and this will be end of this wonderful safari.
For clients who still want to spend more time in Akagera, we will adjust this tour and for those who would like to visit another national park after the Akagera tour, we will take you to whatever park that you would like to visit.
Contact us today for the best tours in Rwanda and Uganda.
Tel: +250 787 290611.
Whatsapp/Call: +256 782 29222.
Akagera National Park, located in the eastern part of Rwanda, is a unique and diverse protected area that offers a blend of savannah landscapes, wetlands, lakes, and abundant wildlife. As Rwanda’s only savannah national park, Akagera provides a stark contrast to the country’s lush rainforests and is a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation and biodiversity. Here’s an overview of what makes Akagera National Park a remarkable destination:
- Ecological Diversity: Akagera National Park is characterized by a range of ecosystems, including savannah plains, woodlands, wetlands, and a series of lakes along the eastern border. This diversity supports a variety of wildlife, from large mammals to numerous bird species.
- Wildlife Viewing: The park is home to the “Big Five,” including lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. It’s the only place in Rwanda where you can see these iconic African animals. Other species such as giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, and more can also be found within the park.
- Birdwatching Paradise: Akagera National Park boasts over 500 bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. The various habitats, including lakes, wetlands, and grasslands, attract a diverse array of avian species, including African fish eagles, herons, storks, and kingfishers.
- Boat Safaris: Several lakes within the park, such as Lake Ihema, offer boat safaris that provide a unique perspective of the wildlife and landscapes. Boat safaris allow visitors to get up close to aquatic animals like hippos and crocodiles, as well as observe birds and other wildlife along the shores.
- Conservation Success: Akagera National Park’s restoration and conservation efforts have been noteworthy. With the reintroduction of lions and rhinos and efforts to protect the park’s natural resources, the park’s ecosystem has seen positive changes, making it an important symbol of Rwanda’s commitment to conservation.
- Community Involvement: Local communities play a crucial role in the park’s success. Community-based initiatives and partnerships have helped to create a harmonious relationship between wildlife conservation, tourism, and the livelihoods of nearby residents.
- Accessibility: Akagera National Park is relatively accessible from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, and other major towns. The drive from Kigali to the park takes about 2-3 hours, making it a convenient destination for both day trips and longer stays.
Akagera National Park presents a captivating blend of savannah scenery, diverse wildlife, and significant conservation efforts. It offers a chance to experience Africa’s iconic animals, engage in various activities, and witness the positive impact of conservation on both the environment and local communities in Rwanda.
The history of Akagera National Park in Rwanda is a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation, the preservation of biodiversity, and the unique journey of restoring a once-depleted ecosystem. The park’s history is marked by a series of changes, challenges, and successes that have transformed it into the vibrant and diverse protected area it is today.
Pre-Colonial and Early Colonial Era: Before European colonization, the area that is now Akagera National Park was inhabited by various indigenous communities. The park’s landscapes were used for agriculture, grazing, and hunting by these communities. However, the arrival of colonial powers brought changes to land use and wildlife management.
Establishment as a Hunting Area: In the early 20th century, Akagera’s wildlife and landscapes began to draw the attention of European settlers, including the Belgian administration that controlled Rwanda at the time. The park was designated as a hunting area for colonial elites, leading to a decline in wildlife populations as hunting intensified.
Conservation Efforts Begin: In 1934, Akagera was designated as a national park, making it the first national park in Africa to be established for the purpose of wildlife conservation. This marked a shift from hunting to protecting the park’s ecosystems and biodiversity.
Population Pressure and Decline: After Rwanda gained independence in the 1960s, the pressures of increasing human populations and the need for agricultural land began to impact the park. Encroachment, illegal grazing, and poaching led to a significant decline in wildlife populations, including the near-extinction of key species like lions and rhinos.
Revitalization and Restoration: In partnership with various conservation organizations and donors, Rwanda embarked on an ambitious program to restore Akagera’s ecosystems and wildlife. In 2010, African Parks, a conservation nonprofit, entered into a management agreement with the Rwandan government to oversee the rehabilitation of the park.
Reintroduction of Key Species: One of the most remarkable achievements in Akagera’s history is the successful reintroduction of lions and black rhinos. In 2015, lions were reintroduced to the park after a 15-year absence. In 2017, black rhinos were reintroduced, marking the return of a species that had been absent from Rwanda for over a decade.
Conservation and Community Engagement: Akagera’s restoration efforts involve not only conservation but also community engagement. Local communities play a pivotal role in protecting the park’s resources and benefiting from responsible tourism. Community-based initiatives aim to improve livelihoods and create a positive relationship between the park and its neighboring residents.
Modern Success and Tourism: Today, Akagera National Park stands as a testament to Rwanda’s commitment to conservation and biodiversity. Its landscapes are home to a wide range of wildlife, including the “Big Five,” and it offers a unique blend of savannah, wetlands, and lakes. Akagera has become a key destination for wildlife enthusiasts, offering safaris, boat tours, and the chance to experience Rwanda’s remarkable natural heritage.
Akagera National Park’s history reflects the evolution of wildlife management, conservation efforts, and the partnership between government, conservation organizations, and local communities. From a hunting area to a thriving national park, Akagera’s journey showcases the potential for ecological restoration and the importance of preserving Africa’s unique biodiversity.
The best time to visit Akagera National Park in Rwanda depends on various factors, including weather, wildlife viewing opportunities, and personal preferences. Akagera National Park experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, each offering unique advantages for visitors. Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit:
- Dry Season (June to September): The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit Akagera National Park. During these months, the weather is drier, and the skies are clearer, creating favorable conditions for wildlife viewing and outdoor activities. Animals are more easily spotted as they gather around water sources, making wildlife sightings more rewarding. The reduced foliage also enhances visibility.
- Birdwatching (All Year Round, with Peaks in the Wet Season): Akagera National Park is a birdwatching paradise, with over 500 bird species recorded. The wetlands and lakes attract a variety of waterbirds, and migratory species are present during the wet season (October to March). However, birdwatching can be enjoyed year-round, with some peaks in bird activity during the wet season.
- Wet Season (October to March): While the wet season brings more rainfall and lush vegetation, it also offers its own advantages. The park becomes greener and more vibrant, creating picturesque landscapes. This is the time when many newborn animals are present, making it an excellent period for observing young wildlife. Additionally, fewer tourists visit during the wet season, providing a more intimate and serene experience.
- Boat Safaris: Boat safaris on Lake Ihema and other lakes within the park are best enjoyed during the dry season when water levels are lower and the weather is more predictable. These boat trips offer close encounters with aquatic animals, such as hippos and crocodiles, as well as excellent birdwatching opportunities.
- Wildlife Viewing: Wildlife viewing is generally good year-round in Akagera National Park. However, during the dry season, animals are more concentrated around water sources, providing better opportunities for spotting them in the open savannah.
The best time to visit Akagera National Park depends on your interests and priorities. The dry season offers optimal wildlife viewing, while the wet season provides lush landscapes and excellent birdwatching opportunities. Both seasons offer unique experiences, so consider the type of adventure you’re seeking when planning your visit to this diverse and captivating national park.
Akagera National Park offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different preferences and budgets, providing visitors with a comfortable and immersive experience in the heart of Rwanda’s wilderness. Here are some of the accommodation choices available within or near Akagera National Park:
- Ruzizi Tented Lodge: Ruzizi Tented Lodge is located on the shores of Lake Ihema, offering stunning views of the lake and its surroundings. The lodge features comfortable tented accommodations with en-suite bathrooms, solar-powered lighting, and private decks. Ruzizi Tented Lodge provides a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool for a relaxing stay.
- Akagera Game Lodge: Akagera Game Lodge is situated within the park and offers a variety of rooms, suites, and cottages. The lodge’s accommodations feature modern amenities, en-suite bathrooms, and balconies overlooking Lake Ihema. The lodge has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and conference facilities.
- Campsites: For those who enjoy camping and want to immerse themselves in the wilderness, Akagera National Park offers designated campsites. These campsites provide basic facilities and allow visitors to experience the park’s landscapes up close.
- Karenge Bush Camp: Karenge Bush Camp is a seasonal tented camp that offers an intimate and authentic bush experience. The camp is set up in a secluded area and provides comfortable canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms and a dining area. Staying at Karenge Bush Camp offers a more rustic and immersive safari experience.
- Nearby Accommodations: While there are lodging options within Akagera National Park, there are also accommodations available in nearby towns like Rwamagana. These options are suitable for travelers who want to explore the park while staying outside its boundaries.
- Ubumwe Grande Hotel: Located in Rwamagana, the Ubumwe Grande Hotel is about a 30-minute drive from Akagera National Park. This hotel offers modern rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and conference facilities, making it a convenient base for visiting the park.
When planning your stay in Akagera National Park, consider your preferences, budget, and the experiences you’d like to have. Whether you prefer luxury lodges, tented camps, or camping under the stars, Akagera National Park provides a range of accommodation options to suit your needs and enhance your safari experience.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Akagera National Park in Rwanda:
- Where is Akagera National Park located? Akagera National Park is situated in the eastern part of Rwanda, along the border with Tanzania. It covers an area of about 1,200 square kilometers and encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems.
- What makes Akagera National Park unique? Akagera is the only savannah national park in Rwanda, offering a different landscape compared to the country’s other parks. It is home to a variety of wildlife species, both large and small, and provides a contrast to the lush forests found in other parts of Rwanda.
- What animals can I see in Akagera National Park? Akagera is home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles, hippos, and various antelope species. It’s also a haven for bird enthusiasts with over 500 bird species recorded.
- Can I self-drive in Akagera National Park? Yes, self-driving is allowed in Akagera National Park. Visitors can rent a 4×4 vehicle and explore the park on their own. However, it’s recommended to have a good understanding of the park’s rules and regulations, as well as a map or GPS navigation.
- Are guided game drives available in Akagera National Park? Yes, guided game drives led by experienced rangers and guides are available in Akagera. These guides are knowledgeable about the park’s wildlife and ecosystems, enhancing the safari experience.
- Can I do boat safaris in Akagera National Park? Yes, visitors can enjoy boat safaris on Lake Ihema within the park. Boat safaris offer a unique perspective to observe hippos, crocodiles, water birds, and other aquatic life.
- Are accommodations available in Akagera National Park? Yes, Akagera offers a range of accommodations including lodges and tented camps. These accommodations provide different levels of comfort and allow you to stay within or near the park, enhancing the overall safari experience.
- Is it safe to visit Akagera National Park? Yes, Akagera National Park is considered safe for visitors. The park is well-managed and has appropriate safety measures in place. However, it’s important to follow the instructions of park rangers and guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Can I see the Big Five in Akagera National Park? Yes, Akagera National Park is home to the Big Five: lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. Lions and rhinos have been successfully reintroduced to the park, making it a unique destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
- How do I get to Akagera National Park? Akagera National Park is accessible by road from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. The drive takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on road conditions. You can also arrange transfers with tour operators for a convenient journey.
These FAQs provide valuable information for those planning to visit Akagera National Park in Rwanda.