Akagera National Park : The only savannah national park in Rwanda that is home to the big 5 is Akagera National Park, one of the best parks in the nation.Akagera National Park, one of the most gorgeous and attractive national parks in East Africa, is located in the Eastern section of Rwanda. The Akagera River, which runs through the park from the east to Lake Victoria and Lake Ihema, gave it its name. The park is strategically located on the border with Tanzania, a neighboring country. The park was first published in the gazette in 1934 under the Belgian government. Later, due to political unrest in Rwanda, the park was dismantled until the country was stabilized. Thereafter, the park was once again published, drawing numerous visitors from all over the world to participate in park activities.
The park is now regarded as the best place for nature lovers to go on an African tour because it has the best vegetation cover, including savanna grassland, water bodies like lakes and rivers, and a variety of wildlife species, including primates like olive baboons and vervet monkeys as well as other mammals, birds, butterflies, and other insects.
Top attractions in Akagera national park
The things that draw visitors to Akagera National Park are its attractions. The most notable feature of Akagera National Park is that it is home to numerous tourist attractions, including the following, in its vegetation of blush-colored savanna, water features, and fauna.
Wildlife: The rich vegetation of Akagera National Park, which includes marshes, papyrus plants, and dense, green savanna grassland, is well known for supporting a variety of wildlife species, including the following:
Vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and olive baboons are just a few of the primate species.
Elephants, including Mutware the oldest elephant in the park and “King of the Jungle,” Giraffes, Impalas, rhinos, Sitatunga, leopards, Topis, duikers, and hyenas are just a few examples of mammals. All five of the major sports are, in reality, held in Akagera National Park.
The park is renowned for housing several bird species, particularly uncommon waterbirds like the shoebill stork. In actuality, the park is where East Africans can locate aquatic fowl. Other bird species include, among others, those unique to the Albertine Rift, raptors, and woodland birds.
Top 5 things to do in Akagera National park
The top 5 visitor activities in Akagera National Park are game drives, boat cruises, birding, cultural tours, and sport fishing among others. The park is tiny yet magnificent.
Akagera National Park Game Drives
The most popular and one of the top 5 activities to do in the park is a game drive. The Akagera National Park offers both daytime and nighttime game drives, each of which offers a unique opportunity to see animals. One of the most fascinating and adventurous activities is choosing a morning game drive, where visitors spend about 5-6 hours driving through wildlife while spotting most of the wildlife species, including primates like Red monkeys, Vervet monkeys, Sitatunga, Olive baboons, and mammal species including the Big5 such as Elephants. In fact, during the morning game, you will encounter the oldest elephant known as Mutware, who is 50 years old and usually encountered almost every day. Other mammals that you might see are lions, giraffes, waterbucks, oribis, reedbucks, topis, elands, antelopes, zebras, duikers, elands, rhinos, many bird species, and stunning butterflies. However, a night game drive also unlocks the door to the nocturnal primates and mammals that can only be seen at night with a sport light. Serval cats, Hyenas, Civets, Bush Babies, Warthogs, Bush Pigs, Leopards, and other carnivores like lions are some of the nocturnal creatures and primates that have been observed in the park.
Boat cruise in Akagera national park
Another fascinating activity that should always be included in the top 5 things to do in Akagera National Park is a boat tour. On Lake Ihema, one of Rwanda’s best lakes, boat safaris are conducted in the park. It takes around two hours to take a boat tour on Lake Ihema. While sailing on top of the lake, you may enjoy the cool breeze and spot various wildlife species, such as hippos and crocodiles in groups taking a bath. Keep a watch out for various creatures along the Lake Ihema shoreline, including buffalo, elephants, and antelopes, among others, as they drink water. Other waterbirds you might see are African fish eagles, crowned cranes, kingfishers, marabou storks, and uncommon shoebill storks.
Birding in Akagera National Park
For birders, birding has always been the top activity to partake in when on safari in Rwanda. Over 500 different bird species can be found at Akagera National Park in Rwanda, including endemic species, raptors, and water birds, which are frequently seen while traveling along Lake Ihema by boat. The Little Bee-eater Goliath Heron, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, and American Robin are among the most frequent bird species spotted in the area. Helmeted Guinea fowl, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, White-browed Coucal, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Grey Hornbill, Long-crested Eagle, Saddle-billed Stork, Lilac-breasted Roller, Black-headed Weaver, African Darter, African Wattled Lapwing, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Squacco Heron, Crowned Lapwing, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Grey A birder only needs a set of binoculars, some sunscreen, a hat, gloves, and appropriate long-sleeved shirts and pants before heading to the forest to observe birds. Therefore, birding is readily linked with a wildlife safari where birds are seen among other species during the game drives and nature walks. The greatest birding spots in the park are between Lake Ihema and the River Kagera. A boat safari on Lake Ihema is another excellent method to view birds in Akagera National Park.
On the shores of Lake Shakani, which is designated to allow sport fishing on a catch-and-release basis, sport fishing is practiced in Akagera National Park. But at the conclusion of the day, visitors are permitted to bring home at least one fish for their own delight. The greatest location for sport fishing in the park is Lake Shakani, which is located in the far north-east of the area. Travelers can see hippos, crocodiles, and other creatures that congregate near the shore in search of water while sport fishing. When doing a Rwandan gorilla tour, adding sport fishing to the top 5 things to do in Akagera national park is such a satisfying and exciting experience because one is allowed to spend a day catching and releasing fish with one catch saved for consumption.
In addition to sport fishing, visitors have the option of camping at Muyumbu, which offers a breathtaking view of several lakes in Tanzania, a neighboring nation.
One of the best activities to enjoy while on a Rwanda wildlife safari is taking cultural tours in the areas close to the park. Travelers can learn about various techniques, such as milking, grazing, milk preservation, and regional methods of obtaining ghee from milk, during this cultural tour of the area around the park.
How to get there
Akagera National Park is accessible via a variety of routes.A 4×4 safari van takes about three hours to go from Kigali to the park. It takes around an hour to go to Akagera National Park from Rwamagana.
There are both public and private transportation options. Every day, buses transport people from Kigali to Kibungo through Kayonza, from whence they can either ride a bike or hire a private vehicle to the park.