Akagera National Park was established in 1934, most importantly the aim was to protect wildlife and rich Savannah vegetation comprising of acacia and bush, named after Kagera River which flows beside the eastern Rwanda boundary, feeding into Lake Ihema. The National Park covers an area of 2500 km2, the largest protected wetland in Central Africa. It’s only two hours drive from Kigali the capital of Rwanda.
After the reintroduction of lions and eastern black Rhinos in 2017, Akagera has now become Rwanda’s big five’s destination although spotting Buffaloes are frequent but unfortunately, the forest Elephants are rare to find and Leopard are mostly spotted during night drive. There are other wildlife species which include; Masai giraffes, Burchell’s zebra, impala, bushbucks, Defassa waterbuck, topi and not forgetting the rare sitatunga antelope.
Activities are done within and around Akagera National Park
Boat cruise on Lake lhema
Lake lhema offers the best scenic viewing while on a boat ride, sightseeing Tanzania plains and aquatic wildlife such as crocodiles and hippopotamus with the water birds like; rare shoebill stork, African fish eagle, and kingfisher to mention but a few.
Night and day game drives
Big cat families which include; civets, lions, and most importantly the African leopard are spotted during night drive while on their hunt for prey, besides that Akagera harbors other wildlife like; Klipspringer, cape buffalos, zebras, Masai giraffes, forest Elephants, bush duikers, Oribis, impalas and bushbabies spotted day game drives.
Bird watching in Akagera National Park
Besides the Nyungwe Forest, Akagera National Park offers an excellent birding and bird watching site ground in Rwanda with a total record of over 480 species, excluding the unrecorded 100 bird species. Most likely spotted birds include; swamp flycatcher, grey-backed fiscal, grey crowned crane, African fish eagles, black-headed hero, kingfisher, and rare shoebill stork.