Akagera national park founded in 1934 mainly to protect both the wildlife species and the vegetation in 3 localities that is the Savannah region, mountainous region and the swampy area. The park obtained it name from the Akagera River that flows along its Eastern boundary spreading its waters to different lakes in the park including Lake Ihema the largest lake in Rwanda.
The park is situated in the north eastern part of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania about 110km from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda. Akagera national park previously had a land expanse of 2,500 square kilometres, but later in 1997 part of the land was allocated as farms making it to its current extent of 1,122 square kilometres of land.
Of the fact that the park has exceptional levels, its forms the biggest part of protected wetland in the all of central Africa. The wildlife in park had reduce due to the reduction of size of the park, but with the introduction and implementation of rigorous law enforcement since 2010, poaching reduced, wildlife prospered and this is to date transforming the tourism industry in Rwanda.
Being the largest park in the central Africa, it harbours a variety of wildlife and bird species and some of the animal species include the buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, vervets, secretive blue monkey, hippos, crocodiles, bush babies commonly see on night game drives and antelopes like the duikers, waterbucks, oribi, elands, bushbuck, Impala, and many more.
NB: You can now spot the big five form Akagera national park of the fact that black rhinos where recently introduced into the park from South Africa in 2017.
Activities in the Akagera national park
- Game drives
- Bird watching
- Fishing in Lake Shakani
- Boat cruise on Lake Ihema
- Cultural tours
How to get there?
The most commonly used method of transport to the park is by vehicle. For this case a 4X4 safari vehicle is recommended more especially in the rainy season.
Drive out of Kigali city towards the park which is about 2 and a half hours. At about 100m from the city centre, turn left and head towards Rwamagana up to Kayonza. Continue with the journey until you get to a Discentre station. Continue on dirt road just after the petro station until you get to the park sign post, drive for about 13km from the sign post to the park gates.
Accommodation options include;
- Ruzizi Tented Lodge
- Akagera Game Lodge
- Karenge Bush Camp