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Rwanda Wildlife Safaris & Tours to Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park in Rwanda safaris & tours offer incredible Rwanda safari experiences in the well-maintained park. Akegera National Park is famous for its wildlife adventures, as it is the only protected savannah environment in Rwanda.

This unique and picturesque park in the Eastern province of the country, covering an area of 1,100 sq. km is therefore one of the oldest national parks in the African continent. The Akagera Park’s western hilly region rises to an altitude of 2000 meters, especially in the Mutumba hills.

The park has different biodiversities and biomes comprising swamps, lakes that flow into the river Kagera, and spectacular scenic beauty of the landscape, thus one of the most outstanding safari destinations.

Additionally, this park covers amazing eastern province sights including cultivated green hills, the beautiful landscape including extensive plains comprising of rolling grasslands, the cactus-like Euphorbia Candelabra Shrub, and both the thin and thick forests of the rugged terrains.

The Rwanda Development Board and the African Parks signed a joint management agreement to form the Akagera Management Company so they could both manage the park and they contributed tremendously to its inspiring conservation story.

Akagera National Park reviews will give you the urge to book your exquisite tour in this very good park. Get to experience amazing packages from half-day tours to a favorable number of days for your expeditions.

Planning to visit Akagera National Park Rwanda? Inquire and book us your Akagera Park safari today for incredible adventures.

What is the History of Akagera National Park in Rwanda? – What Happened in Akagera National Park?

Akagera NP was declared a park in 1934 by the Belgium government and was named after the river Akagera in which different water bodies pour their waters, for example, Lake Ihema, Lake Gishanju, Lake Rwanyakizinga, Lake Minhindi, and Lake Shakani.

Much of the Akagera land was given to refugees returning due to the 1994 genocide, but the protected area was hurt by poaching and cultivation.

Who are the African Parks in Akagera?

The African Parks signed a joint management agreement with the Rwanda Development Board to form the Akagera Management Company and started managing Akagera National Park in 2010. Consequently, they have through the Akagera Management Company contributed to the growth in the number of animals to over 13,000 from about 5,000.

When the African parks assumed management with the RDB, they reintroduced Lions to increase the Lion population in Akagera Park. 7 Lions were translocated from South Africa, one of the Southern African countries in 2015 after 15 years of their absence in this very good park.

In 2017, 18 black Eastern Rhinos were also re-introduced in the park after a 10-year absence. They were transported on a 2,485-kilometer distance from a zoo in the Czech Republic, thus marking the longest translocation of the Rhinos from Europe to Africa.

These improvements by the African Parks and the RDB have consequently increased the number of tourists in the country, with 44,000 recorded in 2018. In the same year, the park earned about 2 million dollars as tourism revenue, making it a 75% self-financing national park. Thus, a great work when the Rwanda Development Board and the African Parks assumed management.

The body also established a new visitor center, and the same visitor center will give you great insight into the wildlife, ecology, and history of the park.

What is Akagera National Park Known For (Famous For?)

Akagera National Park Rwanda is famous for its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna counting the African big five – Cape Buffalo, Lions, Savannah Elephants, Leopards, and Rhinos. There is also a wide range of wild animals, especially wild cats and other animals including the Zebras, Wild Dogs, Giraffes, and Bush Babies, among others.

Additionally, this only protected savannah environment in the country is also famous for its rich birdlife and spectacular scenic beauty.

Location of Akagera National Park – Where is Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is located in the Northeastern province of Rwanda along the Rwanda-Tanzania border.

What to do in Akagera

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Best Akagera National Park Safaris in Rwanda - Rwanda Tours

Experience Akagera National Park safari adventures for your African trips. Below are some of them. • Wildlife safaris • Bird, watching safaris • Cultural tours and community tours

Top Safari Attractions in Akegara National Park

Get to experience Akagera National Park Rwanda attractions for your safaris. Below, we list the major attractions of the park.

Animals of Akegera National Park - Wildlife in Akagera National Park

The wildlife in Akagera National Park is abundant partly due to the extensive savannahs that are habitat to them. It is the most ideal place in the country to enjoy amazing game viewing on day or night game drives and a boat tour here you will get to view the large mammals and different bird species. There are over 8,000 large mammal species in the park counting more than 100 African Bush Elephants, 80 Rothschild Giraffes, 25 Black Eastern Rhinos, and over 15 Lions. Examples of various other wild animals in Akagera National Park include Cape Buffalo, Elephants, Lions, Hyenas, Zebras, Giraffes, Bush Babies, and different Antelope species for example Topis, Impalas, Cape Eland, Oribis, Duikers, Roan Antelope, Bushbucks, Klipspringer, And The Water-Buck, among others.

Primates in Akagera Park

There is also a rich number of primates in Akagera Park and some of them include the Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Silver Monkeys, Olive Baboons, and Blue Monkeys.

Bird Species in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is an incredibly beautiful park for birding adventures as it harbors about 520 bird species including migratory birds for this experience. Get to enjoy the abundant species of birds in the savannahs, water bodies, swamps, and forests, among others. You will thus explore different species of birds for example the Papyrus Gonolex, Grey-Backed Fiscals, Augur Buzzard, Hamerkop, Hadada Ibis, Augur Buzzard, Fish Eagles, Cattle Egret, Pied Crow, Long-crested Eagle, among others. Other attractions around the park include the different communities, the eastern province museums, and craft shops where you will do an eastern province shopping, among others.

Major Safari Activities in Akagera National Park | Things to do in Akagera National Park

Below, we look at the major Rwanda eastern province outdoor activities to enjoy during your trip in this well-maintained park in Rwanda.

Akagera National Park Game Drives

In Rwanda, the thrilling day and night game drives only occur at Akagera National Park and the experience occurs in 4x4 park vehicles that have open roofs to allow you to easily watch the different animals. For example, Elands, Cape Buffalo, Antelopes, Lions, Leopards, Civets, Hyenas, among others. A knowledgeable amazing tour guide will lead you through this amazing adventure and will thus explain to you the different wildlife. The wildlife of the park covers the rich fauna and flora. While doing a game drive , it is important to remain inside the park vehicle/ tour car to avoid any dangerous circumstances with the animals. It is also advisable that you carry a packed lunch in case you are going for longer game drives and follow the advice of your park rangers for safety. Akagera National Park holds both day and night game drives and below, we look at both of them. Early Morning/Afternoon Game Drives The early morning spot animals game drive is a remarkable way to view the wildlife in their active times as they go to feed. Likewise, the afternoon game drives will also give you a great experience of viewing animals, especially taking their great photos.

Night Game Drives

The night game drives in Akagera National Park will avail amazing eastern province sights to watch nocturnal animals. You are also advised to move with one or two park rangers for this night drive. These night game drives occur for 2 hours and it also allows you to watch different animals in the night. In the night game drives, you will watch different nocturnal animals, especially the wild cats and others for example Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Serval Cats, Bush Babies, and Civets, among others.

Boat Cruise Safaris on Lake Ihema in Akagera National

Enjoy amazing boat tours at the boat launch site at Lake Ihema to explore more water creatures for your experiences. Lake Ihema, which is the largest protected wetland in the park in the country will allow you to explore different water creatures for example the Hippos, Shoebill, Crocodiles, and Elephants by shores, among others. A boat tour at Lake Ihema, the largest protected wetland in the park costs $ 40 and they are scheduled for 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 4:30 a.m. at the boat launch site. However, visitors who would like to take a private boat tour on Lake Ihema can also have a different schedule.

Birding in Akagera Safari Park

With over 520 bird species in the country, Akagera National Park proves to be a credible destination for enjoying birding safaris . You will be able to watch these birds while doing different Rwanda eastern province outdoor activities in Akagera NP for example through game drives, boat cruises, and nature walks among others. The different bird species to watch include the toothed Barbet, Black Headed Gonolek, Arnot Chat, Red Faced Barbet, Meyer’s Parrot, Long Tailed Cisticola, and Suaza Shrike, among others. The birding expeditions in the park cost $ 30 per person.

Sport Fishing in Lake Shakani in Akegera National Park Rwanda

The sport fishing adventure in Lake Shakani in the Akagera Park is also a great adventure to explore in the country. Akagera is the only place in the country to enjoy this experience and it will allow you to fish for different fish species while you also watch different wildlife by the shores for example the Hippos and different water bird species. The common Fish species in the park include the catfish and Tilapia Fish species. Permits for fishing include $ 20. You may also visit the Gishanda Fish Farm, just 10 km away from Akagera to explore the fishing project that aims at a sustainable fishing project for the Tilapia species.

Cultural Visits and Community Tours in Akagera National Park

The Akagera National Park is an amazing place for community adventures as you get to meet the local people in communities near the park. These communities will introduce you to the local cultures for example the cultural performances, folk songs and stories, the traditional arts and crafts, cooking traditional dishes, of the people in the communities. You will get to visit farms and learn some of the farming practices like milking cows and harvesting honey from hives, among others.

Hiking and Guided Eastern Province Nature Walks

Akagera visitors can also enjoy hiking adventures and nature walks in the country in the country while they are in the national park. There are different trails along the different paths for example near lakes, forests, and swamps. These nature walks in the park will allow you to enjoy different attractions and nature of the park for example plants, butterflies, birds, insects, among others. The other activities that you can do around the park include visiting the eastern province museums, the Presidential palace, the Rusumo Falls, the Kigali City market, Genocide memorial centers, and the art and crafts market shops, especially to buy souvenirs while doing an eastern province shopping. What to consider while planning to visit Akagera National Park on Safari While organizing a tour of Akagera Park, you will need to consider many things like the best time to go, how to get to the park, the different packages to book, and where to stay, among others. We discuss them below.

What to Pack for your Akagera National Park Tours

The things to pack as you visit Akagera National Park to make your trips more enjoyable and comfortable. Below are some of these important things to pack. 1. Travel documents, for example, passport 2. Insect repellent 3. Sunscreen 4. Sunglasses 5. Long trousers and long sleeves 6. Strong sturdy shoes 7. Poncho or rain jacket

The Best Time to Go on a Safari in Akagera National Park | Best Time to Visit Akagera National Park

Although the park can be visited all year round (both dry and rainy seasons), the best time to visit Akagera National Park is in the dry season. The dry season runs from June to September and December to February when the vegetation is thin and short for clearer game-viewing adventures. The season also causes some water sources to dry up, thus leading to some of the animals gathering around water sources thus making them easier to view. On the other hand, the rainy season is also advantageous in a way that the costs of services are much lower due to the presence of few people. The rainy season is also an amazing time to watch the incredibly beautiful park nature.

How to Get to Akagera National Park

Once you arrive at Kigali City, you will meet your professional amazing tour guide who will drive you to Kigali International Airport. By road, it will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes via Rwamagana Town and to the park entrance gate or park reception at the Southern gate as the Northern gate is used only for exit. From the main road to the entrance is 27km. The park entrance fee is inclusive of a self-drive for visitors staying overnight in the park. However, these Eastern province admission tickets are reduced by 50% for an overnight late the next night or two half-day tours. You may also book a private park vehicle/tour car for an eastern province transportation at about $ 175 for one half-day tour and $ 275 for a full day. However, if you are using one of the local tour companies or one of the many tour operators, the eastern province transportation, accommodation, and booking for your activities will be sorted. Although not common, you may also take a short flight to the park.

Most Popular Rwanda Safaris in Akagera National Park

Below are some of the best and top safaris in Akagera Park to enjoy on an inspiring conservation story in Africa with the guidance of the best among the many tour operators. Discover different packages from 3 days or more to other half-day tour expeditions in the park and other neighboring national parks. a. One half-day tour in Akagera National Park b. 3 days Akagera National Park c. 6 days of Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe National Park, and Wildlife safaris in Akagera National Parks d. 8 days of wildlife at Akagera NP and primates hiking on the mountainous western boundary of Volcanoes NP

Accommodation in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park provides various accommodation facilities for your tours, ranging from luxury to midrange, and budget. Luxury accommodations include the Mgashi Lodge, Karenge Bush Camp, Magashi Lodge, and Rusizi Tended Camp, midrange lodges include the Akagera Game Lodge and the budget lodges include Dereva Hotel, among others. The luxury and midrange hotel class popular amenities and facilities include the spa and wellness centers, room service, car parking spaces for personal or park vehicles, games, and service activities.

Where Else Can You Visit in Rwanda and Africa

A Rwanda wildlife safari in Akagera National Park can be combined with other safaris in the famous green hills of Volcanoes National Park known for Gorilla trekking, Golden Monkey trekking, and Mountain hiking in its mountainous western boundary, among others. Additionally, you may also visit Nyungwe National Park for Chimpanzee tracking, the Nyungwe canopy walk, and others. Safari destinations neighboring Rwanda are Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, but you can also visit South Africa or Botswana which are Southern African countries, among others, which are all great places to experience your unique tours. Using one of the local tour companies will make the touring of these places much easier. Frequently Asked Questions –

1. What Country is Akagera National Park?

Akagera National Park is found in Rwanda in East Africa.

2. When is Akagera National Park Open?

Akagera National Park's open days are from Sunday to Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

3. What are the Entry Rates for Akagera National Park?

Akagera Park is 12,000 RWF and children rates cost 8,000 RWF for entry into the park.

4. Can you see the Big 5 in Rwanda?

Yes, you can see the big five (Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and the Cape Buffalo) in Rwanda at Akagera NP.

5. How Many Lions are there in Akagera National Park? | How Many Lions are in Akagera National Park?

Akagera Park has 15 Lions that you can view through an incredible safari game drive. This increased from the previous Lion population which was 7 when they were first re-introduced.

6. How Much Does it Cost to Game Drive in Akagera National Park?

Game drives on your Akagera National Park safari cost $ 40.

7. Is it Necessary to Book in Advance when Visiting Akagera National Park?

We recommend that you book Akagera National Park tours ahead of time so you are able to keep your spot.

8. How Can I Best Explore Akagera National Park?

You can best explore Akagera NP through a game drive. However, you can explore the park through other activities like boat cruises, bird watching, and nature walks. Experience Akagera National Park in your safari by exploring the amazing wildlife and the eastern province nature of the park during your African safari. You will get to be part of an inspiring conservation story when you participate in the different safari activities. The park’s special occasions contribute reviews and you can read various Akagera National Park reviews from different tourists to discover the next legendary Rwanda tours! Meet the famed African Big Five, watch different birds, and meet many people on community tours as you explore the unique and picturesque park together with other national parks.Inquire and book your trip with us today!

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