Akagera National Park


Akagera National Park, located in eastern Rwanda, has 2500 square kilometers of mostly Savannah terrain. The park takes its name from the Kagera River, which flows along Rwanda’s eastern border with Tanzania. Lake Ihema and several smaller lakes in and around the park are fed by the river.

The park preserves an acacia and shrub environment with sections of open grassland and a dozen marshy lakes typical of the African Savannah. It has a high degree of biodiversity and is part of a huge protected wetland. Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s sole Savannah national park and the only area to see the majority of the large species when on safari. There are forest elephants in the other parks, but they are difficult to see. On a game drive, you may explore the park from the luxury of your safari vehicle.

Wildlife in Akagera National Park


Elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, leopards, hyenas, and lions may all be found in Akagera National Park. It is home to a variety of antelopes, including bushbucks, Topis, Oribis, waterbuck, roan antelope and duiker, klipspringer, impala, and the world’s biggest antelope, the Cape eland.

Schools of hippos and crocodiles may be seen lounging in the sun near Lake Ihema. Olive baboons, Vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, and bush babies are frequent primates in Akagera National Park and may often be observed during night drives.


The Akagera National Park contains a diverse range of ecosystems that give excellent habitat for 500 bird species. The magnificent shoebill, papyrus Gonolek, African Wattled Plover, Giant Kingfisher, Senegal Lapwings, Squacco Herons, African Open bill stock, Grey Crowned Crane, African Darter, Long-toed and Water Thick-knee are among the bird species to look out for.

Fish eagles, Cattle Egret, Hamerkop, Sacred and Hadada Ibis, Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, and Pied crows among the other bird species that are likely to be encountered. Grey-backed Fiscals, Fan-tailed Widowbird, and Caruthers Cisticola, as well as Black-headed and Viellot’s Black Weavers.

Activities in Akagera national park

Game drives

Game drives at Akagera National Park begin early in the morning in pursuit of leopards, hyenas, and the reintroduced lions. This is because predators prefer to hunt at night or early in the morning and typically go into hiding when the sun heats up. Along with the predators, take in the surroundings and other large creatures such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, and giraffes. The environment and magnificent wildflowers will provide superb photographic opportunities for the interested photographer.

Night game drives are also conducted by park officials, i.e. the Akagera management business. These typically run around 2 hours, beginning at 6 p.m. and ending about 8.30 p.m. You will have a flashlight to assist you in viewing the many night wildlife. You could get a chance to see leopards or lions while they hunt.

Bird watching

In Rwanda, Akagera National Park is a renowned and important birding destination. Bird watchers will like visiting Akagera National Park since it allows them to see both endangered bird species such as the papyrus gonolek and the shoebill as well as more common species such as weavers, egrets, and various Kingfishers. Birding is done on game drives, nature walks with a ranger escort, and boat safaris on Lake Ihema. Birding on Lake Ihema allows you to witness aquatic species that you would not see on a game drive on the Savannah grassland. Overall, we encourage birding at Akagera National Park because of the diversity and convenience with which you may view the species.

Boat cruise

A boat trip on Lake Ihema is the perfect way to spend a day in Akagera National Park. Because of the heat from the sun, most animals are hiding in the shade, while others go to the pond to cool down and drink. Along with a variety of water birds, you will see schools of hippos in the water and crocodiles on the lake’s shoreline. There are regular boat journeys that take place during the day, but one may also organize a private unscheduled boat ride at their leisure.

Sport fishing

On Lake Shakani, the park provides sport fishing opportunities. For sport fishing on this lake, you must obtain a reservation with the park. Even though the expectation is to catch and release, you are allowed to keep one catch for a supper if you like.

Cultural tours

Experience rural Rwandan life near Akagera National Park’s cattle herding settlements. You may see and/or participate in traditional cow grazing, milking, and milk storage in calabashes for preservation. You next go through the process of transforming milk into various products such as traditional yogurt and ghee, and finally participate in the preparation of a dinner using some of the milk products’ ingredients. This is a real cultural experience enjoyed by the villagers who live near to the park, and they may supplement their agricultural income with it. This eventually benefits conservation culture and the park’s wild creatures.

Getting there

You may travel from Kigali to Akagera National Park through Rwamagana town (entry is only through the southern gate). The northern gate is now exclusively used for leaving). The travel to the park entrance takes around 2 hours.

Those who do not want to drive the two hours can fly to the park utilizing the services of Akagera Aviation.