Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park

Lies in the east parts of Rwanda, where the countryside gives way to savannah, with clusters of acacia mingled with open grassland. The scenery is dominated by a labyrinth of swamps forming a sprawling wetland and extensive series of lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, believed to be the most remote source of the river Nile. The park boasts of a unique ‘spring-like climate ‘which make safaris to this area exceptionally pleasant. As one makes their way through the swamps and savanna, giraffes and zebra roam freely. Species of antelope including the handsome chestnut coated Impala, the diminutive oribi, the ungainly Tsessebe, and shy Bushbuck can be seen in excess. Elephant and buffalo emerge from the savannah in the evening to drink from the lake edges.

Set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park is different from the cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Akagera has beautiful undulating plains with dense, broad-leafed woodland, lighter acacia woodland and rolling grassland. Created in 1934 it covers an area of 2.500kmsq.

Species. Akagera offers big game viewing, with herds of elephants and buffaloes emergingfrom the woodland to drink at the lakes, then other mammals include leopards, spotted hyenas and lions. Giraffes and zebras haunt the savannah, and more than a dozen types of antelope inhabit the park, most commonly the chestnut-coated impala, but also the oribi and bushbuck, as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the world's largest antelope, the statuesque Cape eland. The lakes of Akagera are inhabited by hippos and crocodiles, a part from some of the continent's densest concentrations of waterbirds. The connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre shoebill stork.

Activities. The Park offers well developed game drives, boat trip game viewing on the lakes and along the Akagera river.

Always remember that the animals are wild animals. Keep your distance. Never get out of your vehicle except at designated points. It is illegal to feed any animal, make excessive noise to attract their attention.  Close all windows when you leave your room and spray it with insect repellant.