Akagera National park

Akagera National Park.

Rwanda is pleased to have Akagera National Park as one of its national parks. The national park is the country’s unique refuge for savannah animals and the only site in Rwanda where visitors may view the Big Five.

The Akagera National Park is located in the Kayonza district in Rwanda’s northwestern region. It is Rwanda’s largest national park, with a radius of 1,122 square kilometers. The national park is now maintained by the Akagera Management Company, which was formed in 2010 through a collaboration between the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks, an NGO that oversees other African national parks.

The national park gets its name from the River Kagera, which runs through it. Visitors enter Akagera National Park through the southern gate, which is located in the area of Kayonza, whereas the northern gate of the park is exclusively used as an exit out of Akagera. The park’s northern gate is located in the Nyagatare district.

The Belgian colonial authority established Akagera National Park in Rwanda in 1934 in order to safeguard the park’s surviving threatened animal species. The national park used to encompass an area of 2,500 square kilometers, but much of it was destroyed following the return of Rwandan refugees from the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

The park used to be home to a diverse assortment of animal species, including lions, savannah elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, and wild dogs. Because of the great population of wild dogs in the park, Akagera National Park was once known as the ‘Park of Lycanos,’ or ‘Parc aux Lycanos’ in French. However, an epidemic in the park killed the majority of these wild canines, and the last of the species was observed in the park in 1984.

In May 2017, 18 black eastern rhinoceros were relocated from South Africa to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. This translocation, which covered a distance of 2,485 miles, resulted in the restoration of rhinos to the national park after a 10-year hiatus. This was a significant accomplishment for conservationists and employees at Akagera National Park, made possible by a collaborative effort between the Rwanda Development Board, African Parks, and the Howard Buffet Foundation.

Activities in Akagera National Park.

Game Drive Safaris

The Akagera National Park is great for any traveler who desires to observe wildlife creatures in Rwanda, particularly the Big Five. There are around 8,000 huge game creatures in the national park, including elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffalos. Visitors to the national park may see a variety of species including the Burchell’s zebra, giraffes, antelopes, impala, topi, Sitatunga, jackals, and hyenas.

Spotting the Big Five in Akagera National Park is one of the highlights of any Rwanda safari. The park provides both day and night game drives, with night guided game drives providing tourists with the opportunity to see nocturnal creatures like as leopards, lions, civets, hyenas, bush babies, and serval cats, to name a few.

Visitors to Akagera National Park might also encounter night birds like Owls. Night game drives in the park last around 1-2 hours and cost USD $40 per person. Day guided game drives are $30 per person and take place in the early morning and late afternoon.

Boat Cruise Excursions.

Visitors to Akagera National Park may take a boat ride on Lake Ihema, which is famed for its large populations of hippos, crocodiles, and various water birds. This is a must-do activity for any bird enthusiast. Boat cruises at Akagera National Park take place four times a day, at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. Non-scheduled boat tours are offered at the park for tourists who want to take private boat cruises on the lake.

A multitude of bird species, including the uncommon Shoebill stock, may be seen during a boat ride in Akagera. The park provides planned boat rides for USD 35 for the morning boat cruise and USD 45 for the evening/sunset boat cruise. The park does, however, provide private boat tours for a cost of USD 40, and these launch trips are not planned.


Over 750 bird species live in Akagera National Park, including marabou stocks, egrets, crowned cranes, and herons. This national park is ideal for bird viewing when on safari for bird enthusiasts.


Fishing at Akagera National Park is often done on Lake Shakani, which is known for its diverse fish species, including Tilapia and cat fish. Visitors may spend the day resting and fishing on the lake’s shoreline, then cook their catch over an open bond fire at their campground. Fishing activities in Akagera cost USD 25 for adults and USD 15 for youngsters aged 6 to 12. Visitors must, however, provide their own fishing equipment.

Walking Safaris

Tourists interested in enjoying nature hikes in Akagera National Park can do so under the supervision of a well-trained park ranger. View the numerous plant, bug, and bird species while walking around Akagera National Park.

Behind the Scenes Tour

 Visitors to Akagera National Park may now gain insight into the operations that take place in the park’s management. The ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Akagera brings visitors through the park’s headquarters, where they can meet the park’s workers and hear about important conservation efforts. A behind-the-scenes tour in Akagera costs USD 25 per person with a minimum of four individuals and USD 15 for youngsters aged 6 to 12.  A group rate for a maximum of 8 people is USD 180. This trip is limited to one and a half hours.

Camping, walk in the Line, and Community Cultural Visits are some of the other activities available at Akagera National Park.

When is the best time to visit Akagera National Park?

If you want to visit Akagera National Park in Rwanda, the ideal months to go are December-February and June-September, which are essentially dry months in the park. The grass in the national park is short during this time of year, making animal viewing considerably simpler.

Furthermore, wildlife creatures in the park typically congregate near water pools in specific parts of the national park, making viewing wildlife much simpler for tourists. Furthermore, the roads in the area are not muddy at this time of year, making it easier for guests to maneuver about the park.

Accommodation in Akagera National Park.

Visitors who prefer to stay more nights in Akagera National Park can do so at Akagera Game Lodge, Magashi Safari Camp, Karenge Bush Camp, and Ruzizi Tented Camp, to name a few.

How to get to Akagera National Park.

Road access to Akagera National Park is available from Kigali City. It is around 110 kilometers from Kigali and takes about two and a half hours to get there. Tourists are encouraged to hire 4×4 cars for their safari since the roads going to and within the national park are murrum, or dirt roads. Visitors can also hire a helicopter to bring them to the national park. Charter flights to the park are available through Akagera Aviation.

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