Akagera National Park
located in northeastern Rwanda on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park was established in 1934 and covered over 2500 square kilometers, however because of human resettlement and farming this park reduced in size and by 1997, it covered only 1,122 square kilometers which is it size today. Despite all this, the Rwandan government together with African Parks have worked very hard and returned it to its former wildlife glories.
Wildlife Habitats in Akagera Park
The park was named after River Akagera which running along the park’s eastern boundary. This river feeds a number of small lakes within the park including Lake Ihema. There are several papyrus swamps, beautiful rolling highlands and savannah plains which offer a diversified range of habitats to the wildlife living in this park.
Wildlife in Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is best known as home of the large savanna game species and among these is these is the Sitatunga, elephants, buffaloes, topi, zebras, waterbucks, roan antelopes, elands, duikers, oribi, impalas, bohor reedbuck, bushbucks as well as the klipspringers.
There are also a number of primates living in the forested areas including olive baboons, blue monkey, vervets and the nocturnal bush babies.
The larger predators within the park include: leopards, lions (these were re-introduced last year), hyenas and striped jackal
This park is home to a variety of bird species and prides in a bird list of more than 500 different species including the hard to pin down Shoebill Stork, papyrus gonolek plus several others.
What to do in Akagera National Park
The boat trips in this park offer another unique way of seeing the different wildlife here. They are conducted on the beautiful lake Ihema whose shallow waters and lake shores are swarmed with different animals and birds. Some of the animals you will see are large schools of hippos as well as crocodiles. There are 4 scheduled trips each day starting at 7.30am, at 9am, at 3.30pm and then at 5pm. private trips may also be organized with prior reservation at other times.
Lake Shakani is the site of sports fishing in the park; spend a relaxing day fishing off the lake shore and then cook your catch over an open fire at the campsite.
Bird Watching Safaris
This is another popular and much loved activity within this park as bird lovers enjoy the great abundance of bird species living here. With a bird list of over 500 different species recorded here, keen birders will be able to see some of the endemic species like the papyrus gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri) restricted to the papyrus swamps, the red-faced barbet (Lybius bidentatus) and the swamp flycatcher (Muscicapa boehmi).
Game drives are conducted in Four Wheel Drive powerful vehicles that can take on the terrain. the park offers half day and full day game drives during which you will follow the different trails to see the various animals living in the park. Each of the game drives is normally guided by the professional Safari guides who are very knowledgeable about the wildlife and the best places to see the animals. They will detail you on everything you need to know.