Akagera National Park


  2 reviews
Giraffes in Akagera National Park
Giraffes in Akagera National Park
About Akagera National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
1,122 km² (433 mi²)
Year established:
1934
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • Small park with much wildlife and vegetation.
  • One of the most scenic savannah reserves.
  • Home to three of the big five: elephants, buffalo and leopards.
  • Plans for rhino and lion reintroduction.
  • Excellent bird watching: 500 bird species live in the park.

Akagera National Park lies at the northeast corner of Rwanda, 110 kilometers (68 miles) from the capital, Kigali. The park is named after the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, which flows at the park’s eastern frontier, on the border with Tanzania. Akagera’s size was reduced in 1997 from the original 2,500 km² (965 miles²)  to 1,122 km² (433 miles²), in order to provide land for returning refugees after the end of the Civil War. The park presents Central Africa’s largest protected wetland, and is a scenic labyrinth of lakes, papyrus swamps, savannahs and rolling hills. Different ecosystems complement one another, and provide a habitat for an array of mammal and bird species, including three of the big five: elephants, buffalos and leopards.

Akagera is known for its big game. Buffalo, zebras, Masai giraffes, defassa waterbucks and cape elands, can be seen grazing in the savannah. Elephants have been reintroduced, and their numbers are now estimated at around 120. These magnificent giants can be sometimes spotted at the waterholes. Once the fence at the park’s western boundary is completed, there is also a plan to reintroduce lions and black rhinos.

Baboons and vervet monkeys are among the commonly sighted primates. Leopards and hyenas, two large predators found in the park, can sometimes be spotted during a night drive. If you decide to go on a boat trip on Akagera’s largest lake, Lake Ihema, you are bound to encounter hippos and crocodiles. The papyrus swamps shelter a wide variety of water bird species, and are much loved by ornithologists, who are attracted by nearly 500 bird species living in the park.

Activities in Akagera

Guided game drives are available, as well as bird safaris and boat safaris. The guides can advise you on areas of most dense wildlife and scenic spots.

When to visit Akagera National Park?

The dry seasons run from June to September, and January to February, and this is usually the best time to visit. During the wet months, some roads can become impassable, although a lot of effort has been recently put into road development.

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Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Jul 23, 2014   |   Visited: Jun 2014.
My family and I have just returned from a great time in Africa. This was my first time to Rwanda and I wanted to see as much as possible. Although there are no gorillas here, we did see quite a few big animals like giraffe and elephants. It wasn't too crowded and lodging was nice. I would recommend for a day. read more

I saw

Chameleon
Elephant
Giraffe
Vervet monkey
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10 people gave this review kudus.

(4/5 stars) Written on: Feb 20, 2014   |   Visited: Dec 2013.
Situated in Eastern Rwanda along the Tanzanian border, Akagera National Park protects animals and vegetation in three ecoregions: mountain, savannah and swamp.
The park is named for the Kagera River which flows along its eastern boundary feeding into several lakes with the largest being Lake Ihema.
Akagera is a big game country with large herds of giraffe, buff... read more
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12 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 7 / 10
Meet three of the big five, get mesmerized by the scenic wetlands and take a boat safari. This is a park with a vision!
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Articles about the Akagera

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Leopard
Leopard
Elephant
Elephant
Giraffe
Giraffe
Bushbaby
Bushbaby
Hyena
Hyena
Vervet monkey
Vervet monkey
See a complete list

Getting to Akagera

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Fishing
Fishing
Game drives
Game drives
Night drives
Night drives
Photography
Photography

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