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Akagera National Park

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About Akagera National Park

Country found in: Rwanda
Parks total area: 1,122 km² (433 mi²)
Year established: 1934
Park wildlife: 15 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Absolutely!

Akagera National Park map

Akagera National Park highlights

  • 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. 

Akagera National Park wildlife

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.

***Update***In 2015, lions were reintroduced to this park and in 2017, rhinos were added, making Akagara the only park in Rwanda where the big five can be seen. 

Baboons and vervet monkeys are among the commonly sighted primates. Leopards and hyenas, the predominate 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.

Safari 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 is the best time of year 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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Akagera National Park tour packages

Showing 10 of 54 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: Kazinga Tours

Our 14-day trip brings you the best of Rwanda: where the savannah meets the rainforest.

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$6000

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Tour by: Wildlife Tours - Rwanda

The best of Rwanda

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$5000

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Tour by: Tropical Valley Safaris

A 14 days Rwanda safari package to track chimpanzees, gorillas, golden monkeys, and other primates in the jungle...

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$6000

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Tour by: Taste Rwanda Safaris

The classic savanna wildlife game drives / game viewing, and the productive birding, in the Akagera national par...

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$3783

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Tour by: Gorillas & Wildlife Safaris

Kigali city tour, Akagera National park, Nyanza Kings palace, Butare national museum (archeological site) Nyungw...

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$6000

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Tour by: Sunrise Africa Safaris

Akagera National Parc is located in the east of Rwanda. Kibungu is the city that is nearest to the park and the ...

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$800

per person

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Showing 10 of 54 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.