Guide to visiting Akagera National Park in 2024-2025 : Akagera National park is the best wildlife viewing destination in Rwanda. It is home to some of the rare wild animals in Africa and a perfect place to go on a game drive. Situated in the Eastern part of Rwanda, Akagera National Park sits on an area of 2500 sq km and it is found on the boarder of Rwanda and Tanzania and the park was gazetted as a national park in 1934 and was named after the Kagera river which flows water along its eastern border with Tanzania. Akagera National Park is the only Savannah National park making it the only place for wildlife viewing in Rwanda.

 The park is a home of different unique wildlife species for example the big five animals including elephants, buffaloes, lions, rhinos, leopards, and other mammal species like  , zebras, giraffes, warthogs, impalas , bushbucks others lions,  hyenas,  and several antelopes like the bushbucks, roan antelope, topes, klipspringer, Oribis, Cape eland, water-buck, duikers and impalas. There are a number of primates species found within this park such as the olive baboons, Vervet monkeys, and the nocturnal bush babies. The shallow waters of Lake Ihema are home to a large number of crocodiles and hippos which can best be viewed during boat rides.

This park is also one of the places that is not to be missed by any birder along with the great Nyungwe Forest National Park. It hosts 520 species of birds which exists in this national park. The birders who visit Akagera National Park are always amazed by the large number and great diversity of the bird species that range from water birds to forest birds, and also savannah species as well as migratory bird species. There are also a number of species that are endemic to the park and are so rare like the papyrus gonolex which exists in the papyrus swamps. There are also the local red faced barbets, and the swamp fly catcher as well as the elusive shoebill stork all live in Akagera National park. Other species includes pied crow, long crested Eagle, Viellot’s black weaver’s fish eagles, Grey-backed Fiscals, Cattle Egret, Black-headed, Hamerkop, Sacred & Hadada Ibis, and the Augur Buzzard among other.

Amazing activities carried out.

Akagera national park also boast a number of interesting and fascinating activities to visitors this includes;

Game Drives ; Game drives is one of the most famous activities in Akagera National Park where tourists will get the opportunity to explore the park in a comfortable way in a safari with experienced game guide. Game drives in Akagera National Park is done in the northern part of the park and either the morning or evening game drives  During the game drive along  you will follow  network of game viewing tracks, there are plenty full of animals to see including roan antelopes,  elephants, buffalo, zebra, bush-baby, hippos, crocodiles and many other mammal species. We also can’t rule out the rare game species such as leopard, lion and black rhino. As one of the most scenic savanna in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides an opportunity to see gentle hills blending in beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies.

On a game drive during the day, you get to be driven along the tracks, through the green savannah plains, past wide-leaved woodlands and into the habitat of beautiful mammal species in the Akagera National Park. Some other animals to be spotted out while on a day game drive are the Defassa Waterbuck, Topes, Bohor Reedbucks, Oribis, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions among others .

Akagera National Park also offers night game drive where visitors will be able to explore the park with the armed guide park ranger to spot the nocturnal animals especially the wide-eyed bush babies, serval cats, civets, and leopards. You will be guided by your flashlight and an experienced ranger and its only takes 2to 3 hour.

Nature Walks; Akagera National Park management offers nature walks in some areas of the park with a ranger guide. During the nature walks, which take 2 to 3 hours, you will follow different hiking trials where you will be able to more time and engagement concerning butterflies, insects, and plants that you could easily miss while on a safari. You will also enjoy the cool breeze, view of the beautiful hills, and listen to nice sounds of bird species among others

Boat rides; Boat rides in Akagera National Park is an interesting activity that is done on Ihema, which is the famous and biggest lake situated in the south part of the park. The boat ride in Akagera is done in different schedules, the day trip that is the morning and the evening schedule. During the boat ride you will be able to see large school of hippos and crocodiles in the waters, see other animals like buffaloes, waterbucks, elephant, and warthog’s drinking water at the shores, among others

 Sport Fishing; Sport fishing is one of the most and amazing activities in Akagera national park. Sport fishing in the national park is normally done in Lake Kivu or Lake Shakani where You will get an opportunity of fishing and know he different marines species such as Tilapia, Catfish among others. At the serene waters you can fish to the background music of chirping birds and hippos that grunt as if to cheer you on. You are free to keep your catch to roast, fry or grill it and enjoy the taste of fresh fish from Rwanda.

Guide to visiting Akagera National Park in 2024-2025
Sport Fishing in Akagera

Rules and regulations in the park

 You are required to present all the necessary documents at the park entry point for check-in

 Littering in the park is highly prohibited

Pets are highly prohibited at the park such as cats, dogs, snakes among others

The park opens for visitors starting from 6am to 6 pm

Firearms are not allowed at the park

Bush burning is not allowed but only in designated camp areas

Driving off to designated trucks is not allowed, fine is 100$

When in the park, avoid making motor horns when caught will be fined 100$

Best time to visit Akagera National Park

The best time to visit the parks is during the dry season which typically runs from June to September. This is because during this period, the wildlife is most active, and the vegetation is less dense, making it easier to carry out excellent wildlife spotting. The park has a variety of landscapes, including wetlands, savannahs, and woodland, which provide a unique backdrop for wildlife viewing and photography. Also from mid-December to mid-February, there’s a dry spell within the wet season, which is also a good time for wildlife spotting. During this time, animals tend to concentrate around the lakes due to the thinner bush cover.

How to get to Akagera National Park

The distance from Kigali to Akagera National Park is about 108 kilometers, and the park can be accessed by either road a short flight. By road, it takes about 2 hours. And 30 minutes’ drive from Kigali the capital city via the town of Rwamagana to the southern gate of the park (the northern gate is used for exit only at the moment).

For those who do not wish to drive can opt for a short flight into Akagera and these services are provided by Akagera Aviation.

Accommodation in Akagera National Park

Within Akagera National Park you will surely find a place for everyone to stay. The available accommodations here range from luxury facilities, mid-range facilities and also budge accommodation facilities such as Mantis Akagera Game lodge, Rusizi Tented Camp, Akagera Game lodge, Akagera guide’s house, Akagera Transit lodge, Akagera Neighbors and Rutete Eco- lodge among others

book a gorilla trip