skip to Main Content

The only savannah conservation area in Rwanda that is surrounded by water bodies is Akagera National Park, which receives its name from the River Kagera and is nourished by Lake Ihema. It is one of Rwanda’s wetland ecosystems. The conservation area has experienced significant exploitation and depletion over the years due to a variety of factors, but thanks to Rwanda’s government, there has been a significant improvement in the park’s protection and conservation. The reintroduction of lions into the park has made it a complete location to see the big five of the wilderness. It was a gazette and encompasses over 2500 square kilometers of land.

Akagera National Park

Game drives are conducted in the morning and afternoon; early morning is a peaceful time for animals, and it is possible to see wildlife as most of them come out to graze; look out for big cats like lions, leopards, and zebras, as well as giraffes; this is one of the few places of Africa where you can see these animals. Activities of the national park include game drives through the widely dispersed game tracks. Viewing wildlife in the national park is done on open car roofs. There are many birds to see in Akagera National Park, some of which are endemic to Rwanda and the country as a whole.

The conservation area is primarily made up of vast savannah grassland that is scattered with shirt trees, shrubs, and bushes. Thirty percent of the conservation area is covered by water bodies, making it the only place in the land of a thousand hills to see savannah wildlife species. Popular animals that can be seen here include zebras, lions, elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, gazelles, elands, Jackson hartebeests, hyenas, gazelles, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, and more. A good number of bird species here include; African darter, giant kingfishers, weavers, pelicans, Abyssinian ground hornbill, long crested eagles, grey crowned cranes, to mention a few.

The drive to Akagera National Park from Kigali takes about two hours. Although it can be visited year-round, the best times are between June and August and December to February due to the dry season. A fly-in safari can be arranged from the Kigali International Airport and lands in 25 minutes. There is lodging inside and around the park.

You can view the best of the ecosystem on a boat safari along Lake Ihema, which takes about three hours and is divided into two sessions in the morning and the afternoon. If you’re lucky, you might see the critically endangered species of shoe bill stock along the marshy swampy areas. Cultural tours to the Iby’iwacu community will show you how the old Rwandan way of life was lived.

Back To Top