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Akagera National Park

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Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful parks in central-eastern Africa. Its remarkable biodiversity showcases impressive herds of herbivores grazing on open plains and rare, elusive birds frequenting the swamps. Recent reintroductions of lions and rhinos have led to thriving populations, complementing the existing abundance of elephants, buffalos, zebras, giraffes, and leopards. The waterways within the park are home to lively communities of hippos and enormous crocodiles.

Encompassing a stunning open expanse of wilderness, wetlands, and lakes, Akagera is a vast natural wonder. Surprisingly, about one-third of the park’s expansive 1,200 km² area is dominated by water, making it the largest protected wetland in eastern-central Africa. This unique blend of landscapes provides a diverse habitat for the park’s rich array of wildlife.

For bird enthusiasts, Akagera National Park is a haven. The park hosts several Lake Victoria-endemic species, including the red-faced barbet and papyrus gonolek. This offers a unique opportunity for birders to spot and appreciate these distinctive species in their natural environment.

The park’s recent success in reintroducing lions and rhinos highlights the conservation efforts aimed at restoring and maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Visitors can witness not only the iconic Big Five but also the fascinating dynamics between predator and prey in this thriving African wilderness.

Activities in Akagera National Park

Game Drives

One exciting activity in Akagera National Park is taking a game drive. You can start at the main gate and journey to the northern Nyungwe gate, where wildlife populations are higher. Keep an eye out for hyenas, leopards, topis, elands, and the recently reintroduced Eastern Black Rhinos. Elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and lions can also be spotted. The diverse landscape offers a chance to see various antelope species, including giraffes, impalas, topis, zebras, bushbucks, African swallows, elands, vervet monkeys, warthogs, baboons, mongoose, hippos, crocodiles, and elephants.

Bird Watching

Akagera National Park is a haven for bird watchers, boasting over 480 bird species. These include migratory and residential birds residing in the rolling hills, woodlands, forests, swamps, lakes, and savannah vegetation. Common bird species include the majestic shoebill and Fischer’s lovebird. During your birding safari, you may encounter the beautiful lilac-breasted roller, crested barbet, black-headed gonalek, Ross’s turaco, Heuglin’s robin-chat, and the grey hornbill, among others.

Boat Cruise Experience

A serene boat cruise along Lake Ihema, Rwanda’s second-largest lake, offers a unique perspective of Akagera National Park.


This aquatic journey provides excellent sightings of birds and wildlife living around the lake. Look out for crocodiles, buffaloes, hippos, Kingfishers, Fish Eagles, Egrets, Hamerkops, and the fascinating Shoebill. Endemic species like jacanas, ibis, plovers, herons, malachite Kingfisher, and hawks add to the vibrant experience. The 2-3 hour boat ride enhances your animal count from the game drives, leaving you with lasting memories of this Rwandan national park.