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Akagera National Park is a popular national park situated in the eastern part of Rwanda, it is Rwanda’s only savannah national park. It is the one place to see the so-called big five in the wilderness (Lions, Leopards, African buffaloes, African elephants). Tucked along the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, The name Akagera is derived From the river Kagera which flows through the park along its eastern boundary, the conservation area covers approximately 1,122 square kilometers with a huge biodiverse environment, much of the park premises are covered in freshwater bodies more so the Lakes, over 20% of the composition of the park contain water.

Akagera National Park

The vegetation of the national park comprises woodland, acacia woodland, shrubs, forest, and the rolling granny savannah grassy lands, these act as homes to several animal species for example the lions- initially, these had gone extinct in the park, however in the present days, there has been a reintroduction of the big cats which has increased a much more number of travelers who come into the country for Big cats, other species include topi, elands, African buffaloes, African elephants, waterbucks, roan antelopes, zebras, klipspringer. Impalas, to mention a few. The park is a hotspot for birds. There are many birds in the park including water birds, like the critically endangered shoe bill stock. greater Blue-eared starling, red-faced barbet, white collared olive back, African harrier hawk, papyrus gonolex the rare shoe bill among others

Akagera National Park was founded in1934 and it is the country’s only Savanna conservation area, it is special because it is one of a kind in the whole country, the angelic conservation area straddles the borders of Tanzania. In the past years the park but during the Rwanda genocide most aced a major challenge of the Rwanda genocide as people kept on encroaching the land for survival, moat of the land close to 50% was lost to refugees who needed land for shelter, cultivation, and farming after the crisis. Thanks to the Rwandan development for the protection of the remaining species, the place was solemnly visited however the reintroduction of Lions in the national park has made it much more popular than before.

Several activities can be done while visiting the park, there are well-distributed tracks in the national park which will enable you to have the best of Rwanda’s savannah the lake environment of the park is unique which topples the chance to perform activities like Game drives in Akagera is the major activity that takes in the conservation area, they begin early in morning in search of animals, especially the early morning risers, this is a busy time of the day as many animals come out to graze, Game drives can be done at night as well in search of predators like lions, cats, hyena.

Birding in Akagera National Park is as exciting there are over 300 birds present in the park, and you will be amazed by how many birds you can see in a day, bird life in the park is good throughout the year, it is comprised mostly of the swamp birds, these are attracted because of the different ecosystem that they can probably call home savannah species are evident in the park, for example the Marabu stock, African fish eagle, egrets and more. After Nyungwe Forest National Park, this park is the second best place to see birds in Rwanda.

The boat cruise along Lake Ihema begins in the morning time at 7:00 am east African time, the lake covers about  90 square Kilometers, and the Lake is fed by several rivers including river Kagera, during the boat cruise visitors can enjoy views of the park, water birds and several animals that come around to graze, visitors can try out some fishing activity the most common fish caught is tilapia. Lake Shakani is one of those few places to visit while in the park.  you will have a chance to see hippos.

You can experience the Rwanda culture from the people that live around the national park, you will have the opportunity to participate in traditional cattle grazing, and milking, and they use the products of milk, their ways of life culture, and their traditional dances. The best time to visit the park is from July to September as well as in January when the country experiences dry seasons however it can be visited anytime throughout the year as every season brings new experiences, the park lies at an altitude of 1250-1825 meters making the climate temperate and enjoyable all year long. The rains bring new beautiful vegetation and give a perfect moment to spend time beside the lakes.

The park is located in the eastern province of Rwanda right at the Tanzanian border with the country, it can be accessed by road from Kigali, for an approximately 3hours drive to the national park, there are helicopter tours that can be organized for 25 minutes of any time you like to view the aerial sceneries. One might be wondering where they will be staying, this shouldn’t be a question to worry about because there is available accommodation in the national park, this ranges from the best budget to Luxury, some of the facilities have been built to overlook the lakes that offer the most stunning beauties, example facilities include the Akagera Game Lodge, Ruzizi Tented Lodge to mention a few.

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