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Wildlife game drives in Rwanda take place only in Akagera National Park because it is Rwanda’s only existing savannah conservation area. The Game Drives in Akagera National Park are one of those few activities to do while on a visit to this amazing place. The reintroduction of lions to the park has made it a prime destination for travellers this ranks top among many travelers’ bucket lists. The park lies in the eastern part of Rwanda along its borders with Tanzania. Most of the park is comprised of lakes, swamps, and water streams. The park was named after River Kagera.

Game Drives in Akagera National Park

Rwanda’s only Savannah park, game drives in the park are conducted in the morning afternoon, and night game drives. Morning game drives begin very early in the morning in search of wildlife species especially the early morning risers which include big cats! Morning time is a time for animals to feed whether carnivores or omnivores or herbivores it is the most active time for wildlife except to spot lions, African elephants, buffaloes, and Antelopes of different categories to mention a few. It is home to quite a good number of bird species including the great Albertine gift valley birds.

Tourist Attractions in Akagera National Park

Wildlife

The park is home to a diverse range of African wildlife, which includes giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, and several bird species, in addition to the famous Big Five (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalos). During a game drive, you may get up close and personal with these magnificent animals in their natural environments, making wonderful photo opportunities and enduring memories. The park provides three- to four-hour game drives in the morning and afternoon. Depending on their interests, visitors can select guided tours or self-drive choices. It is best to make reservations well in advance and inquire about rules and availability directly from the park administration.

giraffe in akagera national park

Birds

For those who love birds, Akagera National Park is a must-see location. It provides an incredible opportunity for Bird Watching Safari right in the middle of Rwanda. The park is a great place to go bird watching because of its varied landscapes and healthy ecosystems, which are home to a wide variety of bird species. The African fish eagle, the grey-crowned crane, the papyrus canary, and numerous other species are drawn to Lake Ihema, which is a sanctuary for waterbirds. Discover the coastline or go on a boat safari to see these stunning birds in their own environment. Consider hiring a professional guide or signing up for a guided tour to get the most out of your bird viewing safari. Fascinating facts will be shared by knowledgeable experts, who will also assist you identify various bird species and improve your entire experience. Don’t forget to pack your camera, a field guide, and binoculars to witness the astounding variety of bird species found in Akagera National Park.

Lake Ihema

One of the principal features and major draws of Rwanda’s Akagera National Park is Lake Ihema. This charming lake, which is about 90 square kilometers in size and is located in the park’s eastern section, offers tourists a stunning natural setting to explore. Lake Ihema, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife, offers environment lovers and wildlife enthusiasts a rare chance to see a broad range of species in their native habitat. The lake is a great place to get up close and personal with these amazing animals because of its high population of crocodiles and hippos. A well-liked activity on Lake Ihema is boat safaris, which let guests float on the calm waters and take in the breathtaking scenery and wildlife sightings.

Mutumba Hills

One of the main draws in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park is Mutumba Hills. These charming hills, which are in the park’s eastern region, provide amazing sweeping views of the surroundings. Hikers can experience an exhilarating trek through rocky terrain, open grasslands, and lush forests in Mutumba Hills. Due to its relative ease, both novice and experienced hikers can enjoy this trail. A wide range of species, including antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and even elephants, can be seen by visitors along the route. Travelers will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the far-off mountains, glittering lakes, and Akagera National Park at the top of Mutumba Hills.

Kiyonza Ridge

Located in the park’s eastern region, Kiyonza Ridge offers a broad perspective of the plains, lakes, and hills that surround it. It is renowned for having an abundance of flora and animals as well as beautiful vegetation. Numerous animal species, such as zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, and several antelope species, can be seen living on the ridge. Safari tours with guides are available for visitors to explore the ridge and its environs.

Hippo Bay

Hippo Bay is a must-visit location for wildlife enthusiasts due to its enormous population of hippos. These magnificent animals are frequently observed lounging in the water or enjoying the sun along the bay. Seeing these enormous creatures in their native environment is an absolutely amazing experience. Hippo Bay provides a unique chance to see a range of other animals in addition to hippos. As a watering area, the bay attracts a wide variety of vibrant bird species as well as animals like buffaloes, crocodiles, elephants, and more. Nature enthusiasts may look forward to an amazing experience at Hippo Bay with its picturesque surroundings and plethora of species. Boat tours of the bay enable visitors to get up close and personal with the hippos.

Night Game Drives in Akagera

Evening game drives begin right after you get sometime to eat. These last for 2-3 hours purposefully to search for animal species you might have missed in the morning. The beauty of evening drives is you will be able to go through the well-distributed game routes of Akagera with ease while enjoying the calm breeze from the surrounding water bodies, and the sundowner. Watching all this is a dream come true as you witness nature at its best. While the night drives are done in search of nocturnal species, these refer to those animal kinds you can not easily spot during the day especially cats, and primates like the pattas.

Wildlife game drives are conducted on open-roof safari cars which will give you a better position to view and take pictures. The well-experienced guides will take you through most of the park composition where you will be mazed by how much you will see. To enjoy game drives, it is important to carry long-sleeved shirts, trousers, insect repellents, waterproof covers for phones and cameras, as the weather can be quite unpredictable.

Bird Watching in Akagera National Park

bird watching in akagera

Other park activities include birding in Akagera National Park, which is a known home to birds, these live within the ecosystem some of which are endemic to the conservation area. It boasts 500 bird species and has been named one of the best birding spots in Rwanda. The different bird species that can be found in this area include red faced barbet, Bennetts woodpecker, papyrus gonolex, African fish eagles, marabou stork, herons, pelicans, and many other species.

Boat Cruise on Lake Ihema

A boat cruise along Lake Ihema. This takes 2-3 hours time while adventuring and viewing the beautiful birds along the shores of the Lakes, hippos, African buffaloes, and antelopes that come around to graze and drink water. Akagera National Park can be accessed by helicopter tour or by road which takes approximately 3 hours drive to the destination, en-route is a backdrop by the ever-rolling hills that slide into the expanse of the savannah of Akagera National Park.

Safari Tours to Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is one of the most sought after wildlife parks in Rwanda and is the country’s only Savannah park and where wildlife game drives are done. There is plenty to see during game drives in Akagera National Park including unique wildlife species. Our Safari tours to Akagera National Park will give you the absolute best experience as you traverse the wonders of this beautiful park.

Best Time to Visit Akagera National Park

Although Akagera National Park is open year-round, some months offer the greatest opportunities for visitors to take advantage of the park’s offerings. Travellers should take advantage of the dry season, which spans from June to September, to fully experience Akagera National Park. Although there is little year-round temperature variation in the park, visitors will experience warmer weather during the extended dry season. The allure of Akagera National Park’s natural surroundings allows for year-round visits. The park is seen differently in every season. The park is located just a few degrees south of the equator, but because of its heights, which range from 1250 to 1825 metres, the climate is pleasant all year round.

Game Drives in Akagera National Park

Many people do not choose to visit Akagera National Park during the rainy season. One, because rain may ruin your time in the wilderness and make your safari drives less fruitful by cutting them short. The safari routes often muddy and sometimes impassable, which restricts access to specific portions of the park. If you are planning to visit Akagera during the wet season, you should definitely bring a powerful 4X4 safari truck. Furthermore, there are more shrubs and longer grass, which may make it more difficult to spot tiny creatures.

What to Carry on a Game Drive in Akagera National Park

Camera Binoculars
Hiking Shoes Long Sleeved Shirts & Trousers
Sunscreen Pain Killers
Insect Repellent Sunglasses
A hat Sandals

Akagera National Park Entry Fees

Entry fee / self-drive permit 1 Day/Night 2 Nights 3 Nights
Rwandan / EAC Citizen 16 USD 24 USD 32 USD
Rwandan / EAC Resident 50 USD 75 USD 100 USD
International Visitor 100 USD 150 USD 200 USD
Rwandan / EAC Citizen children 6-12 11 USD 16 USD 21 USD
Rwanda / EAC Resident children 6-12 30 USD 45 USD 60 USD
International Visitor children 6-12 50 USD 75 USD 100 USD

Children 5 or below do not pay entry fees.
Entry fees are not charged beyond 3 nights for up to one week.

Where to stay in Akagera National Park

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