Explore Akagera National Park: Wildlife and Natural Beauty

Akagera National Park or Parc National de l’Akagera is the only wildlife savanna park in Rwanda and a complete big 5 game safari destination. This park offers excellent wildlife safaris tour experiences with guests standing higher chance of encountering wildlife species such as zebras, hippos, giraffes, lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, birds and more.

Akagera National Park is located in the Eastern province of Rwanda and amazingly a spectacular wildlife tour safari destination. The park spans over 1122sq.km making it the largest of the four (4) national parks in Rwanda and it is largely dominated by woodland, savanna grasslands, montane and wetland areas. Akagera is the second oldest park in Rwanda after Volcanoes National Park, established in 1934.

Akagera takes its name after the scenic Kagera River. This river feeds several water Lakes such as Lake Shakani, Lake Mahindi, Gishanju, Rwanyakizinga, Lake Ihema and others. These Lakes are source of water for wildlife and also serve as home to most aquatic life including hippos, crocodiles, and water birds.

Wildlife in Akagera National Park

If there is one endowed protected area with wildlife, especially savanna dwellers or big game and antelopes then it is Akagera National Park. The park supports a variety of animal species including bush pigs, duikers, side-striped jackals, roan antelopes, elands, waterbucks, hyenas, grant’s zebras, hippos, topis, leopards, lions, elephants, buffaloes, black-masked civet, crocodiles, blue monkeys, impalas, reedbucks, sitatungas, rhinos, and others.

akagera national park
wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park

Game Viewing in Akagera National Park

Game drives expose tourists to Akagera National Park’s diverse wildlife species, and include small and big mammal species. The park contains a variety of animal species which tourists can view during their guided game drives in the morning or afternoon. The park’s animals not to miss spotting include the roan antelopes, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, Eastern black rhinos, warthogs, lions, elands, Masai giraffes and others.

Boat Trips in Akagera National Park

Boat cruise safaris offer exciting recreational experiences. These are conducted along Lake Ihema, the home to a diversity of aquatic species such as crocodiles, hippos, water birds such as pied and giant kingfishers, papyrus gonoleks, sooty falcons, African jacanas, water thick-knee, African fish eagles, hammerkops, and shoebill stork.

akagera national park
lake mburo national park - birding

Bird watching in Akagera National Park

Birding tours in Akagera N/Park introduce you to the park’s diverse habitats to enjoy the sight of savanna and woodland species. The bird sightings in Akagera National Park include the lilac-breasted rollers, white-faced whistling-ducks, red-billed ducks, long-tailed cisticolas, black-headed gonoleks, Egyptian goose, emerald-spotted wood-doves, red-faced barbets, spur-winged goose, Meyer’s parrot, knob-billed ducks, Denham’s bustards, laughing doves, etc.

Eurasian nightjars, white-crested turacos, white-browed coucal, African palm swifts, bronze-winged courser, yellow-fronted canary, golden-breasted bunting, cabanis’s buntings, brimstone canary, cinnamon-breasted bunting, streaky seedeaters, thick-billed seed-eaters.

Community and Nature Walks

Community walks/visits at Akagera National Park are carried out in the local communities adjacent to the park. The visits offer tourists a great opportunity to have a unique cultural experience in addition to the guided game viewing tours. On a community visit, a number of experiences are covered including listening to stories told by the elders, learning how art and craft products are made, farm tours where you will be taken through the milking process and how ghee is made.

Nature walks allow visitors to immerse themselves into the magical park’s habitats and explore its wildlife on foot. Guests are led by experienced park guide and rich wildlife spots will be explored to see faunal, floral and butterflies.

hot air balloon safari

Hot Air Balloon Safaris

The balloon tours offer excellent aerial views of Akagera National Park wildlife species. The park is endowed with diversity of faunal species and your aerial photography experience will include capturing pictures of elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, giraffes, and the park’s breathtaking landscape.

Sport Fishing Safaris

Sport fishing tours offered in Akagera, a great opportunity for anglers to challenge themselves with heavy fish species. This is done on Lake Shakani which known to host fish species such as tilapia and cat fish.

When to visit Akagera National Park

If you are visiting Akagera National Park for a safari, the best time to travel for game drives or wildlife viewing in general is during the dry season. There are 2 phases of dry season that the park experiences –the short & long dry months. The dry months to consider when planning your Rwanda safaris to Akagera run from June, July, August, to September and December, January to February. The wetter months occur from the months of March, April, May and October to November.