GUIDE ON AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK IN RWANDA
Travel Planning Guide For Akagera Park
Navigation Tip - Go Directly To Safari Prices, Reviews, Maps, Photos, Videos & Room Rate Guide For AkageraAlluring, breathtakingly beautiful, inspiring, stunning, tranquil, and resilient: wilderness vacationers use these adjectives and more to describe not just Akagera National Park, but also the wonderful spirit of the country in which it is found, Rwanda. Situated along the northeastern border with Tanzania, the reserve was created in 1934 and originally covered an area of more than 2500 square kilometers, or close to 10% of the total area of the country. Today, however, it encompasses only 1122 square kilometers. The park is named for the Kagera River, which runs along the eastern border of the park and spreads its life-giving waters through it, feeding Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani thus keeping the land fertile.
At the time of the park’s inception, intrepid travelers marveled at the incredible diversity of wildlife it hosted, including the Big Five of Africa. Its landscape reflects the diversity of the multifaceted wilderness of Rwanda, which includes sprawling golden grass savannahs, rolling hills, lakes nestled within lush forests of acacia and brachystegia, and wetlands filled with papyrus reeds, the largest wetland area under protection in central Africa. Today, safari visitors touring this region are once again able to view Rwanda’s splendor and beauty with a visit to Akagera.
Over the years since the park’s creation, colonialism and unrest took their toll on the country. The park suffered from poaching and illegal hunting to protect domestic animals, which led to its once thriving populations of lions, rhinos, elephants, and other species being wiped out. While the country limped back from the horror of genocide in the 1990s, its people extended the effort to rebuild their lives and country to rejuvenating Akagera.
Although a large section of the park’s former holdings had to be reallocated to returning refugees for conversion into farmland, there were also massive conservation efforts to restore the park’s lost wildlife. Intrepid holidaymakers on safari can once again revel in the sight of magnificent lions, grand pachyderms, and stalwart Maasai giraffes, among the many other species that live in the park. In 2017, conservation efforts were made to bring back the black rhino, once again, thus redeeming the only one of its kind park in Rwanda to host the Big Five (best time to visit Akagera).
The park is famous for the rare and elusive sitatunga, a species of antelope that inhabits the swamps, and the shoebill stork, a peculiar marsh bird. In addition to lions, predators that may be glimpsed in the park include the hyena, side-striped jackal, leopard, and mongoose. Among herbivores, duikers, elands, zebras, waterbucks, roan antelopes, and many more roam the land.
In 2009 the Akagera Management Company, or AMC, was instituted as a result of collaboration on conservation and preservation efforts between the African Parks Network and the Rwandan Development Board. Thanks to their joint activities, people who live around the park are being educated on how tourism can become a viable source of livelihood for their communities. Local people are now learning to develop a cooperative existence with the park denizens.
Many young Rwandans are signing up as rangers to patrol and build fences to protect the park from poaching, while others work as guides to take guests on safari trips around Akagera. With in-depth knowledge of the park, they introduce visitors to the spectacular wildlife, which includes an astounding 500-plus species of birds and more than 8,000 large mammals. Women who learn to sew and create hand-woven baskets now craft fabulous souvenirs for guests to purchase at the Akagera Park store on their way out.
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WHERE TO STAY IN AKAGERA
Akagera has limited accommodations. If you prefer a deluxe experience, you can opt to stay at Ruzizi Tented Lodge with 9 tents only. For a value stay, opt for the 62-room motel-style Akagera Game Lodge.
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SAFARI & TOUR IN AKAGERA
Spend your safari game drives in Akagera viewing both small and large grazing herbivores alongside stealthy predators. Birdwatchers will be enchanted by the sheer multitude of avian fauna found here.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT AKAGERA
The natural wilderness of Akagera is so mesmerizing that you could visit year round. Every season provides an opportunity to view the park in a new light; though, we recommend visits during the dry season.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you.
Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States
We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
Stephanie Weir - United States
EAST AFRICA SAFARI TRIP IDEA FOR AKAGERA IN RWANDA
When visiting Akagera, we recommend combining it with a gorilla and primate safari to Volcanoes (Parc National de Volcans), Nyungwe and a city tour of Kigali. You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas of Gishwati-Mukura ending with a beach vacation at Lake Kivu or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.READ MORE
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