Giraffes in Akagera National Park

Safari Guide: Akagera National Park

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Niarra Travel

Found in north-east Rwanda, Akagera National Park is a territory dominated by swamps, small lakes and offshoots from River Kagera. This beautiful network of water sources converge to create spectacular scenery and form an incredibly abundant ecosystem.

Although it is surrounded by cultivated hills, the park’s landscape is populated with low lying grasslands, cactus-like shrubbery and expansive forested areas. This large open terrain is ideal for game viewing, making it easy to discover the thrill of spotting grandiose elephants, graceful giraffes and a myriad of other fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

With the successful reintroduction of lions and eastern black rhinos into the park, Akagera National Park is taking steps to ensure the Big 5 once again roam the grasslands in high volumes. Witnessing these magnificent beasts reclaim their rightful place amplifies the park's allure, beckoning you to embark on a journey where luxury and wilderness intertwine in perfect unity.

Elephants in Akagera National Park

The History of Akagera National Park

Established in 1934, Akagera National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Africa, and stands as a testament to conservation efforts in the region. Named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary, the park was created to preserve the local ecosystems and wildlife and is now the largest protected wetland on the continent.

Throughout its history, Akagera has faced challenges such as poaching and habitat loss. However, in recent years, concentrated conservation efforts pioneered by Ahave seen significant success in restoring the park's biodiversity and natural balance.

The park used to cover over 2,500 sqkm, but in 1997 it was reduced in size by close to 50%, as the land was reallocated to refugees returning to Rwanda after the civil strife. Today, Akagera National Park covers over 1,200 sqkm, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into Africa's stunning wilderness.

Lion spotted in Akagera National Park

Best Time to Visit Akagera National Park

The weather at Akagera National Park will dictate the types of activities and wildlife that will be on offer to you over the course of your trip. Akagera has both a wet and dry season, so understanding the differences will help when planning your safari adventure.

Dry Season - June to September

Average Temperature - 26°C

Average Daily Rainfall - 24mm

This period offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities as animals congregate around water sources, making them easier to spot. The vegetation is also less dense, providing clearer visibility of the park's diverse fauna. The dry season also coincides with Rwanda's cooler months, offering more comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities.

Birds flying over the Akagera river in Akagera National Park

Wet Season - October to May

Average Temperature - 25°C

Average Daily Rainfall - 97mm

While the wet season brings lush greenery to the park, it can present challenges for game viewing due to thicker vegetation. However, this time of year is ideal for birdwatching enthusiasts, as migratory birds flock to the park, adding a colourful spectacle to the surroundings. The wet season also contributes to the park's scenic beauty, with waterfalls and flowing rivers exacerbating the region’s already picturesque scenery.

leopards spotted at night in Akagera National Park

Wildlife in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is renowned for its diverse wildlife, boasting a rich tapestry of animals that reflects the diverse ecosystems within its boundaries. From the majestic lions that roam the savannah grasslands to the gentle giants like elephants and imposing herds of buffaloes, the park offers a thrilling safari experience for all who visit.

Elusive leopards add an element of mystery to the woodlands, while giraffes traverse the landscape producing striking silhouettes against the African sky. Home to primates such as the olive baboon, vervet monkey and nocturnal bush baby, the park invites you to immerse yourself in a mesmerising natural spectacle.

The park's waterways are teeming with life, hosting hippos and crocodiles that add a fascinating aquatic presence to Akagera's biodiversity. Birdwatchers are also in for a treat during the wet season, as migratory birds flock to the park, adding vibrant splashes of colour to the verdant surroundings.

Magashi safari in Akagera National Park

The best lodges in Akagera National Park

Discover the epitome of luxury with our guide to Akagera National Park accommodation. These best lodges offer unparalleled relaxing experiences amidst Rwanda's enthralling landscapes and provide a beautiful visual insight into the local culture.

Magashi Camp

Surrounded by open plains, swamps, woodlands and grassy hills, the camp is set in the diverse north-eastern corner of the park. The design and decor of the camp draw inspiration from the rich traditions of Rwandan culture and its six spacious tents provide breathtaking views over Lake Rwanyakazinga.

The camp’s main area offers a perfect setting for leisurely afternoons between safari adventures. Whether you choose to unwind in the lounge, dining and bar spaces, the expansive viewing deck with a fire pit, or take a refreshing dip in the pool, there's something for everyone.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Ruzizi is a luxury eco-lodge nestled along the shores of Lake Ihema. Its nine tents are located amidst swaying palm and fig trees, offering a tranquil escape from the waters of Ihema.

Each tent features a private en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water, a dressing room, and a comfortable queen-sized bed. Flanking these tents are a thatched reception and dining area, connected by wooden pathways leading to a breathtaking deck extending over the lake. This deck, adorned with a central fire pit, is an idyllic spot for morning coffee or evening drinks.

Powered by solar energy, the lodge proudly upholds its commitment to environmental sustainability. The lodge was also meticulously designed to harmonise with its natural environment, preserving the untouched beauty of the surrounding trees and vegetation whenever possible. Incorporating natural elements into its structure, Ruzizi showcases locally handcrafted decorations and furniture, supporting the talents of nearby artisans and cooperatives.

At Niarra Travel, we're passionate about infusing your journey with meaning. If you're keen on planning a bespoke adventure to Akagera National Park, a destination filled with breathtaking vistas and incredible wildlife, then get in touch with our expert travel team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US) or at explore@niarratravel.com to start tailoring your unforgettable safari experience in Rwanda today.

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