Akagera National Park – Wildlife Safari on Self Drive
Akagera National Park is a protected area in eastern Rwanda covering 1,122 km2 along the international border with Tanzania and includes savannah, montane and swamp habitats. The park is named for the Kagera River which flows along its eastern boundary feeding into Lake Ihema and several smaller lakes. The complex system of lakes and linking papyrus swamps makes up over a third of the park, which is the largest protected wetland in Eastern-Central Africa.
Activities in akagera national park
Akagera has its fair share of attractions that will make you want to keep visiting the park and below are the activities that take place in the park.
Akagera national park boasts of quite the variety of wildlife including some of the big five, Lions, elephants, buffaloes, and leopards. There are hyenas, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, cape elands, impalas, wide eyed bush-bays, warthogs, oribi, bush buck, Tsessebe, sittatungas.
While Akagera is a major primate habitat, there are some primate species in the park such as the vervet monkey, the olive baboon, the silver monkey, and some blue monkeys. Game drives in the park are quite exciting with skilled and very knowledgeable guides to lead and give you information about the various animals you might see.
Akagera national park is a birdwatchers dream destination with over 750 bird species and there is no way you can see all those birds in a single trip, pretty much a new bird to discover each day. The shoe bill stork that many birdwatchers search for can be seen here, and so can several other water birds. Other birds in Akagera national park include: raptors, papyrus gonolek, shoe bill stocks, migrant birds such as the lesser kestrel and the great sniper, the Zambian arnot chat, suaza shrike and the long tailed cistola, and many other colorful birds.
Akagera Park has so many beautiful sights that can be best admired up close. Nature walks give you the opportunity to see things up close. The exotic plants, colorful butterfly species, the still water in some if the lakes, the water birds, the smaller animals that you couldn’t see quite well on the game drive. Nature walks are peaceful and a very good opportunity to appreciate nature at a much slower and easier pace.
Nocturnal game drives
Game drives in the park at night are fun and even more exciting as there is always a sense of mystery about the night and nocturnal game drives capture that quite effusively. There are animals in the park that you might fail to see in the day, but that will be quite up and active in the night and so much easier to see such as leopards, civets, hyenas, and bush babies might be much easier to see during the night. Some birds are nocturnal too.
With so many natural water sources swamps, Lakes and a river it is only right that you go on a boat ride on your visit to Akagera national park. Be sure to go on a boat ride on Lake Ihema and you will see one of the biggest concentrations of Hippos in East Africa, and so many water birds. Elephants too are quite common along the shores of the lake. And of course you get to take the view of the park from the water, and it is quite breathe taking.
For those who might want to go fishing, whether as a sport or for food, you can do some fishing in Lake Shakani, one of the many lakes in the area. Most common fish in the lake are tilapia and cat fish. As you do your fishing, you might catch sight of or hear hippos further nearby. There is also some fishing tournaments that take place in the park every now then, you could participate if there is one going on at the time of your visit.