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KN5 Road, Remera Kigali RWANDA.

For the Big game in Rwanda, Akagera National Park is the place to go. It lies in the northeastern part of Rwanda along Rwanda’s border with Tanzania. Established in 1934, but much of the Park’s land was re-allocated as farmlands in 1997. This largely reduced its total area to 1122 square meters which is still maintained up to date. Thanks to African Parks, an organization that partnered with Rwanda Development Board to manage this Park since 2010. Its name was derived from the Akagera River that streams along its eastern boundary emptying into Lake Ihema.

Akagera National ParkAkagera is one of the most scenic reserves in Africa. This is brought by its rich biodiversity that consists of papyrus swamps, savannah plains, rolling highlands forest-fringed lakes, and Wildlife species. Additionally, Akagera National Park forms the largest protected Wetland in East Africa. Not like Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe, Akagera is home to abundant game species including the papyrus swamp endemic species like shoebill Stork, Sitatunga, and more. Other species in the Park include Buffaloes, Elephants, Zebras, Waterbucks, elands, roan antelopes, and topi. Akagera National Park also houses the side-striped jackal, lion, hyenas, and the leopards. To add on that, this Park is not a worry if it’s birding watching in the land of a thousand hills. Akagera shelters over 500 species of birds that are enough to impress anyone after Rwanda’s bird life.

How to get there

The cheapest way to reach this Park is by Car. Most of the roads to Akagera are tarmacked and in good condition. Akagera is about 110 km from Kigali city, It takes about 2-3 hours for the drive depending on the speed used and en route stopovers included.

From Kigali City, you drive out towards the airport, but before reaching the airport at about 100m, take a left turn. Continue eastwards through Rwamagana to Kayonza town. From Kayonza, take a right turn at the roundabout and drive to a petrol station on the left side of the road near Kabarondo town. After the station, follow a dirt road and drive for about 5km up to Rwinkwavu junction with a signpost for the Park. Park headquarters are 13 km from the signpost. While in Akagera National Park, you will get to spot a variety of lions, buffaloes, monkeys, elephants, antelopes of various kinds, baboons, and so much more.

Visiting Akagera National Park

Bird Watching.

Akagera is one of the best spots for incredible bird-watching Safaris in Rwanda. It is home to about 520 species of birds including those that are rarely seen in any other part of Africa. Birders are fascinated by the sights of numerous birds ranging from savannah to forest bird species. These include migratory and endemic bird species. Adding to the rare Papyrus gonolek that is common in the Papyrus swamps, other species to see are flycatchers, shoebill storks, and red-faced barbets to name but a few.

Fishing in Lake Shakani

Other than Game driving, you can explore the Park in an exceptional way by partaking in fishing excursions on Lake Shakani. While fishing you can see lots of hippos wallowing and hear the sounds of water birds. It is not only about fish encounters but also an added chance to see more Wild animals that stroll along the banks in need of water. The protocol of fishing here is catch and release, but in case you are interested in tasting these species, you can be allowed to cook one.

Boat Cruise on Lake Ihema

This incredible experience lets you get relieved of stress. It’s definitely one of the reasons for a trip to Africa. While in Rwanda, you can do this experience in Akagera National Park. All excursions are offered on Lake Ihema, a spot known for the largest concentration of hippos in East Africa. Aside from Hippos and Crocodiles, you are most likely to behold a number of water bird species in addition to lakeside wild animals like elephants.


There are few accommodation facilities in the Park, therefore it’s advised that you book in advance for any trip to Akagera. Lodges in the Park are only two, and these include the Akagera Game Lodge and Ruzizi tented camp.

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