One of the smallest countries on the African continent turns out to be with the amazing experience while travelling and exploring the continent. It is in Rwanda where you will leave to tell when you find yourself in the country’s most top destination, the Akagera national park.
Akagera is establishing it self as Rwanda’s big 5 game park. Located on the north-eastern edge of Rwanda borders Tanzania and incorporates the Kagera River, hence the name Akagera.
The national park as founded, in 1934 to protect animals and vegetation in three habitats; savannah, mountain and swamp. Focusing on “big game” Akagera currently includes African elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and a variety of antelope. Akagera and its lakes are home to many hippopotamus and the Nile crocodile, the world’s largest reptile.
It is recognized as one of the best spots for bird watching in Rwanda. The diverse habitats of the park encourage a wide variety of bird species to the area. Akagera is indisputably the best place in Rwanda to find savannah birds and raptors. It is also very well stocked with water-birds living amongst the papyrus swamps can be spotted. Akagera and Nyungwe national parks are complementary in terms of bird life and there aren’t any species breeding in Rwanda that can’t be spotted in either of these sites.
Where is the Park?
The park is located in the north eastern part of Rwanda along its border with Tanzania, the park attained its name after the Akagera river that flows along its eastern boundaries and later feeds into a series of lakes the largest being Lake Ihema. Akagera national park is composed of rolling hills of acacia and brachystegia woodlands together with scattered grasslands and swampy-fringed lakes located along the meandering Akagera water course. These all combined create a park of breath taking scenic beauty.
When you are in Akagera national park, they are a lot of amazing spots and attractions that will keep you wanting and demanding for more and in the long run you may want to extend your itinerary in case you had underestimated the experience. Amazing and astonishing are the;
Almost 525 bird species harbor in the Akagera national park reflecting the extremely wide diversity of habitat. They include 44 species of raptor, balaenniceps rex and many palearctic migrants which include the falco naumani, gallinago media, glareola nordmani. The park also represents a number of zambezian biome species including lanius souse, mymecocihla aenoti and the cristicola angusticauda. In addition to that there are also species of guinea-Congo forests biome and seven of the afro tropical highlands biome. Their names are scientific in nature and had to pronounce but they are so amazing and wonderful but the breasted roller, black headed gonolek, heuglin’s robin chat, ger horn bill, crested barbet are also a must watch. Therefore if you are to go for are birding safari to Rwanda, their is only one park where you can make it to your expectations and it is non other than Akagera National Park.
Covering about an area of 1200 square kilometers, Akagera national park protects various animals and vegetation in three eco-regions, the savanna, mountain and the swamp and of late its one of the most interesting destinations when you visit Rwanda that you can’t afford to miss. Akagera national park is just a big game area where you will be able to find lots of game ranging from huge herds of buffaloes emerging from the gentle woodlands to drink at the lakes. The chosen ones or lucky visitors may also stumble across a leopard, a spotted hyena or even a stray lion. The giraffes and zebras haunting the savanna are also at your disposal coupled with dozens and dozens of antelopes. You won’t miss the handsome chestnut-coated impala and the diminutive oribi and the secretive bush buck as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the cape eland, the world’s largest antelope.
The African elephants of Akagera national park are a very stunning. Transported from Bugesera in Kigali and by that time they were 7 years old but as per now 26 elephants are at your disposal at the park with stunning names like the mwiza, helicon, mutware being the chief and also the oldest. I can’t just mention all the game but when you reach the park, believe me you will just leave to tell.
The beautiful views and scenery of the park’s grasslands just wrap up you stay within the park especially on your evening and morning game drives when the sun is setting and rising. The most stunning activities in the park are;
After you have checked in into your favorite accommodation spot, then jump on to a game drive in the Akagera. While driving on the parks well designed tracks, you will spot the zebras, buffaloes, bush baby, crocodiles and if lucky, you will come across the lion among other mammal species. As one of the most scenic savanna in East Africa, the game drives in Akagera just provide an opportunity to see the gentle hills blending in beautifully with the amazing low land swamps coupled with magnificent water bodies
You can also to decide to include a bird safari on your itinerary in the Akagera national park because the 525 bird species are just awaiting you, bird watching can be done early in the morning where you will get an opportunity see a selection of savanna bird species, the park is also well known for its water bird species like the malachite king fishers, breasted roller, black headed gonolek, heuglin’s robin chat, ger horn bill, crested bar bet among other amazing birds.
While in the Akagera, camping alongside the fascinating lakes of the park is truly a mystical introduction bringing you close to the wonders of the African bush, pods of about 50 hippos that splutter throughout the day while the outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws. On your camp nights, be rest assured to experience a real African night in the wilderness with the sounds of the swamp birds like the papyrus golonek and other interesting birds.
Sport fishing is also another amazing activity along the Akagera river and the lining lakes so if you want to enjoy your evening, go fish along the river and the lake Ihema, the activity is so relaxing when you see the sun set back to its home.
After booking you self a stay in the Akagera game lodge with its beautiful and amazing facilities, Always remember that the animals are wild animals. Keep your distance. Never get out of your vehicle except at designated points. It is illegal to feed any animal, make excessive noise to attract their attention while in the park and Close all windows when you leave your room and spray it with insect repellent.