Akagera National Park


Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the Tanzania border. Although founded in 1934, much of the park was subsequently re-allocated as farmland and by 1997 the park was reduced in size from more than 965 square miles (nearly 10% of the surface area of Rwanda) to its current extent of 433 square miles. Since 2010, a joint venture with African Parks has seen Akagera well on the road to its former glory.

The park is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary, feeding into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands make for breathtaking scenery. Akagera National Park has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.

Akagera is a wonderful Rwanda safari addition to a Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park itinerary as it is home to many large plains wildlife including elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. wp-content/uploads/2016/02/akagera-national-park-2.jpg Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on safari night drives.

Of the larger predators only leopard, hyaena and side-striped jackal are still present and although lion once occurred throughout Akagera, the population was wiped out. Plans are underway for the reintroduction of lion, as well as black rhino, which will restore Akagera to ‘Big 5’ status.

Due to its wide variety of habitats, Akagera is an important ornithological site with nearly 500 bird species. The rare and elusive shoebill shares the papyrus with other rarities such as the exquisite papyrus gonolek and countless other water birds that inhabit the wetlands in large numbers.


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