TOP 6 THINGS TO DO IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK – RWANDA SAFARI TOUR ACTIVITIES

Top things to do in Akgerara national park Rwanda; Akagera national park offers amazing tour activities in its spectacular scenery of savanna plains. There are also swamps and lakes filled with a lot of animals, plants, butterflies and bird species. The Akagera national park is located in Eastern part of Rwanda bordering Tanzania in north west. It was gazetted in 1934 and named after a river that runs through it called River Akagera.  Akagera park is managed by African parks and boasts a lot of attractions and activities that make your Rwanda Safari tour memorable. Some of the activities are;

Top things to do in Akagera national park Rwanda

  1. Bird Watching

Akagera national park has over 500 bird species of which 100 birds are endemics in its various habitats like wetlands and savanna plains. The park provides a home to the rare bird species including the shoebill stork. Akagera national park is the second birding destination in Rwanda after Nyungwe forest.

Some of the birds to see in Akagera national park include; African kingfisher, cormorants, papyrus gonolek, shoebill stocks, western reef heron, broad throated weaver, blue shouldered robin chat, booted eagle, grey hornbill, breasted roller, brown crested lapwing and more.

Birding in Akagera national park can be done at any time during the year since the parks climate is favorable. In the dry season there are many migrant birds in the park like African open billed stork, Saddle billed stork, Eurasian bee eater and more. if you are planning to take a birding trip in Akagera national park, your advised to carry binoculars, hiking boots, good camera and a hat so as to enjoy your bird watching experience. Birding can be done during boat cruise, nature walk and on a game drive Safari.

  1. Game Drives

Akagera national park is the only Savanna park in Rwanda and because of it’s large size, it can be explored well during the game drive. The park is currently a home to African big five animals which include Lions, leopards, Buffaloes, Elephants and Rhinos and these can be seen during the game drive Safari.

In Akagera national park, there are both morning game drive, evening game drive and night game drives. Guided Day game drives can be Half day starting from 6:30 am to 11:30 am for the morning session or 12:00 to 5:00pm for afternoon. Full day game drive safari usullay begins from 6:30 am to 5:00 Pm. During the morning and evening game drives you will see a number of Savanna animals like Zebras, Impalas, Rhinos, lions, hippos, antelopes, crocodiles, elephants, bushbucks and more.

The Night game drive is only allowed in the southern part of the park and begins at 5:30 pm and end around 8 to 8:30 pm. Visitors will be picked from their accommodation and dropped back at the end of the game drive. Night Game drives allow you see the nocternal animals that you might have missed during day like leopards, hynas, serval cat and magoose as they hunt for their prey.

You can still catch sight of topis, giraffes, Zebras, elands, warthogs, bushbucks and Impalas. You can choose to do behind the scene night tour or just a normal game drive. At night, the game drive is escorted by a park guide with a flash light to enable visitors to see animals.

  1. Boat Cruise

Top things to do in Akagera national park Rwanda

Akagera national park is blessed with Lake Ihema the second largest lake in Rwanda and River Akagera that crosses through the park. There are different boat trip on this water body that offer relaxed and panoramic views of the beautiful landscape and wildlife.

Akagera offers pre scheduled boat trips in the morning hours, afternoon and evening time. The boat trips set off at 7:30 am to 8:30 am, 9:00 to 10:00 am, 3:00 to 4:00 pm and 4:30 to 6:00pm. Private boat cruise can also be organized and the charges are flat rates for the boat but not on per person basis.

You can choose to book your private boat ride at non sheduled time but must be booked to start between 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Boat trips can be done on lake Ihema and are so rewarding with views of aquatic animals like hippos, crocs and water birds.

Along the boat cruise, visitors get chance to see schools of hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and bird species like the rare shoebill stork, egrets, kingfishers, fish eagles, cormorants and more. Remember to carry your binoculars and a camera to capture the great moments while on a boat ride tour.

Top things to do in Akagera national park Rwanda

  1. Nature Walks

Nature walks within the park gets you feel closer to nature and its inhabitants. In Akagera national park there are guided nature walks through the open savanna plains to see animals, plants and birds. While on guided nature walk tour, you can enjoy nature by observing different wildlife from a close range than when in a Safari car. It’s so peaceful and the time taken during the nature walk is according one’s pace of walking.

  1. Fishing

Fishing in Akagera national park is done on lake Shakani so while in the park, take time off to try your chances of catching tilapia or cat fish. You can go for fishing as a sport or for food since if you’re lucky to get some fish they can be roasted or fried for you to eat.

Fishing on Lake Shakani can be done on personal basis or to participate in the fishing tournaments that are usually organized around the lake. Visitors learn about the methods of fishing used in Rwanda like hook method and gill net method. Fishing is a great experience filled with sights and sounds from birds and hippos in the lake.

  1. Community Walk Tours (Cultural Experience)

Akagera national park offers 4 cultural adventures that visitors can choose to participate in. Rwanda is blessed with a rich culture and welcoming people. The four adventures are foods and festivals, Arts and crafts, local production and the heritage.

With the arts and crafts, visitors get to learn how to make crafts like necklaces from traditional beads and they can visit the craft shops to buy souvenirs. This can be done at Imigongo Art and craft center.

Foods and festivals visitors are taken to a local home to learn about the local dishes and how they are prepared. Visitors can also be entertained with traditional dances and songs of the Rwandan culture.

Local production takes visitors through the production locally brewed beer called Urwagwa. They can also learn bee keeping and how honey is harvested.

The heritage allows visitors explore the cattle farms and participate in the daily activities at the farm like feeding the cows, milking them and learn the rituals done with milk.

Generally, if have taken game drives in countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania then this small national park of Rwanda has a revision for you. Here the animals are not as many as in Serengeti, although a trip to this park will offer a unique one day adventure during your stay in Kigali.

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