Akagera National Park is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Although founded in 1934, much of the park was re-allocated as farms and in 1997 the park was reduced in size from more than 2,500 sq km (nearly 10% of the surface area of Rwanda) to its current extent of 1,122 sq km. Since 2010, a joint venture with African Parks has seen Akagera return to its former glories.
This National park represents the northern limit of many of the Zambezi an home species that include; the arnot chat, Sauza shrike, as well as the long tailed cistoa. The main unique feature in this national park is the feeling of being out alone, this means that you can drive for hours and you don’t run into any other vehicle which is also a rare delight in East Africa. This national park is also a well worth a visit and is filled with many surprises, a fence has also been created to protect the park animals from the poachers and those that want to encroach and bring in their cattle for grazing. This national park makes the safari well rounded and also gives you the best that Rwanda has to offer for those interested in a savannah safari adventure. There are the burchell zebras, elephants, masai giraffes, buffaloes, as well as many species of antelopes that include; topis, defassa waterbuck, the roan antelopes, bohor reedbuck, the large Eland antelopes, Oribi common duiker, the semi aquatic sitstunga antelopes, the klipspringer as well as lions all in the Akagera National Park. it is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on night drives. The birders will find this national park a natural treasure with over 520 bird species and 100 of these cannot be found in any other destination apart from the Akagera national park. You can find over 44 species of the Raptors, the shoebill, papyrus Gonolex, as well as many migrant birds and some of these include; the great snipe and the lesser kesterel.