Akagera National ParkBig Five safari along Akagera river.
Home to the Big Five and over 480 bird species, wildlife safaris and cultural tours. That's Akagera National Park.
Akagera National Park is a testament to conservation success, underlining Rwanda’s dedication to wildlife and biodiversity. This park, covering 1,122 square kilometers (433 square miles), is a landscape of savannah and wetland, home to animals like lions, reintroduced to the park in 2015, and rhinos that came back in 2017 after being absent for over ten years.
Akagera is known for its big five – lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, and leopards – but it also has over 480 bird species, some of which are uncommon and found only in this region. Game drives offer a variety of wildlife sightings, while boat trips on Lake Ihema give visitors a chance to see hippos and crocodiles up close.
Established in 1934, Akagera is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern edge and pours into a network of lakes, with Lake Ihema being the largest. The park's terrain includes mixed acacia woodland, open grassland, and patches of dense forest.
For cultural experiences, visitors can join local community tours. You can learn about traditional cattle herding from the local herders, known as Imvano. Conservation efforts are clear with community projects aiming to support both the wildlife and the local people.
Visitor advice includes respect for wildlife – keeping a safe distance and staying inside vehicles during game drives. The dry season from June to September is the best time for wildlife viewing, with animals often found near water sources. Mornings are good for seeing predators, and late afternoons offer good light for taking in the landscape.
When planning a visit, it's good to look for current health advice and make sure vaccinations are current. Because malaria is in the area, taking preventive measures is advised. Bring light clothing for hot days and extra layers for cooler evenings.