This Rwanda wildlife park is located within the rolling hills that mark the border with Tanzania. Although Rwanda is a country of a thousand hills, Akagera National park has typical Rwanda countryside scenery. The park is named after the Kagera river (Akagera) which is considered the remote source of the River Nile whose formal sources is at Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The park has forested hills of acacia woodlands and other broad leafed leaves, swamps and open grasslands which is the habitat for Akagera Park’s wildlife. The papyrus swamps forms a third of the park’s area making it one of the largest protected wetlands in central Africa.
The park covers an area of 1200sq km in Akagera valley. It was established in 1934 covering 2500sq km and reduced to the current size due to refugee rehabilitation, agriculture, bush burning and other human activities.
Some large herds of elephant and buffalo are seen in the woodland trails on their way to the river bank. Other savannah grassland animals include giraffe, zebra, lion, hippo, spotted hyena, leopard, impala, oribi, bushbuck, tsessebe, eland, topi and others.
Some of the birds in the park include fish eagle, sunbirds, bee eaters, papyrus gonolek, shoebill stork and many other water birds.
The best time to visit the park is during the months of November to January which is the dry season. Game viewing is best during this period since the grasses are sparse and short.
The park can be accessed via Kigali the capital of Rwanda. Car hire is available for private transport and tours for Akagera Rwanda. The gate is at Akagera Game lodge. Other attractions in the park include several lakes of which Lake Ihema is the largest.
There is a lodge at the park entrance-Akagera game lodge. The lodge offers excellent accommodation, restaurants, bars, swimming pool, and adventures like boating, game walks, bird watching and many others. Camping is allowed in the park along the banks of the Akagera river.