Akagera National Park

Akagera Safari Park
This Park was named after a river that flows along its eastern border. this Park is the most renowned Savanna reserve in the whole of Rwanda.  In contrast to other parts of the country, the region is fairly warm lies on low altitude and its plains cover of thick, woodland characterized with broad leafs, lighter acacia-woodland and spaces of rolling grassland dotted with stands of Euphorbia candelabra shrub.
The western part of the plains has a series of low mountains that reach the heights between 1,600 meters and 1,800 meters.  The eastern section of the park supports a huge wetland. The great Akagera River feeds an intricate of lakes connected by intensive papyrus swamps plus twisting water. Poaching within this area has significantly reduced the population of wildlife recently, and what was previously the northern part of this park is currently a settlement region for refugees returning home. The lakes which remain in the national park are regularly used to provide water to domestic cattle – the long horned Ankole cows which are the most commonly seen big mammals. Other than that, Akagera is certainly worth visiting.  There is a lot of game including, buffaloes, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and zebras, in addition to a diversity of antelope all easily visible.  Within the lakes you will see the highest number of hippos you won’t find in any other place in the whole of Africa, together with giant large crocodiles, in addition to less numbers of lions, leopards and the black rhinos.  The birds in Akagera are very amazing with about 550 species including all types of rarities and a great profusion of aquatic birds. .
Akagera National Park is an Africa wildlife reserve in which you can drive for a number of hours without coming across another vehicle and without any idea f which animals you could find on the next corner. The Akagera is as well one of the most spectacular savanna reserves, with its appealing lakes surrounded by forests plus high mountains covered with the regularly varying vegetation.

 

Ecological Significance of Akagera National Park

Akagera National park is renowned for protecting a broad variety of habitats in a fairly small area.  Before the civil war, it was thought to be one of the very few African savannah reserves that form a self-preserving ecological unit, which means that its resident big mammals don’t have to seasonally migrate outside the park. The northern borders of the park cover an expanse of 1,085 kilometers.  The eastern section of the park comprises of a large wetlands network that is fed by River Akagera, and it is dominated by a number of small and medium sized lakes.  Outstandingly Lake Ihema is found in the modified park boundaries and is the biggest open water body that covers approximately 100km.  These lakes are joined by thin channels of water and large areas of perennial plus seasonal papyrus swamps.  The wetlands in the east are crucial habitats that shelter several animals in the park: they don’t only offer an enduring source of water for the huge mammals, but as well forms a crucial water bird habitat.

How to Reach Akagera National Park

With a private vehicle, one can reach Akagera from Kigali in just 2 hours long drive from Kibungo or from Rwamagana in approximately an hour.  The only functional entrance gate, fund just 500 meters from the newly-cnstructed Akagera Game Lodge, can be reached over a 27 kilometers dirt road that geos off the main surfaced road just at Kabarondo, it is 15 kilometers north of the town of Kibungo.  The dirt road is in reasonable condition and it is passable by all types of vehicles except during the rains.  Inside the park, even so, a 4wd is recommended, although any vehicle with proper clearance must be fine during the dry season.

It is rather very challenging to get to Akagera using public transport.  All minibus-tax serving between Kayonza and the town of Kibungo can take you up to the junction, where the only reasonable option is taking a motorbike-taxi.  Within the park, unless you’re residing at the Game Lodge, you are not allowed to walk without a park guide, and there isn’t any vehicle intended for game drives.

Safari Activities within Akagera National Park

Boat trips can be conducted on Lake Ihema, and these are taking. You should make your reservation ahead of time through ORTPN found in Kigali.  During the boat ride you will be able to see giant crocodiles and big schools of hippos, and you’ll also sail past large breeding colonies of the open-bill stork, African darter as well as the cormorant.  Other aquatic birds abundant here include the delicate vibrant African jacana commonly seen trotting on the floating vegetation, malachite kingfisher hawk, fish eagles seen in the trees, and the pied kingfishers seen flying over the waters. Among the species of great interest to lovers are some of the marsh specialists like the marsh flycatcher as well as the blue-headed coucal.

Game Viewing in Akagera National Park

There are Game drives for those who have a 4wd unless of course you are residing at the lodge. You will be provided with Guides at no additional cost and they’ll assist you to trace your way in the park. The game viewing circuit is limited to just the main road which goes northwards from the headquarters of the park at Lake Ihema.  You will pass by the majority of the lakes along this road. In the Northern part of Lake Hago, the road divides into 2 major forks, one leading west to the Mutumba hills. The chances for game drives are limited because this park can simply be accessed close to Lake Ihema and Game Lodge.  In a lengthy half-day, you might reasonably travel from the entry in the distant north of the Mutumba Hills.  To go further north necessitates the finest part of the day, with the choice of using the only existing exit route just north of Rwanyakizinga Lake coming through on the main tarmac road all the way to the border of Uganda .  The game tracks in the distant north are really indistinct, and must be done only when you are being escorted by a guide.  As soon as you return to the on the main road, your guide will drop you at Kayonza or at Kabarondo junctions and from here you will return to the park headquarters using a motorbike-taxi.

Beginning at the entry gate, there is a hilly road that takes you through the extremely dense scrub that goes on to about 5 kilometers to Lake Ihema.  It’s on a moist and mosquito affected island close to the eastern shore of Lake Ihema.  You will certainly be stunned by the great bio-diversity of Akagera national park.

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