Akagera National Park is located on the eastrn part of Rwanda near Kibungu city which is the best city to start exploring this park.
Bordering Tanzania on the East, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterize much of Rwanda. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland.
Akagera hosts big game with herds of elephant and buffalo emerging from the woodland to drink at the lakes. Lucky visitors might stumble across a leopard, a spotted hyena or even a stray lion.
Giraffe and zebra habitate the savannah, and a handfull of different species of antelopes dot the park, most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala, but also the tiny oribi and secretive bushbuck, as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the world’s largest antelope, the statuesque Cape eland.
Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds, while the connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre shoebill stork – the latter perhaps the most eagerly sought of all African birds.
The park covers over 2500 square kilometers of savannah grasslands west of the Kagera River. The park boasts a variety of wildlife and is a habitat for over 500 different species of birds. A great place for bird lovers. There are accommodation facilities on the edge of the park at Gabiro, 100km (60 miles) to the north.
Best time to go is during the dry months. Visiting the park during the rainy season – December, March and April is challenging because the roads become impassable.
Administrattive region(s) – Kibungo, Umutara
Central Coordinates – 30o 38′ East 1o 45′ South
Area – ~900 sq. km.
Altitude – 1250m – 1825m
Rainfall – 750-850 mm/year
Camping alongside the picturesque lakes of Akagera is a truly mystical introduction to the wonders of the African bush. Pods of 50 hippopotami grunt and splutter throughout the day, while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws menacingly agape. Magically, the air is torn apart by the unforgettable high duetting of a pair of fish eagles, asserting their status as the avian monarchs of Africa’s waterways.