The Akagera National Park is found in the eastern section of the republic of Rwanda country destination, spanning in both Kibungo and Umutarra provinces, and creates Rwanda’s land border with Tanzania. The Akagera is the biggest protected wetland park in the whole of the central part of Africa harboring wildlife species that dwell well in the savannah and open grassland wetland.
Akagera National park was created in 1934 and it sits on an area covering 1200 square kilometers. The creation of the park was because of the desire to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem that it possesses which are in the form of mountains, savannah, and water bodies as well as wildlife. All these need to be protected for tourism purposes as well as for social-economic development to the people adjacent to Akagera National park.
Akagera national park obtained its name from the natural river Kagera that servers various lakes in Rwanda’s territory which include; Ihema, Mirindi, Rwankizinga, Shakani, and lastly lake Kishanju which are all located within the park. A combination of these several water bodies and open savannah, hill, and forested plains as well as stunning wildlife makes Akagera national park superb for tourists because of the stunning scenic views at disposal.
A brief look at the Akagera National Park history
Akagera national park history; involves taking a brief look at the past status of the park and how it turned out to be an important national park in Rwanda’s tourism development. Akagera National park was gazetted as a national park in 1934 with only 2500 sq.kilomters. However, these areas were reduced in the year 1997 after the returning of the Rwandan refugees who had gone in exile following the outbreak of a civil war in Rwanda in 1994 (genocide).
The returning of these refuges led to setting up of farms and staring poaching from the park. This led to the re-gazetting of Akagera, this time with a more reduced size to accommodate the returned refugees. This was a challenging period for the Akagera Park Management as it led to some of the animals migrating which others threatened and led to extinction as farming activities from the local people increased.
The park situation worsened as the Rwandan republic government had to allocate half the total areas of the park to refuge returnees who had nothing to survive on and couldn’t be just tossed back since this wasn’t their own making. The remaining part of the park was left for the protection of the wild animals that had remained following the human threat.
The park got some green light in 2009-2010 when the government of Rwanda through its body Rwanda Development Board formed a renewable 20-year agreement to upgrade the management of the Akagera National park. This was done through conjunction with the African parks network which among the agreement includes fulfilling the financial gaps to ensure that the security of the park is guaranteed as well as the introduction of the extinct species encroachment.
Following the successful management program for Akagera national park buy Rwanda government partnering with African Networks because as of today the park harbors all the big five animals and these include; the rhino, buffaloes, elephants, lions, lions, and leopards which has made this park must one stopwatch for all tourists admiring the wildlife. Some of these had been extinct but later on reintroduced which is amazing.
Besides the mentioned above big five, other species wildlife animals that are adaptive to the savannah environment have also increased in number since the 1994 civil wars. The other wildlife species that you can spot in Park include; the giant hippopotamuses, waterbucks, serval cats, reedbucks, warthogs, bush pigs, giraffes, bush pigs, impala, the topi, hyena, mongoose, sitatungas, Antelopes and roan antelopes. Among the primates available in Akagera National park include vervet monkeys, bush babies as well as baboons.
For birders, Akagera national park is not leaving you behind. The number of bird species in park is about 500 different bird species. This bird species find conformability in savannah, montane, and forested plains that enclose the park. The different bird species your likely to encounter in the park include; crowned cranes, African fish eagle, and the shoebill which is usually sighted on lakes whole on the boat cruise.
In conclusion, the revival and management strategy used by the Rwanda government to restore AKagera National Park glory is good and has yielded good results which have made the park be one of the best destination for tourists in Rwanda apart from volcanoes National park for famous for gorilla trekking. We encourage you to book with Africa Adventure Vacations for best Rwanda safaris.