Boat Trips in Akagera national park
Boat trips are one of the most done activities in Akagera national park in Rwanda. The park is located in the northeastern part of Rwanda covering a total area of 1,122 km. sq. Akagera national park has over 7 lakes but Lake Ihema is the famous one because it is the largest in the park and where boat trips are done.
Exploring Akagera national park on a boat cruise is an adventurous activity that takes tourists to different park islands as they explore the park. The boat trips in Akagera national park are done only on Lake Ihema and they take place in the morning and evening session. Both the boat cruises give tourists the same experiences although the morning boat cruise gives tourists opportunities of seeing most of the early morning risers in the park coming to the shores of the lake to drink water. Some of the animals include zebras, antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, and elephants.
During the evening game drives, you will be able to spot the park animals resting, the crocodiles will be sunbathing and the hippos will be taking dips. During the evening boat cruise, you will be able to witness the sunset while relaxing on the boat. On all the boat cruises you will be able to spot some of the park birds and these include the shoebill, open billed stork, papyrus gonolek, African darter, great cormorant, African fish eagle, African jacana, and grey crowned crane among others.
What is the best time for boat trips in Akagera national park?
Akagera national park is always open for tourism activities at any time of the year so even boat cruises can be done in any of the seasons in a year. However, the boat cruises in Akagera national park are done best in the dry season when there is little and sometimes no rainfall at all in the park. The dry season occurs from June to September and December to February and with little or no rainfall the waters in the lake are of normal level so this doesn’t affect the boat cruise activity.
Tourists can still visit Akagera national park for boat cruise activities in the rainy season of March to May and October to November when there is too much rainfall. During the rainy season, the tourists who want to stay in the park for a night or two will get huge discounts on accommodation facilities. However of the rainfall is too much in the park, the water lakes in Lake Ihema can rise and this might affect the boat cruise activity.
How to access Akagera national park for boat trips?
Akagera national park can be accessed for boat cruises using road transport and air transport. The national park can be accessed by air transport in 30 minutes from Kigali international airport using Akagera Aviation. Tourists can as well get to Akagera National Park for boat cruises in 2-3 hours using road transport from Kigali city.
Accommodation on a boat cruise safari in Akagera national park
Tourists that are planning to visit Akagera national park for boat trips and would want to spend a night or two in the park have got a wide range of accommodation options where they can choose to stay and these are classified into the budget, mid-range, and luxury options. Some of the accommodation facilities tourists on a boat cruise can use include Akarenge Game Lodge, Magashi Safari Camp, Karenge Bush Camp, Magashi Tented Camp, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Akagera Rhino Lodge, Vintage Cottage, and Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel among others.
Other activities tourists can do in Akagera national park
Apart from boat trips, game drives are other activities you can do in Akagera national park. The game drives of Akagera national park can be done in the morning, evening, and during the night in case you want to spot the nocturnal animals. During night game drives in Akagera national park, you will be able to spot different nocturnal animals such as lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, serval cats, bush babies, and much more.
The dad game drives in Akagera national park do give tourists opportunities to spot animals such as zebras, impalas, lions, spotted hyenas, giraffes, duikers, cape elands, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, roan antelopes, sitatungas, and klipspringers to mention but a few. During the game drives, you will also be able to spot some of the birds in the park like the African jacana, grey crowned crane, giant kingfishers among others.
While on a boat cruise safari in Akagera national park, tourists can be part of nature walks activities and this will give them an opportunity to explore the park on foot. The nature walks in this park are led by the armed ranger guides that do take visitors around the national park while they protect them from dangerous animals. With nature walks in Akagera national park, the tourist do get opportunities of meeting different park animals, lakes, birds, and different vegetation covers
Birding is another activity that tourists can be part of while on a boat cruise in Akagera national park. Birding activities are led by well-trained armed ranger guides who know a variety of bird species that are found within this park. The birding activity will give you an opportunity to encounter birds such as hamerkop, African jacana, red-faced barbet, blue-shouldered robin-chat, papyrus gonolek, long-tailed cormorant, carruther’s cisticola, northern brown-throated weaver, dimorphic egret, stripped pipit, and dimorphic egret among others.
Tourists on a boat cruise safari in Akagera national park can be part of community tours where they will get a chance to interact with the local people. To do the community tour you will have to inform your tour operator and they will drive you to any of the local villages where you will get a local guide to take you around the community. During the community tour, you will meet different local people doing their day-to-day activities, you can be part of cooking, taste their local foods and drinks, visit local schools, visit art and craft shops, and get entertained by the traditional local dancers.