Location of Akagera national park
What is the location of Akagera national park? Akagera national park is one of the 4 national parks in a small country Rwanda that is located in the northeastern part of the country on the borders with Tanzania. Akagera national park was founded in 1934 and of today it covers a total area of 1,122 sq. km. Akagera national park is located west of River Kagera that separates Rwanda from Tanzania. River Akagera feeds most of the lakes in Akagera national park and one of them is Lake Ihema.
Getting to Akagera national park from Kigali city or Kigali international airport takes 2-3 hours and this is by road transport. Travelers from Uganda will take a little bit longer crossing from southwestern Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale and Cyanika border in Kisoro.
The national park was founded in 1934 but due to genocide attacks in Rwanda in 1994, the people settled in the parks, cut down vegetation, and killed some of the park animals. Even after the genocide, more people continued to settle in the park and this is why its size was reduced to 1,122 sq. km. As most of the animals were killed for meat and medicine, others were dying of hunger because most of their foods were destroyed.
In 2009, the Rwanda Development Board in partnership with Africa Parks Network to take offer the management of eth park and from then things have never been the same. From then there has been the introduction of more wildlife animals like the lions from South Africa in 2015, eastern black rhinos from the Czech Republic, Uk, and Denmark in 2019 to mention but a few.
The African Parks Network has really made Akagera national park one of the best places to visit with the population of wild animals increasing now in the park. There are a number of conservation programs in Akagera national park that have boosted the park’s activities and facilities making it one of the top wildlife destinations in the whole of East Africa.
The great works on Akagera national park have lifted the works of the park, wildlife projects as well as the nature of the park through imposing strict laws on poachers, trespassers and on top of that, they have built a construction fence on the boundaries of the park so as not to allow trespassers.
The population of animals in Akagera national park has greatly increased from 1025 due introduction of new animals and the strict rules in the park. In 2010, there were about 4000 animals in Akagera but as of today, over 13,500 animals are living in this park. Akagera national park comprises of savannah vegetation, montane vegetation, papyrus, and swamps.
Akagera national park is a place you can carry out game drives and spot a number of animals, birds, and different vegetation types. Inside Akagera national park you can still do a boat cruise on the famous Lake Ihema which is even the largest water body in the park and the second largest in Rwanda. The lake gets its waters from River Kagera that flows on in the eastern side of the park as it gets its way to Lake Victoria in Uganda.
After the change of management in 2009, Akagera national park is now of the most visited places in Rwanda with several tourists across the world coming to the park for different tourism activities. The different activities of the park are game drives which expose you to different animals let it be morning hours or evening hours.
The different animals you can see on the game drives include lions, rhinos, impalas, bushbucks, leopards, buffaloes, topis, duikers, cape elands, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and much more. The other activity is sport fishing which is done on Lake Shakani and it does expose you to different fish species like tilapia and catfish.
Another activity in Akagera national park is birding and this exposes you to over 400 bird species among which include African jacana, crowned lapwing, lilac-breasted roller, crowned lapwing, long created eagle, palm nut vulture, African grey hornbill, and red-billed fire finch among others. There are also nature walks in Akagera national park and these take you around different walking trails as you spot the park’s wildlife.
While in Akagera national park, you can also be part of the cultural tours to get an opportunity of learning about the local people and their way of life. The cultural tours are done in any of the communities around the park of which some are cattle keepers so you will taste local milk, some of their foods, learn about their habits, and see how they go about their day-to-day lives.
What is the most appropriate time to visit Akagera national park?
After understanding the location of Akagera national park, you need to know the best time to visit the park for a safari. Akagera national park is open at any time of the year but there is there are those months that that ae best for a visitation the park and these are the drier months. The drier months are the best to visit Akagera national park and these occur from June to September and December to February. During those months, the game trucks in the park are dry, the vegetation is short giving clear views of the animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still visit Akagera national park in the rainy season which occurs from March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. During these months, there is plenty of rainfall, the game trucks are muddy and slippery, the roads leading to the park are impassable and the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of the park animals.
Where to sleep in Akagera national park?
Akagera national park has well-constructed accommodation facilities that are built-in and around the park so where to stay will just depend on your budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in Akagera national park include Magashi Safari Camp, Mutumba Campsite, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Akarenge Game Lodge, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Akagera Rhino Lodge, Muyumba Campsite, Karenge Bush Camp, Vintage Cottage, Shakani Campsite, and Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel among others.
In conclusion, if you look at the location of Akagera national park, you can easily extend your safari to other Rwanda safari destinations like Volcanoes national park, Lake Kivu and Kigali city.