Rothschild giraffes in Akagera national park
Rothschild giraffes in Akagera national park- Akagera national park happens to be the luckiest national park to have the giraffes in Rwanda a small country known for a thousand hills. Akagera national park is Rwanda’s savannah park located on the northeastern side of the country. The park hosts big animals and other wildlife including the Rothschild giraffes.
The giraffes in Akagera national park have found their peace in the savannah grassland, montane forest. swamps, and woodland vegetation where they feed on the tall trees in the park. Akagera national park is home to over 1000 large mammals and in these, we find the giraffes. Other animals in Akagera national park do include buffaloes, elephants, impalas, zebras, lions, hyenas, topis, waterbucks, and much more.
To spot the giraffes of Akagera national park clearly, you will have to take part in the early morning or afternoon game drive through different game trucks and you will have the best views in a good and comfortable safari vehicle. The game drive activity which will give you an opportunity to see the giraffes is free as long as you pay the park entrance fee which is $50 international visitors, $35 east African residents, and East African citizens $7.5
What do giraffes eat?
Giraffes including those in Akagera national park are herbivores animals that feed on only vegetation. With the help of their long neck, they do feed on foods like the leaves, stems, fruits, young shoots, tree bucks, forage, and flowers. The giraffes don’t drink water they just get moisture from the plants they eat.
Where do giraffes live in Rwanda?
The giraffes do live in the savannah type of vegetation of Akagera national park. the vegetation is made up of savannah grassland and woodland vegetation and this is full of tall trees where they are able to feed on. They do live in open savannah grassland because that is what eases their movement and feeding.
Giraffes in Akagera national park move or live in groups of 5-20 individuals and there are times they form groups of up to 50 individuals and these comprise of females, males, and their young ones. Giraffes do live up to 26 years and when the males mature they live their group to go and live a solitary life. Giraffes are very tall and they don’t lie down but when they do like in the morning hours, they fold their legs under their body and keep their necks held high.
How to tell if the giraffe is male or female
Both the male and female giraffes have horns but the tops of horns of the females are completely covered with hair because they don’t fight while those of the males are always bald because they always fight and lose the hair.
When it comes to size, the male ones are bigger for the way up to 4300 pounds while the female giraffes weigh up to 2600 pounds compared to female ones
Activities you can do in Akagera national park
Tourists can engage in game drive activities while on a safari to Akagera national park. The game drives in Akagera national park are done in the morning or evening session but the experience is the same. The game drives in Rwanda are only done in this park and they do expose you to a number of animals such as buffaloes, giraffes, lions, Burchell’s zebras, elands, sitatunga, topis, waterbuck, Masai giraffes, roan antelopes, hyenas, wildebeest, leopards, impalas, warthogs, bushbucks among others.
Boat cruises are other activities tourists can do in Akagera national park and the activity is done on Lake Ihema. Lake Ihema is a freshwater lake in Akagera national park and it’s where the boat cruises are done in the morning or evening time. The driver-guide will pick you from the hotel or any destination and then drive you to the lake shores for the boat cruise.
The boat cruise on Lake Ihema normally takes 2-3 hours and during this period you will get opportunities to see different water animals like the hippos, crocodiles, fish, water birds like the African harrier hawk, white-tailed blue monard, cardinal woodpecker, African fish eagle, African jacana, bateleur, African harrier hawk and squacco heron among others. During the boat cruise, you will spot some of the park animals around the lake shores and these include giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.
Akagera national park is home to about 480 bird species of which 100 of these are endemic to this region. Birds you can spot in Akagera national park include shoebill, papyrus gonolek, grey crowned crane, African darter, Senegal lapwing, giant kingfisher, sooty falcon, African open bill stock, squacco herons, bateleur, African harrier hawk, tabora cisticola, booted eagle, crested barbet, short-tailed pipit and much more.
Best time to visit Akagera national park and see the giraffes
Tourists that want to see the giraffes in Akagera national park can visit the park at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest and these are the drier months. The drier months which occur in June to September and December to February are the best for a visit to Akagera national park because the game trucks are dry, the roads leading to the park are passable and the vegetation is short giving clear views of the giraffes and other park animals.
Tourists can still visit Akagera national park and see the giraffes in the rainy season that occurs in March to May and October and November but they need to know that during these months there is plenty of rainfall. The rain makes the game trucks muddy and slippery, the roads leading to the park are impassable and the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of the giraffes. Visiting Akagera national park in the rainy season favors budget travelers because the hotels give huge discounts on accommodation.
How to access Akagera national park and see the giraffes.
Tourists can get to Akagera national park using road transport from Kigali city and they will pass through several towns like Kayonza, Kabarondo, and finally Rwinkwanvu and they will access the park using the southern gate. From Kigali city to Akagera national park, the journey will take you 2-3 hours of beautiful views of the surroundings. Tourists from Uganda that want to cross to Rwanda and access Akagera national park can use Katuna birder in Kabale or Cyanika birder in Kisoro.