Safari to Nyungwe and Akagera national park in Rwanda
Are you looking for a safari to Nyungwe and Akagera national park in Rwanda? Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park are both located in Rwanda in the southwest and northeast part of the country respectively. Nyungwe forest national park is famous for chimpanzee trekking while Akagera national park is famous for game drives. Doing a safari to both of these parks is one of the best ways to explore the wildlife of Rwanda
Nyungwe forest national park was gazetted in 2004 while Akagera national park was gazetted in 1934 all to protect the remaining species of wild animals and promote tourism in the country. Nyungwe forest national park covers a total area of 970 sq. km while Akagera national park covers over 1,122 sq. km.
Both Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park have a lot of attractions that people can encounter on a safari among which include chimpanzees, birds, monkeys, and the canopy walk in Nyungwe, mammals, water bodies, and vegetation. Nyungwe and Akagera national park can be accessed within a single day from Kigali city using road transport or air transport and can be visited at any time of the year.
What to see on a safari to Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park Rwanda
On a safari to Nyungwe forest national park, the tourists do encounter animals such as chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, duikers, silver monkeys, elephants, red-tailed monkeys, buffaloes, otters, black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoest’s monkey, olive baboon, and hamlyn’s monkeys among others.
Still, in Nyungwe forest national park, tourists will see the canopy walk, birds such as dusky crimsonwing, handsome spurfowl, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, strange weaver, Albertine owlet, Kivu ground thrush, handsome francolin, red-collared babbler, regal sunbird, and Rwenzori batis.
In Akagera national park, tourists are able to encounter over 500 bird species such as African fish eagle, bateleur, African harrier hawk grey crown crane, African jacana, over 100 large mammals ie lions, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, elephants, rhinos, spotted hyenas, leopards, etc. There are over 7 different water bodies and they include Lake Shakani, Lake Ihema, Lake Rwanyakizinga, Lake Hago, and Lake Mihidi among others
Activities to do a safari to Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park
Birding in Nyungwe and Akagera national park
Both Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park are among the best birding spots in Rwanda with Nyungwe forest hosting over 310 birds while Akagera harboring over 482 birds. Birding activities in these parks are guided and it’s the armed ranger guides who lead birders through different trails that are within the park on foot.
Birding in Nyungwe forest national park exposes you to birds such as Red sunbird, Archer’s robin-chat, Rwenzori Apalis, Albertine owlet, strange weaver, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Neumann’s warbler, Rockefeller’s sunbird, stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori turaco, regal sunbird, red-throated alethe, handsome spurfowl, Shelley’s crimson wing, Rwenzori nightjar, buff-throated Apalis, blue-headed sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, archer’s robin-chat, mountain masked Apalis, red-throated alethe, and dwarf honeyguide among others.
Birding to Akagera national park exposes you to birds such as crested barbet, amur falcon, beaudouin’s snake eagle, booted eagle, blue-shouldered robin-chat, carruthers’s cisticola, yellow-bellied eremomela, western reef heron, striped pipit, sooty falcon, short-tailed pipit, shoebill, and ring-necked francolin among others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park
On a safari to Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park, chimpanzee trekking is an activity that you shouldn’t miss out on. Chimpanzee trekking can only be done in Nyungwe forest national park which is home to over 500 chimpanzee individuals. Chimpanzee trekking while in Nyungwe forest national park can be done among 2 families that are habituated in Nyungwe forest and Cyamudongo forest.
The chimpanzee trekking activity starts in the morning at 7 am with a briefing at Uwinka offices and during the session, the trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity. During the activity, trekkers are led by the armed ranger guides through different trails with opportunities of meeting different park animals, birds, waterfalls, and different bird species. When trekkers meet the chimpanzees, 1 hour is given to them to learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
Game drives in Akagera national park
On Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park safari, tourists can be able to do game drives in Akagera national park. The game drives in Akagera national park are done in the morning, evening, and night times. The game drive activities do expose tourists to most of the park animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, impalas, topis, elands, cape elands, roan antelopes, rhinos, hyenas, and bushbucks among others.
Boat cruises in Akagera national park
While on a safari to Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park, tourists can have a boat cruise and this is only possible in Akagera national park. The boat cruise in Akagera national park is done on Lake Ihema and Lake Rwanyakazinga and the activity is done in the morning, evening, and may be private boat cruises. The boat cruises give tourists an opportunity to spot water animals such as crocodiles, buffaloes, birds i.e shoebill, grey crowned cranes, marabou stork, park mammals like the buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, and much more.
Community tours in Nyungwe and Akagera national park
Community tours can be done in both Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park. The activity takes tourists to the communities around the park where tourists get an opportunity to meet local people, watch them do daily activities, taste their local foods, visit orphanages, and get entertainment from traditional dancers through dances and drama.
Nature walks Nyungwe and Akagera national park
On a hiking safari to Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park, tourists can have nature walk activities in any of the national parks. The nature walk activities are done to enable tourists to explore the park on foot and they are guided by the armed ranger guides who protect the participants from dangerous animals. The nature walks are done through different trials of the park and they give tourists an opportunity to encounter park animals, birds, water sources, and different vegetation covers.
Accommodation in Nyungwe and Akagera national park
Tourists having a safari to Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park don’t have to worry about where they will stay because there are so many accommodation facilities within and around these parks where tourists can stay while on a safari. The accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay always depends on your budget.
Some of the accommodations in Nyungwe forest national park include One & Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guest House, Gisakura Family Hostel, E.R.A Gisakura Visitor Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Peace Guesthouse, Hotel du Lac, Rusizi Progress Hotel, Golden Monkey Hotels, Comoran Lodge, and Delta Resort Hotel among others.
Accommodation in Akagera national park includes Magashi Tented Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Karenge Bush Camp, Magashi Safari Camp, Akarenge Game Lodge, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Akarenge Game Lodge, Nyagasambu Real Beach Hotel, Vintage Cottages, and Akagera Rhino Lodge among others.
What is the best time to book Nyungwe and Akagera national park safari?
Nyungwe and Akagera national park are open throughout the year for tourism but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best to have a safari in Nyungwe forest and Akagera national park and they occur from June to September and December to February. The above months are characterized by little and no rainfall sometimes, the trekking trails and game trucks are dry, the vegetation is short giving clear views of park animals and the roads leading to these parks are passable.
Tourists can still visit Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park in the rainy season because the parks will be open. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and these months are characterized by little and sometimes no rainfall which makes the trekking trails and game trucks muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall giving unclear views of park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.