Safari travel guide for Akagera national park
A travel guide for Akagera national park will help you in knowing the best safaris you can have in Akagera of Rwanda. The national park is famous for the big 5 mammals and several attractions as well as activities that can be done in the park in order to have the best of your safari. There are certain things you need to be well informed of before going for a safari in Akagera national park and you will meet them in this article.
Located along the northeastern border of Rwanda with Tanzania, Akagera national park was gazetted as a reserve in 1934 and by then it covered a total area of 2500 sq. km. As of today, Akagera national park covers a total area of 1,122 sq. km only because most of the land was cleared for settlement by the people who survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Most of the animals died of hunger but in the 2000s some of the animals like lions and rhinos were reintroduced in the park.
Travel documents to Akagera National park Rwanda
After confirming your safari to Akagera national park Rwanda, you need to prepare the necessary travel documents before traveling to the country for a safari in the park. Some of the travel documents required include a valid passport, the East African citizens can use their national identification cards, yellow fever card, East African visa among others.
What to pack for a travel safari Akagera national park
All tourists that want to have an amazing safari in Akagera national park bed to consider packing the appropriate equipment based on the activities they want to do in the park. Tourists must pack light clothes if they are to visit the park in the dry season, sweater, rain jacket, insect repellents, waterproof hiking shoes, insect repellents, a camera, a pair of binoculars, swimsuits, a hat, sunscreen, reusable drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, face mask, and sanitizer.
What is the best time to travel to Akagera national park.
Before visiting Akagera national park to be part of different activities, it is better you know when the best time for the activities you want to do is. Knowing the best time to visit the park for certain activities I really important because it makes you have the best of your safari. Akagera national park has two seasons which are the dry season (June to October and December to February) and the rainy season (March to May and October to November).
The dry season attracts more tourists to Akagera national park because it comes with little and sometimes no rainfall favoring most of the park activities, the game trucks are dry, the vegetation in the park is short giving clear views of the animals and the roads leading to the park are passable. During the rainy season, it’s when the hotel owners give huge discounts on accommodation facilities and most of the birds are within the park including the migratory ones.
Accessibility of Akagera national park
To access Akagera national park, you need to fly into Rwanda through Kigali international airport, and from there a driver guide can drive you to the park in the northeast of the country in just 2-3 hours with different en-routes such as the Kigali genocide memorial site. The journey to Akagera national park is an amazing one with stunning views of the roadside as you head to the park.
Safety in Akagera national park
Akagera national park is among the safe national parks when it comes to Africa and to keep the safety of tourists, there are security points at the entrance where security personnel does check every harmful equipment like guns, matchboxes, weapons among others. There are also park rangers in Akagera national park to protect tourists from dangerous wild animals.
Rules and regulations to observe while in Akagera national park
- Akagera national park opens at 6 am and closes at 6 pm so tourists that are going to use the accommodation facilities within the park must enter the park between 6 am to 6 pm.
- While in the park, you must drive in the designated paths in order to save the vegetation and to stop you from getting lost
- Drivers inside Akagera national park shouldn’t exceed 40km per hour because over speeding can cause accidents to animals that want to cross the roads.
- While driving inside the park, you have to keep inside the safari vehicle until they arrive at their hotels or places of briefing or designated picnic sites.
- While at the lodges inside the park, you are advised to avoid unnecessary movements from the lodge.
- Littering in the park is not allowed, you are advised to leave it as you found it.
- Tourists are not allowed to feed wild animals while on a safari and at the lodge.
- Don’t spoil vegetation in the park
- Tourists and drivers who will fail to observe the rules will be penalized.
Attractions in Akagera national park
Akagera national park is home to several animal species including the big 5 mammals of Africa – lions, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. In the park when you take part in game drives, nature walks, and boat cruises, you will spot a number of animals such as zebras, impalas, topis, duikers, cape elands, giraffes, sitatungas, roan antelopes, warthogs, olive baboons, klipspringers, hippos, kobs, and reedbucks among others.
There are 7 water bodies in Akagera national park and some of them include Lake Ihema, Lake Hago, Lake Shakani, Lake Rwanyakazinga, Lake Muhindi, and Lake Muhazi among others. Some of the activities that can be done on the lakes inside Akagera national park include sport fishing where fish is caught on a catch and release basis, boat cruises where you explore the lake and the park on a boat, and much more. While on the boats on the above lakes, you will spot hippos, crocodiles, birds such as grey crowned cranes, shoebill stork, African fish eagle, open billed stork, African darter, park animals like antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, and elephants among others.
There are over 400 bird species that have been recorded in Akagera national park and these live in the different vegetation covers within the park. Birds in Akagera national park include African jacana, goliath heron, black-headed weaver, blue-shouldered robin-chat, blue checked bee-eater, dimorphic egret, beaudouin’s snake eagle, long-tailed cormorant, ring-necked francolin, black-headed weaver, short-tailed pipit, shoebill stork, pin tailed whydah, saddle-billed stork, crested barbet, woodland kingfisher, and African darter, etc.