Sportfishing in Akagera national park
Sportfishing in Akagera national park is done mainly as a sport and among the most done activities on Lake Shakani in Rwanda. Sportfishing is a rewarding activity for any avid angler to revamp their African wilderness travel experience.
Akagera national park is found in the northeastern part of Rwanda about 110km from the capital city Kigali in Kayonza district. Akagera national park is 2 hours’ drive from Kigali city. Akagera national park has over 7 lakes that are spread in almost every corner of the park and among these include Lake Shakani where sport fishing is done.
Lake Shakani is the only place in Akagera national park where spot fishing is done and this is because it provides the best fishing area for a number of fish species such as tilapia and catfish. During the sportfishing activity in Akagera national park, you get opportunities of spotting the biggest species of fish such as tilapia and catfish.
Sportfishing in Akagera national park is not this regular fishing for food, it’s done on a catch and release basis. While in Akagera national park, you can decide to sport fishing on the shores of Lake Shakani or get on the boat and do the fishing. Tourists that are interested in sportfishing in Akagera national park will have to pay $25 per adult and $15 per child between ages 6 to 12 years and these fees don’t include park entrance fees and accommodation.
The catch and release of fish on Lake Shakani is done using modern fishing methods to ensure the safety of anglers and the sustainability of the fish. Some of the fishing catching methods at Lake Shakani include the cast net method, the lampara method, the cast net method, the spearing and shoot arrow method, the hooking method, and the scoop net method.
What is the best time for sportfishing on Lake Shakani?
Akagera national park is open at all times of the year for all activities including sport fishing. However, sport fishing on Lake Shakani in Akagera national park si nest done in the dry season that happens from June to September and December to February, during these months, there is little or no rainfall with the water levels normal.
Tourists can still visit Akagera national park and do sportfishing in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but during this season but there is always a lot of rainfall which increases the water lakes in the lake and this might be risky for the anglers.
Where to stay on a sportfishing safari in Akagera national park?
Tourists coming to Akagera national park for sportfishing activities and want to spend a night or two in the park have accommodation facilities that are available for them ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury options. Those coming for sport fishing can stay in Magashi Safari Camp, Karenge Bush Camp, Magashi Tented Camp, Akarenge Game Lodge, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Akagera Rhino Lodge, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Vintage Cottage, and Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel among others.
Other activities tourists can do in Akagera national park
Game drives: These are the other activities you can do in Akagera national park other than sport fishing. Game drives can be done in the early morning to spot the early morning risers and nocturnal animals before going back to their hide-out places, in the evening where you find most of them resting, and in the night where you meet the nocturnal animals.
The animals that can be spotted in Akagera national park include spotted hyenas, leopards, bushbucks, lions, rhinos, impalas, elephants, topis, giraffes, sitatungas, klipspringers, waterbucks, cape elands, zebras, and roan antelopes among others.
Boat cruises: Another activity that tourists can do after or before fishing in Akagera national park is the boat cruise. The boat cruises in Akagera national park are done on Lake Ihema which is the biggest freshwater lake in the park. The boat cruises in the park are done in the morning and evening hours and both sessions last for 2 hours. The activity gives tourists opportunities of exploring the lake, spot different water animals like hippos, crocodiles, and fish. Tourists will also spot different waterbird species such as grey craned cranes, shoebill stork, open billed stork, and also some of the park animals like the antelopes, giraffes, and buffaloes near the shores of the lake.
Encounter birds: Tourists in Akagera national park on a sportfishing safari can encounter birds of the park that are over 400 species with a help of an armed ranger guide that will take you through the best birding spots. Birds of Akagera national park include the shoebill stork, pin tailed whydah, long created eagle, red-billed fire finch, black-headed weaver, short-tailed pipit, African darter, grey-backed fiscal, northern fiscal, marabou stork, souza’s shrike, saddle-billed stork, crowned lapwing, crested barbet, and cattle egret among others.
Nature walks: Aside from sportfishing, tourists to Akagera national park can also take part in the nature walks that are guided by the armed ranger guides of the park. The armed ranger guides take you through different nature walk trails showing you different attractions of the park as they protect you from dangerous park animals. The nature walks in Akagera national park will give you an opportunity to walk around the park on foot as you encounter different park animals like lions, elephants, rhinos, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, birds, lakes, and different vegetation covers.
Community tours: Community visits are other activities you can participate in while on a sport fishing safari in Akagera national park. The activity is done in any of the nearby communities around the park and with this activity, you get opportunities of meeting the local people, watch them do daily activities, be part of ceremonies if any, visit art and craft shops, and in the end get entertained by the traditional dancers.
Getting to Akagera national park for sport fishing
Akagera national park can be accessed using road transport or air transport from Kigali city. The national park is located northeast of the country just 110 km from Kigali city and can be accessed in just 2-3 hours from the capital city using road transport. There are also chattered flights by Akagera aviation and getting to the park from Kigali international airport is just 30 minutes.