Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Although
founded in 1934, much of the park was re-allocated as farms and in 1997 the park was reduced in size
from more than 2,500 sq to its current size of 1,122 sq km. Since 2010, a joint venture with African Parks
has seen Akagera return to its former glories.
It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of
lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema.
The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains, and rolling highlands combine to make
Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity
and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Akagera combines well with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes National Park to offer a great safari element as
it is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as
the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game animals include; elephants,
buffaloes, topis, zebras, waterbucks, roan antelopes, and elands. Other antelope are duikers, Oribis,
bohor reedbucks, klipspringer, bushbucks, and impalas.
Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets, and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with
bush babies often seen on night drives.
Of the larger predators, leopards, hyenas, side-striped jackal, and lion which was re-introduced last year
are present. Plans are underway for the reintroduction of the black rhino too, and this will restore
Akagera’s big 5’ status.
Due to its wide variety of habitats, Akagera is an important ornithological site with nearly 500 bird
species. The rare and elusive shoebill shares the papyrus with other rarities such as the exquisite
Papyrus Gonolek and countless other water birds that inhabit the wetlands in large numbers