Akagera National Park in Rwanda is becoming one of Africa’s popular tourist attractions and it keeps getting better and better each year.
It’s management under African Parks, a conservation organization based in South Africa in conjunction with RDB.
Since 2012, the park has had over $12 million spent on conservation, park enforcement, tourism initiatives, and community engagement and as a result seen more lions brought into the park and park attendance has jumped from 15,000 people in 2010 to 32,000 people in 2015.
Akagera is increasingly getting popular among the major parks in the African region , it’s stunningly beautiful and really does make a great day (see the 1 day Akagera wildlife tours), overnight, or weekend trip.
The vast landscape that drastically moves from north to south through the rolling hills offers amazing views from the top and a very nice backdrop when seen from above.
Akagera National Park shares borders with Tanzania at a relatively low altitude and is creatively carved with a labyrinth of swamps that flow into the Akagera River.
Akagera Park is two hours drive from Kigali, in the Eastern province of Rwanda.
The road to Akagera is mostly paved until about a half hour before you get to the entrance where it gets dusty in dry season…
Getting you ready for the Akagera wildlife tours
Akagera is home to lots of animals including elephants, buffalo, giraffe and zebras, 11 antelope species, and elusive lions and leopards.
A trip to Akagera is highly recommended for those on short vacations, as you may choose to do the full day or overnight trip away from Kigali on a 2 days Akagera wildlife safari.
Activities in Akagera
There are quite a number of adventure activities to keep you busy in Akagera National park tour. Park entry costs $35 for international visitors, $25 for East African residents (bring your passport or ID card as proof), and $6 for East African citizens (children over 6 get in for cheaper and kids under five are free). we have listed prices on our Akagera wildlife safari packages
Gorilla adventure tours will share with you an itinerary of suggested activities while in the park and have them organised by the park and so its important for you to book and pay earlier for with us so that all is organised on time.
Akagera wildlife tours – Game Drive
while at the park, You will will be part of a fully organised tour with Gorilla-adventure tours and so your driver guide will be with you, or you can get a bit more adventurous and drive yourself in your own self drive car rental. Driving yourself is fun but you won’t really know where to look for the animals which might be frustrating. Fortunately you can also choose to hire a guide from Gorilla adventure tours on a half day or full day.
Our Guides are professional and experienced and are ready to take you on a full day or Night game drives for with a minimum 1 or big group.
Bird Watching while on Akagera wildlife tours
Akagera is a great spot for bird watching nerds with about 525 Species of birds (four of which are endemic) as well as a large number of migrant birds. The elusive Shoebill Stork can be spotted here along with the endangered and exquisite Papyrus Gonolek.
Boat Rides while on the Akagera wildlife tours
There are three pre-scheduled boat trips (morning, day, or sunset) to enjoy the park from water level surrounded by crocodile, bird, and hippo friends. The one hour trip costs $40 per person (to a maximum of 11 people) or if you’d rather schedule your own trip with a private group at your chosen time it costs $180 to rent the entire boat.
Fishing on the Akagera wildlife tours
If you have your own gear (rods only, no nets) you can pay a fee of $20 for a permit to fish for the day from the shores of Lake Shakani. Hippos stay in the water during the day and the banks of the shore are gently sloped so you’d see any approaching crocs well before they were consuming you, so there’s nothing to worry about. But it certainly adds an element of excitement to fishing!
Rwanda Cultural Tours
In collaboration between the park and local communities, freelance community guides have arranged for some interesting tours and cultural experiences for park guests to participate in. There are four choices – Heritage (The Culture of Cattle), Local Production (Beer and Bees), Arts and Crafts, and Celebration (Food and Festivities). Each of these tours offers a glimpse into life in communities around the park. Try your hand at everything from milking a cow to making an imigongo painting, to sampling honey on the comb, to helping to create a local meal, to having a go at traditional Rwandan dancing.
Each cultural experience tour takes around three hours and costs $20 per person with a minimum of three people.
This tour is an interesting opportunity to see a portion of the park on foot. Join community freelance guides as they guide you in the shoes of a fence attendant to check the fence that allowed the reintroduction of lions into the park.
The moderate walk is 7kms long, takes about 2 hours, and ends on a ridge with a beautiful view over the park. It costs $0 per person with a minimum of three.
Accommodation Akagera Camping Camping :
Sleeping in the park with nothing between you and the animals but a thin sheet of nylon is an exhilarating experience and something fairly unique to Akagera Park. Spending the night around the campfire with a group of friends, some beers and the wide open sky makes for a great break from city life and is one of the best overnight or weekend trips you can do in Rwanda.
There are three campsites with the one in the north at Mutumba known as being the most beautiful (but also the farthest away). Camping costs $20 per person per night and the park can rent you a 6 person tent for an extra $20 per night (for the two southern campsites only). They don’t have any other gear though so make sure to bring your own. Both campsites are equipped with a BBQ and firewood is provided plus there are pit latrines and a small shelter. The views at both campsites are great, it’s peaceful and, lets face it, camping in a game park with wild animals roaming in the bush is pretty damned cool.
Akagera LodgeAkagera Game Lodge:
Akagera Game Lodge. As we only stopped there for lunch I didn’t get a look at the rooms, but the pool area was nice and the lodge seemed to be a pretty good option, if a little outdated. Nothing too flashy and fairly simple… but good enough, I thought. A single room in the in the lodge costs $100 and doubles go for $120. They’ve got the pool, tennis courts, business facilities and offer a variety of wildlife activities including fishing, game drives and bird watching trips. The lodge isn’t far from the main entrance to the park.
Ruzizi Tented Lodge
For a more upscale experience, try the Ruzizi Tented Lodge, the park’s nicest accommodation. As the name suggests, you sleep in safari tents but they’re very glamorous and located in a beautiful setting right on one of the park’s lakes. The tents sleep 2 people and cost $165 per person for international visitors and $130 for residents. This includes breakfast and dinner. Prices are different when it comes to full board so make sure to double check with us while doing the booking. The food gets great reviews and people rave about their showers.
Karenge Bush Camp:
The camp costs $150 per person on for full board and has got the luxurious touch and take very good care of their guests with proper beds, cold drinks, three-course meals, and a spectacular setting.
Transportation to Akagera Park
If you are booked with Gorilla Adventure tours, we shall take care of the transportation since it is within the costing we would have shares prior to your booking confirmation, the prices will depend on the number of people within the group. The bigger the number the cheaper it is per person.
If you choose to make your way to the park on a self drive it is very okay, You can drive yourself through the park and you can opt to pick up a guide at the information centre to lead you around and spot for animals or you can hire a driver guide with us right from Kigali. Car hire for self-drive can often be hired for as little as $50 per day and, while any type of car should be able to make its way through a dry park, a 4×4 is recommended.
If you’d prefer to leave the driving to a professional, hiring a car and a driver is also a possibility. I would recommend contacting Gorilla adventure tours as our guides have a lot of experience running trips to the park and are very professional and can speak English, French, and Kinyarwanda.
Prices will vary depending on the type of car you chose to use and the number of people in the group. :
Akagera Park is close to Kigali and it makes a wonderful un forgettable adventure or even just a quick day trip. The park is beautiful and there’s lots to see and do there at affordable prices.