This 2-day safari trip to Akagera National Park Rwanda will reward you with amazing scenic beauty and sightings of many animals and birds. Akagera National Park protects the only savanna environment in Rwanda which makes the park unique because Rwanda is largely covered by hills and mountains. Driving in a 4X4 safari jeep with a pop-up roof for easy viewing, you shall explore the open plains, thick bushes and woodlands and see various animals and other wildlife in Akagera. Animals that you may not miss on your Akagera National Park safari include buffaloes, elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, monkeys and many species of antelope among others. The park also has a large wetland system consisting of many lakes and swamps, and taking a boat safari on the park’s largest lake Ihema you will see crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards and many water birds.
Your tour guide/driver shall pick you from your hotel or residence in Kigali at 7 am and you will depart for Akagera National Park. The travel time from Kigali to Akagera is about 2.5 hours. You will check into your lodge and go out for a game drive to spot some animals and enjoy the amazing scenery. The southern part of Akagera National Park which is the arrival point and offers your first game drive is covered mostly by acacia thickets and woodlands which is not favorable habitat for most grazing animals. Expect to see some impala, zebra, reedbuck, giraffe, baboons, black faced vervet monkeys among others. However, the most exciting prospect in the south of the park is the Rhino! The rhinos live in this part of the park which is the habitat for them and if lucky may see them.
After lunch, you shall go out for the boat cruise on Lake Ihema at 3 pm. Lake Ihema is the largest lake in the park and second largest in Rwanda. The boat cruise will provide among other sightings: hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards and plenty of water birds.
Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner
Upmarket: Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
Budget: Akagera Rhino Lodge (located outside the park)
After early breakfast, check out of the lodge at 6.30am and set off for the 6-hour game through Akagera National park. Driving along the main game track, from the south of the park to the north/exit, expect to watch a variety of animals, birds, trees & plants and enjoy the scenery. Occasionally you shall take loops to the peninsulas and lake shores to watch some water animals and birds and also take in the scenery over the water. Most notable is the “hippo beach” where schools of hippos and groups of crocodile can found basking in the shallows of the swamps. Continuing on the main track you will finally arrive at the Kilala plains in the north of the park. The Kilala plains have a high concentration of animals and are, therefore, is the main game watching area of the park. Almost without trees, this expanse of beautiful savanna grasslands hosts large herds of grazing animals and provides for uninterrupted views of animals. Some of the animals to see here include buffaloes, zebra, topi, impala, elephants, warthogs. The abundance of antelopes and other grazing animals makes the plains a favorite hunting ground for the lions and hyenas among other predators. In the fringes of the plains are woodlands and thickets where browsers such as the giraffes and elephants can be seen. Predators such as the lions are often found taking shelter under trees after the morning hunt!
After the game drive shall have lunch (packed) at the picnic grounds after which you shall continue out through the exit gate and drive back to Kigali.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch (packed)