Akagera National Park

This scenic low-lying park lies on the eastern border of Rwanda with Tanzania. Akagera National Park offers an interesting contrast to the mountainous forest reserves of Volcanoes and Nyungwe.

Overview

Akagera National Park lies on the eastern border of Rwanda with Tanzania. This scenic low-lying park is Central Africa’s largest protected wetland. It's also the last refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. Akagera is home to healthy populations of buffalo and elephant, zebra and giraffe. Predators, such as lion and leopard, prowl through the cover of its acacia groves. But you’ll share the roads with virtually no other vehicles. So an Akagera safari offers an interesting contrast to the mountainous forest reserves of the Volcanoes and Nyungwe.

It stretches across a vast expanse of low-lying mountains and savannah plains. The park takes in the rolling highlands woodlands, a labyrinth of swamps and lakes, and the wetlands of the Kagera River. (Indeed, the Akagera ultimately joins the Nile to become part of the longest river in the world.) The bush ranges from cactus-like Euphorbia candelabra shrub to dense forest.

As well as game drives, you can also enjoy a boat cruise on the beautiful Lake Ihema. This is a great way to see some of the many hippo pods. Look out for the huge Nile crocodiles that wallow in the park’s watery regions. Of course birders will enjoy park’s abundant water-birds including breeding colonies of noisy, and somewhat smelly, cormorants and open-billed storks.

Buffalo seen on Akagera national park safari

Bursting with a rich biodiversity, Akagera National Park features a variety of rare species, such as Topis, klipspringer and even Cape Eland. Plus plenty of general game and hundreds of bird species. An Akagera safari is also the only place you are likely to see elephant in Rwanda.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Only National Park in Rwanda where you can enjoy general game-viewing rather than a focus on primates.
  • Land and water-based activities: Game drives, bush walks & boat cruises.
  • Outstanding birding.
  • Woodlands, swamps, low mountain and savannah.

When to visit Akagera National Park

Mid-Dec to Mid-March

Dry season

Akagera is noticeably warmer than the rest of Rwanda, being lower in altitude. It is the only place you’ll see savanna plains in Rwanda! The temperatures are warm to hot and fairly consistent through the year. There is a somewhat dry period (varying by year) between the short rains of October-November and the long rains of April. A good time to visit, though also the warmest.
AVG RAINFALL 74 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 80 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 59 ℉

Mid-March to May

Long rains in Akagera National Park

As elsewhere, the main seasonal difference is due to rainfall. This is the time of the long rains and it rains most days, often in the afternoon or evening. Days tend to be cloudy. Not an ideal time to visit.
AVG RAINFALL 114 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 80 ℉
MIN TEMP 15 ℃ / 58 ℉

June to Mid-Sep

Dry season

Akagera has a short dry season, which is the best time to visit. The days are sunny and warm. Less cloud cover means cooler evenings and nights.
AVG RAINFALL 15 mm
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 78 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

Mid-Sep to Mid-Dec

Short rains

Sometime in September, the short rains start. Again, it tends to be in the late afternoons or evening so it doesn’t affect game-viewing as much as the long rains of April. The park starts to turn green again after the dry season. Day time temperatures remain warm and nights warm up a little.
AVG RAINFALL 92 mm
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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Did you know
  • GeographyCentral Africa’s largest protected wetland
  • Big FiveRe-introduced lion and rhino