Akagera National Park

About Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is a protected area located in eastern Rwanda. It covers an area of approximately 1,122 square kilometers (433 square miles) and is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary. The park was established in 1934 to protect the diverse wildlife and ecosystems found in the region.

Akagera National Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including savannah grasslands, swamps, lakes, and woodlands. The park's landscape is characterized by rolling hills, valleys, and numerous lakes, including Lake Ihema, which is the second-largest lake in Rwanda.

One of the main attractions of Akagera National Park is its diverse wildlife. The park is home to over 8,000 large mammals, including elephants, buffalos, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and various antelope species such as impalas and topis. Predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and crocodiles can also be found in the park. Akagera National Park is known for its successful reintroduction of lions in 2015 after they had been absent from the park for over two decades.

The park is also a haven for bird enthusiasts as it boasts over 500 bird species. These include waterbirds such as herons, egrets, storks, and ibises found around the lakes and wetlands. Raptors like eagles and hawks can be spotted soaring above the savannah grasslands. Akagera National Park has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International due to its rich avian diversity.

In addition to its wildlife, Akagera National Park offers visitors a range of activities to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Game drives are a popular way to observe the park's wildlife up close. Guided walks and boat safaris on Lake Ihema provide opportunities to explore the park's diverse ecosystems and spot a variety of animals and birds. Fishing is also permitted in certain areas of the park.

The management of Akagera National Park is a collaborative effort between the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization. Since African Parks took over the management of the park in 2010, significant efforts have been made to restore and protect its ecosystems and wildlife. This includes anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, reintroduction of key species, and community engagement initiatives.