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Akagera could not be more different from the dramatic, cultivated hills that distinguish much of the country, offering a wonderful savannah contrast.

Dominated by a maze of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering path of the Akagera River, the beautiful undulating plains, acacia woodland and rolling grasslands are home to big game – although not in the numbers found in other East African parks. That said, elephants and buffalo, hyena, giraffe and the occasional leopard can all be seen.

An exciting new addition to Akagera’s four-legged fauna is the reintroduction of lions to the national park. Five females and two male lions were translocated from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal, chosen for their reproductive potential. This is a project managed by African Parks and is a part of a larger effort to promote conservation in Akagera and restore the park to its pre-genocide state, where lions and other big game flourished.

Elephants, Akagera, Rwanda
Akagera, Rwanda
Akagera National Park, Rwanda
Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Why go to Akagera

The mix of habitat and scenery here, coupled with the distinct lack of other tourists makes Akagera very appealing for those wanting an extended holiday in Rwanda. The country’s second-largest lake is located here offering a chance to take to the water for some fun boat-based safaris and fishing to compliment night drives.

  • Open savannah and rolling hills offer the perfect safari extension
  • Bordering Tanzania, with open acacia woodland, this is an excellent birding country
  • A spectacularly diverse mix of lakes, marshes and open woodland
  • Boat trips on Lake Ihema even allow you to indulge in a spot of fishing
Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas and Wildlife of Akagera

Trek for endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Virunga Massif, before driving east to the lakes, savannah and hills of Akagera – a park now flourishing under African Parks’ management.

7 days

from £5,400 pp

See holiday idea

Roan Antelope, Akagera, Rwanda
Akagera, Rwanda

For Africans, By Africans

“Just a decade ago, there were more snares in this park than there were animals. Large mammals were all but wiped out, as cattle grazing and poaching decimated the wilderness in the aftermath of the genocide. In the early 2000s, Akagera was a park in name only. Now, it is East Africa’s newest Big Five park.”

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What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Lake Ihema

Take a boat trip on Lake Ihema, spotting birdlife, hippos and even elephants.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Explore Akagera

Discover this spectacular landscape – a diverse mix of lakes, marshes and open woodland.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lions in Akagera

Track the park’s lions, reintroduced by African Parks in July 2015. Spot them as they stalk their prey across marshes, floodplains, riverine woodlands and savannah.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Visit African Parks’ Headquarters

Visit the park’s headquarters and learn more about how African Parks have transformed Akagera. Also, visit the security room and see how the park tackles the poaching threat.

Suggested read: blog

Where to stay

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge £££££

  • Rwanda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Perfectly located for exploring Akagera National Park, Ruzizi Tented Lodge is built on the shores of Lake Ihema. Blending in with the unique riverine forest environment, the lodge is intimate with only seven tents, each with its own en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, a dressing area and a small patio at the front, accessible by wooden boardwalks leading to and from the main reception area. A thatched central reception area is the heart of the lodge, with a lounge-bar and dining area. A large deck with a fireplace sits under a shady fig tree overlooking the lake.

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Magashi Camp £££££

  • Rwanda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Situated in the beautiful north-east part of Akagera, overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga, Magashi offers the most luxurious option in the park. Each of the six enormous canvas rooms opens out onto the most spectacular views of the lake and mountains beyond. Light and breezy, the pale fabrics and eco-friendly bamboo style furniture are offset by dramatic Imigongo designs, completely unique to Rwanda.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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