Akagera National Park, Rwanda


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 recent 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.

Golden Monkey in Akagera National Park, Rwanda
Golden Monkey in Akagera National Park

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
Young wet gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Highlights of Rwanda

Rwanda has become synonymous with gorilla trekking, but this holiday also showcases the diverse wildlife and landscapes elsewhere in this fascinating country. As well as trekking for endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Virunga Massif, explore the lakes, savannah and hills of Akagera in the east, and the chimpanzee inhabited forests of western Nyungwe.

11 days

from £14,595 pp

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Lions in Akagera National Park, Rwanda
Lions in Akagera National Park

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.

Papyrus gonolek bird, Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Akagera birding

One of the best birding spots in Rwanda, Akagera has over 480 species of birds, including savannah birds as well as raptors and many endemic species such as the red faced barbet. On some of the many lakes water birds including the marabou stork, the African fish eagle and the open billed stork.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lake Safari, Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Lake Ihema boat safari

Spot birdlife, hippos and even elephants on Lake Ihema. one of ten lakes in Akagera National Park.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Akagera Park, Rwanda

Akagera Safari

Discover the spectacular landscapes within Akagera National Park – a diverse mix of lakes, marshes and open woodland.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lions in Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Lions of Akagera

Track the resident lion of Akagera National Park, reintroduced by African Parks in July 2015. Spot them as they stalk their prey across marshes, floodplains, riverine woodlands and savannah.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Tour of African Parks Headquarters, Akagera, Rwanda

Visit African Parks’ Headquarters

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

Suggested Read: Blog

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Karenge Bush Camp £££££

  • Africa
  • Tented Camps

Perched in Akagera National Park, you will find Karenge Bush Camp. With only six charming canvas tents, this bush camp can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests, making for an intimate, wilderness experience.

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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.

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Magashi Camp £££££

  • Rwanda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Situated in the beautiful north-east part of Akagera, overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga, Magashi is a one-of-a-kind setting in Rwanda located in its own private concession area.

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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.

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  • 01285 880 980

Chris Johnston

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

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.

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  • 01285 880 980

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