Rwanda Wildlife Tour (Akagera National Park)

Papyrus Gonolec (Akagera National Park Rwanda)

This short trip brings you to Akagera NP in the East of Rwanda. There are two important circuits to discover:

The first one is the lower part of the Park and the heart of Akagera ecosystem with the Akagera river, several lakes and its immense swamps. They form the natural boundary with Tanzania. Here you will find plenty of wildlife with Elephants, Impala, Watebuck, Hippo, Crocodiles and many water birds species.  

The second circuit is the Mutumba plateau with spectacular views over the Lakes. This part of the Park has been fenced to protect both wildlife and humans. On the Mutumba plateau, one can see the rare African Eland and Roan Antilopes. 

There are several roads connecting both circuits and also give access to the Northern part of the Park with the famous Kilala plain and the Akagera Valley. The Kilala plain has a variety of herbivores like impala, waterbuck which attract  predators like lions and leopards. You will find the game drives in the northern part of Akagera very interesting!



Parks & Places:
Discover Kigali
Discover Akagera NP

Special interest:
Wildlife Viewing
Rwanda Birding

MIDRANGE (***): Akagera Game Lodge, Karenge Bush Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp 
HIGH-END (****): Magashi Camp

More information on Rwanda Recommended Accommodations

ROAD MAP (Estimates): 
Kigali – Akagera (Park HQ): 116 Kms - 3h00

Kigali Airport - Akagera: 00h35.

  • Itinerary
    Rwanda Wildlife Tour (Akagera National Park)

    Day 01: Transfer to Akagera and game drive in the giraffe valley.
    Day 02: Boat trip Lake Ihema and exploration of the Akagera Lakes.
    Day 03: Explore the heights of Mutumba and have a game drive on the plain of Kilala.
    Day 04: Walk the line excursion and transfer to Kigali for departure

  • Day 1
    Transfer to Akagera via Kayonza

    Pick up at your hotel in Kigali. You will drive for 3 hours to Akagera NP, via Kayonza to the Eastern part of Rwanda. Check-in, have lunch and enjoy some relaxing moments. Then in the afternoon you will start your discovery with a game drive and a visit to the giraffe valley. There is an interesting story to be told about the Masai giraffes and the giraffe valley. 

    The giraffes of Akagera NP were trans-located from Kenya in January 1986. The 2 males and 4 females Masai giraffes were captured near Lake Magadi (Kenya) and transported by plane B-747 from Nairobi to Kigali. The giraffes were first put in an enclosure on the peninsula of Rurama. One night on Christmas 1987, they escaped because the barrier was broken down by elephants. The giraffes crossed the Kiyonza ridges and settled on the plain of Nyamwashama, which has since then been named “The Giraffe Valley”. The first baby giraffe was born in 1988 and the second a year later. There are now more than 150 giraffes in Akagera.  

    In the evening you will have a night game drive. Guided night drives start at sunset and are a fantastic way to close your long day. Night drives offer the best chance of seeing nocturnal wildlife, from lions to leopards which are among the most sought-after sightings! Night drives are operated with the park’s modified safari vehicle.

    Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

    Masai Giraffes (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
    Yellow-billied Oxpecker on Giraffe leg
    Masai Giraffes (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
  • Day 2
    Boat trip on Lake Ihema and discover of the beautiful Lakes.

    After an early breakfast,  your exploration starts with a boat trip on Lake Ihema which is very rewarding for seeing large numbers of hippos, huge Nile crocodiles and many birds. Birders are likely to see African Fish Eagle, Open-bill stork, African Jacana, Golliath Heron, Paryrus gonolec and many other species. 
    After the boat trip, you will continue your exploration along the lakes Kivumba, Hago, Mihindi and Rwanyakizinga.  

    If you are interested in conservation,  we propose you a Behind the Scenes tour  which offers an opportunity to learn about the conservation developments in Akagera National Park. It includes meeting people close to the park management. This is a perfect opportunity to know more about the re-introduction of lions , black rhino and the elephant project. You will also meet the team that is in charge of managing the park. 

    We have more information on the park’s development in the the following videos:

    - In 2015, seven lions were reintroduced. Find out more.
    - In 2017, eighteen eastern black rhinos were re-introduced. Find out more.

    Meals and overnight at your accommodation.

  • Day 03
    Day excursion to the Kilala Plain

    You will wake up early in the morning and leave after breakfast for another day of game drives.

    This time, you will start with a visit to the heights of Mutumba, the highest point of the park. You will have a view on the Akagera lakes and the Karagwe mountains in Tanzania. You will continue to the plain of Kilala scouting for lions and leopards. Then you descend to the Lake area where you will have a pick-nick lunch on edge of one of the beautiful lakes. In the afternoon you will drive back to the lodge. 

    Meals and overnight at your accommodation.  

    Leopard (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
    Leopard (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
  • Day 04
    Walk the Line excursion and transfer to Kigali for departure

    After breakfast start with the Walk the Line excursion. 

    In 2013, a 120km boundary fence was built and it's fully electrified using solar power. You will walk around the fence with a ranger-guide. This activity starts at the park entrance and is about 7 kilometers long, it takes visitors into the hills. When you come to the end, you will be on top of a ridge that enjoys spectacular views in every direction. 

    Your driver-guide will then pick you up for a last game drive in the giraffe valley where there is always something new to see. 

    You return to the accommodation for a hot lunch and then you will be transferred to Kigali your departure.

    We do hope this has been a memorable tour of Rwanda’s only savannah park!

    View on Akagera Lakes from Mutumba Heights (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
    View on Akagera Lakes from Mutumba Heights (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
    View on Akagera Lakes from Mutumba Heights (Akagera National Park Rwanda)
    Kilala Plain (Akagera National Park Rwanda)

Your lifetime experience

This safari idea can be tailor-made to create a unique holiday for you. With our intimate knowledge of both Rwanda and Uganda, we look forward to designing and organizing a personalised and memorable holiday.

Contact us for a free quote

The Tour package includes: Airport transfers, accommodation, all meals, plenty of mineral water, the services of a driver-guide, all park and entry fees, all activities as per programme: Boat trip Lake Ihema, Behind the scenes and walk the line excursion.  

It Excludes: International airline ticket, beverages, tips, visas and personal expenses. 

What to bring with you? Money for your personal expenses, outfit with adapted colours for wildlife observation, good walking shoes, raingear, a few long-sleeve shirts, slippers, sweater for cool evenings, sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sun cream, video/photo camera, a 200 mm or longer telepholens is very usefull, reserve batteries, films and a torch.

Rwanda Visa & Travel Requirments: Find out more.

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