Rwanda, a haven for safari enthusiasts, boasts a remarkable array of wildlife. From the iconic mountain gorillas and playful chimpanzees to the captivating golden monkeys, hippos, giraffes, zebras, leopards, crocodiles, and over 600 bird species, the country is teeming with biodiversity. With ten percent of Rwanda designated as Important Birding Areas, it is a paradise for birdwatchers.
The landscapes of Rwanda are equally captivating. The eastern borders are adorned with expansive plains and tranquil lakes, while the western mountains are cloaked in lush forests. The Volcanoes National Park showcases a mosaic of montane ecosystems, including bamboo and woodland forests, heathlands, and swamps. It is within these diverse habitats that the majestic mountain gorillas thrive, alongside 12 other primate species.
To protect these incredible creatures, ten habituated gorilla groups are available for tourist visits. Each group accommodates a maximum of eight visitors per day, allowing for an intimate and immersive experience. Spending a precious one-hour period with these gentle giants creates memories that will last a lifetime.
Rwanda’s commitment to wildlife conservation and habitat preservation is evident in the incredible safari experiences it offers. Explore the enchanting landscapes, witness rare wildlife encounters, and immerse yourself in the wonders of nature in this extraordinary destination.
Wildlife in Akagera.
Akagera National Park in Rwanda offers an unforgettable safari experience, with an abundance of wildlife and unique conservation success stories. In 2015, seven lions were reintroduced to the park from South Africa, and since then, the population has grown to 22 lions, including 15 cubs. Additionally, 18 endangered Eastern black rhinoceroses were successfully translocated and released into the park in 2017, further enhancing its conservation efforts.
The park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with nearly 200 bird species, including 29 endemics, making it their home. You can also encounter a variety of other fascinating animals, such as the giant forest hog, warthog, bush pig, forest elephant, buffalo, bushbuck, waterbuck, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyena, civet, genet, mongoose, and tree hyrax.
For an extraordinary adventure, consider staying at Ruzizi Tented Lodge, where you can enjoy stylish safari tents situated in a stunning lakeside setting. Overlooking Ihema Crater Lake, Akagera Game Lodge offers a paradise-like experience with its unique and comfortable self-contained rooms. The park also provides camping sites for those seeking a more immersive experience in nature.
Located in northeastern Rwanda along the Tanzanian border, Akagera National Park was established in 1934. It is approximately a 2½ hour drive from Kigali, and a 4WD vehicle with high clearance is essential for exploring the park’s network of dirt roads. While there are no domestic flights to Akagera, Akagera Aviation offers charter helicopter transfers for convenient transportation within the country.
When planning your visit, consider the visa options available. The single entry visa allows you to stay in Rwanda for 30 days, while the transit visa is suitable for a three-day stay. If you plan to explore multiple East African countries, the East African Tourists Visa grants you access to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Make sure to attach the required documentation, such as your tour itinerary or invitation letter, when applying for the visa.
In terms of costs, the park entrance fee is $50 per day per person. Freelance guides and park guides charge $25 for a half-day safari game drive and $40 for a full-day drive. Having a guide is recommended as they possess valuable knowledge about the animals’ whereabouts, ensuring a rewarding safari experience.