Akagera National Park Rwanda
Akagera National Park – There is something magical about this park and the people in it. Its landscape is splendid, with wide views over lakes, escarpments, rolling mountains, savannah plains, and wetlands. Found in the northeastern region of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania, Akagera is one of the very few places in Africa where you stand a good chance of finding Shoebills and Sitatunga.
In the wet season, it is as green as lime and radiant like gold in dry seasons. The park supports developing and educating the surrounding communities in an effort to provide them sustainable sources of income.
Most birders a special inclination towards it for its 500 bird species highlighted by a thriving population of Red-Faced Barbets, Miombo Wren-Warblers, Shoebill Stork, Papyrus Gonolek, Bennett’s Woodpecker, African fish eagles, and Lilac-breasted rollers among others.
Although it has all members of the Big 5, Akagera isn’t like Serengeti or Masai Mara reserve, it is solid in its own right.
In the early 1990s, Akagera suffered a catastrophic inter-human conflict that zeroed down its wildlife population by over 40 %. Among the worst affected animals were the predators especially lions, over 80 of which were poisoned.
In an effort to enable the park to regain its lost glory, massive sensitization of locals was undertaken. Lots of wildlife were also translocated into the park from different parts of Africa.
This has played a key role in repopulating the park, enabling it to quickly grow from strength to strength. This can be seen in the tremendous increase in varieties of wildlife species across its valleys and flat landscape. It has hundreds of topics, zebras, waterbucks, giraffes, roan antelope, elands, lions, cape buffalos, impalas, elephants, antelopes, and leopards.
It takes about five hours to drive through its vast expanse of 1,122 sq km which is interconnected by a network of well-maintained paths.
You will notice that there are very few vehicles. Similarly, the guides linked by radios don’t charge after every sighting as the park has enough to offer in every square kilometer.
The two hours boat tour on Lake Ihema is highly recommended for avid birders. Among the places you will visit includes an island mainly occupied by birds and crocodiles. Along the shores of the lakes, you will find hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, storks, and grey crown crested cranes among others. The best part of the trip was the sunset boat tour.
Boat Trips occur 4 times per day at 7.30 am, 9 am 3.30 pm, and 5 pm. If you wish to have a Non-scheduled, private trip, we are happy to help you organize and plan a trip whenever you are ready.
Best time to visit – Akagera National Park
Thanks to the zero rate of poaching and migration, Akagera provides fruitful excursions throughout the year. However, if you wish to visit it when it is less crowded, weekdays provide a better experience. The park is busier at weekends.
Nyamirambo Women’s Centre Tours-Kigali City
The Nyamirambo Women’s Centre is a local self-help group formed by local women and with the support of women from other countries. Its purpose is to get them better employment opportunities. Over time, it has grown it a big success story, led to the establishment of a library, hairdressing shops, and communal water fountain.
They use this tour to give tourists a sense of real-life in Kigali City, the hilliest capital in East Africa. It takes hours, offering you a firsthand feel of how a majority of Kigali residents live.
The guide will give you a short but much-appreciated insight about Rwandese delivered with warmth, true local knowledge.
As you explore the different neighborhoods, you will meet lots of locals and get to know their daily life along the way. The women are usually at work in the shops and happy to tell you more about what they make. Such include quality handmade crafts like baskets, necklaces, bags.