National Parks

Akagera National Park in Rwanda

The Akagera National Park is one of central Africa’s last-remaining refuges for endemic savannah wildlife in Rwanda and the largest protected wetland in the region.

African Parks Expeditions

We’ve teamed up with African Parks, a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the responsibility for the rehabilitation and management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. Experience remote areas of Africa on one of our partner expeditions and directly support African Parks conservation efforts.

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Conservation

Everything you need to know about Akagera National Park

Imagine endless grassy plains encircled by rugged cliffs and ravines with more than 12,000 of Africa’s largest animals and 482 bird species calling it home. The Akagera National Park is one of central Africa’s last-remaining refuges for endemic savannah wildlife in Rwanda and the largest protected wetland in the region. Under Ker & Downey® Africa’s conservation partner African Parks, 18 Eastern black rhinos are protected as they trample the ground, large prides of lions prowl their territory without a risk of being poached, and tourists are able to contribute to the continued conservation work undertaken by our partners. The biggest draw for adventurers visiting Akagera is the connectivity between the park and the local villages – the national park provides employment for local communities, who in turn are helping to introduce countless new wildlife species to Akagera each year.

Photo credit | Sarah Hall

Where is the reserve located?

Akagera National Park is just a two hour drive from Kigali, in eastern Rwanda, close to the border with neighbouring Tanzania. Rwanda’s only Big 5 national park occupies 1,200 kilometres squared, every metre of which is protected by local rangers passionate about conserving the future of African wildlife. The terrain within the park is varied, with thick woodland, steaming swamps, rugged mountains and endless savannah plains, each home to thousands of wild animals.

Conservation

Under African Parks’ conservation efforts, Akagera National Park has emerged as a safe haven for Africa’s most at risk wildlife. In 2017, African Parks reintroduced 18 Eastern black rhinos from South Africa after they had disappeared in 2007. Lions were also reintroduced into Akagera in 2015 after they were hunted out in the 1990s, and in 2016 the prides of lions produced 11 cubs. Within the past six years, tourism revenues have increased 300%, with $1.4M in 2016 being donated to local community initiatives. African Parks has also reinvigorated local interest in the conservation of wildlife, with more than 1,300 school children visiting the park each year and more than 50% of visitors coming from Rwanda.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

Akagera National Park’s wildlife is as wild and varied as its terrain. Visitors come to the park to see its small population of Eastern black rhinos that were reintroduced into Akagera by African Parks from South Africa in 2017. Several large prides of lions were reintroduced in 2015 by our conservation partner after being hunted out in the 1990s, and over 12,000 animals, mammals and 482 bird species call the park home. Africa’s Big 5 can be found roaming across Akagera – lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and rhinoceros, alongside countless zebra, red-faced barbet, giraffe, crocodiles, eland and antelope.

Top experiences to enjoy at Akagera National Park

If you wanted to visit a national park that is committed to conserving Africa’s rarest and most spectacular wildlife, then Akagera National Park under the protection of African Parks will not disappoint. Game drives across the varied landscapes of the park are not to be missed as expert guides take you in the tracks of predators following their prey, and walking safaris bring you up close and personal with some of the world’s largest animals. Taking a boat ride across the hippo and crocodile-infested waters of the vast Lake Ihema is a highlight of any visit to the park, as is joining locals fishing for catfish amongst snorting hippos on Lake Shakani.

When to visit

If you wanted to visit a national park that is committed to conserving Africa’s rarest and most spectacular wildlife, then Akagera National Park under the protection of African Parks will not disappoint. Game drives across the varied landscapes of the park are not to be missed as expert guides take you in the tracks of predators following their prey, and walking safaris bring you up close and personal with some of the world’s largest animals. Taking a boat ride across the hippo and crocodile-infested waters of the vast Lake Ihema is a highlight of any visit to the park, as is joining locals fishing for catfish amongst snorting hippos on Lake Shakani.

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