The Park was gets its name from the Akagera River which flows along the Eastern boundary pouring its water into Lake Ihema and several other small lakes. This park comprises savannah and swamp habitats. Almost a third of this park is lakes and linking papyrus swamps which makes it the largest protected wetland in East-Central Africa.
The Park was a great habitat for many animals including the black rhinos (from Tanzania). Additionally, Masai giraffes were an addition from Kenya in 1986. Also, there were over 300 lions and a large population of African wild dogs. However, these dogs later diminished by a disease pandemic in 1984.
The Rwanda Genocide
The outbreak of 1994 Rwanda Genocide was also a great blow to the Akagera National Park as its known large diversity perished. Unfortunately, the park lost the entire animal population due to poaching. This was because the Rwanda returnees that had fled to the neighboring countries were looking for settlement.
The Akagera National Park became history. However, in 2009, there was an agreement between the Rwanda Development with the African Parks Network for joint management of this Park. In addition, there was an increase in security and re-introduction of locally extinct animal species.
There was construction of the Western boundary fence (about 120km (74.6miles)) for tight security of the park. Additionally, there was deploying of an air surveillance helicopter and training of an expert rhino tracking. A protection team and canine anti-poaching unit were deployed all in the favor of the park.
Introduction of animals in the park
The park re-existed more as 7 lions were introduced and released into the park from South Africa and these became the first lions in Rwanda since the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. But as you read this now, the park now has over 40 lions and still multiplying.
Five more lions were introduced in the park. These were donated from Phinda Private Game Reserve. Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal also donated 2 male lions.
In 2019, Akagera National Park furthermore received 5 eastern black Rhinoceros from 3 different zoos. These were the Dvurkravole zoo from the Czech Republic, Flamingo Land from the UK, and the Ree Park Safari from Denmark.
Currently, Akagera National Park is now a complete home for the big 5 animals as far as wildlife is concerned (African Leopard, African bush elephants, Rhinoceros, African buffaloes, and the lions) Akagera National Park is now a fully Tourism site which every tourist would wish to visit before and after leaving Rwanda.
Activities in Akagera National Park
How to reach Akagera National Park
Going to the park is very easy. Fly to Kigali International Airport and Akagera Aviation is readily available with flights from and to the Park.
Safari vehicles are also available and it’s only a 3hour drive from Kigali city to the Park.
When to visit Akagera National Park?
East Africa has got the most favorable weather conditions. Both the dry and wet yearly seasons are moderate in Rwanda. Therefore you can travel at any time of the year.
For bookings, please contact us anytime.
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