Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park
4.5
National Parks • Nature & Wildlife Areas
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6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
Just two hours from Kigali, Akagera National Park is situated in the eastern province of Rwanda, on the border with Tanzania. The park covers an area of approximately 1,100 km² encompassing a unique and picturesque park, with rich diversity in wildlife and environments. The mountainous western boundary reaches altitudes of nearly 2000 metres in the Mutumba hills region, these highlands provide spectacular views over the expanse of lakes and papyrus swamps to the east, the largest protected wetland in Central Africa. On a national scale the Akagera region is an important area for large mammals in the country as the only protected savannah environment in Rwanda, complimenting the humid forests of Nyungwe National Park in the south of Rwanda and the afro-alpine habitats of Volcanoes National Park in the north. Akagera has an inspiring conservation story, under the public private partnership between conservation non-profit African Parks and the Rwanda Development Board.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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  • Kevin RS
    Chicago, Illinois76 contributions
    An incredible safari in Akagera - highly recommended
    I have been on multiple safaris in South Africa, but this was my first outside of there. It was an incredibly beautiful park. Even if there were no animals, the park would definitely have been worth a visit, the animals just made it that much better We had a driver pick us up early in Kigali and drive us to Akagera for an overnight stay and back the next night. I would NOT recommend driving in Rwanda on your own, better to hire a guide. The number of people along the roads is intimidating. We found our guide, Jeanneret Imanishimwe online and he was amazing! He rented a large SUV (definitely get a big one), and spent from early morning until late the next night for the Akagera trip. We were there in rainy season, and there were some patches of mud that I am glad I did not have to drive through. I'm happy to refer him if you need a guide for anywhere in Rwanda We also hired a guide (Phoebe) in the park that drove with us, She was very good, and knew the right roads. In our one day (left the lodge at 6:30 am and exited the park at 4:30pm) we saw 4 of the Big 5 (didn't see a leopard). Our best sighting was spending about 45 minutes with 2 white rhinos very near the car. There wasn't as much diversity of animals compared to South Africa, but the volume and the views made up for that. We ended the day in a large valley with literally thousands of animals all together: Cape Buffalo, Topi, Impala, Zebras, lions, giraffes, elephants and more.... endless views of animals-- which is how I imagine the Serengeti to be. We also went on the boat tour in the park which was fantastic! We saw so many hippos and crocs as well as incredible birds. We were lucky to see elephants and cape buffalo on the banks of the lake. We stayed at Ruzizi Lodge which was great (I will leave a separate review there). If you are in Rwanda, I think two days for an Akagera visit is well worth it.
    Written December 16, 2022
  • Jennifer H
    39 contributions
    Fantastic safari
    Akagera was my first time safari experience and I wasn't disappointed. Over 3/4 days we saw lions, zebra, hippo, rhinos, leopards, elephant, giraffe and much more - all of the big 5 were ticked off. The park is small, and I'd thoroughly recommend taking a guide rather than self-drive as you need to know where to go and how to spot the animals, but it was very quiet. I was expecting lots of cars and a busy atmosphere, but it felt like we had the park to ourselves. The guides were excellent, full of knowledge - we had Anastas for most of our game drives, ask for him, he is great! We were worried about the weather going in October, but it was fine and I'm sure a bit quieter than high season, I'd thoroughly recommend this time of the year.
    Written October 29, 2022
  • Kenosky Hills
    Port Harcourt, Nigeria721 contributions
    It was awesome to see the animals interacting in their natural habitat
    Zebras, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Buffalos, Baboons, Giraffes, Elephants, Topis, Rock Climbers, Impalas, Water bucks, Monkeys, Warthogs and numerous burd species were observed in nature and it was a wonder to behold. We saw three of the big 5 (Buffalo, Rhino & Elephant), as it wasn't a day for the Lions and Leopard. Definitely a tour that will be recommended for families though with a caveat to ask the tour guide to make it shorter if kids are involved. The Zebras will definitely have the kids screaming in joy
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 11, 2022
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chandrassekhar
Mumbai, India114 contributions
Jan 2020
Akagera National Park is situated on the eastern side of Rwanda bordering Tanzania. It takes around two and half hours to three hours drive from Kigali by reserved vehicle. Normally any SUV with one passenger will take around $350-400, however if there are a group of 5/6 people then it is normally charged $190-200 per person, from Kigali. This price includes the park entry fees and packed meal with drinking water. Normally the vehicle picks up the tourist from his/her hotel or place of stay around 5/5.30 am and reaches the park by around 8/8.30am. A trip around the park takes around 4-6 hours, depending on the agreement with the tour operator/guide/driver. And return back to Kigali by evening.
But frankly speaking the hype created around Akagera Natioanl Park by the Rwandan tourist operators and the Rwanda Development Board is not at all worth to explore. This artificially developed park is not worth even one tenth of the money required to visit it. I have not seen any one of the big five animals which is being advertised so much, during my nearly 5 hours trip in the park. And I understand from my driver that he had not seen any of the big five during his last five visits. One of the guides whom I met during my Rwanda trip said that he had never seen any big five, in his ten visits to the park. But the RDB and tour operators promote it so much that they made to believe that it would be a life time experience. To me it was a life time disappointment. I had been to Masai Mara and many other African national parks but Akagera was a complete disheartening experience. However one can see Zebra, Baboon, Giraffe, Impala, Tsessebe etc. in abundance. My honest suggestion will be don’t waste your money just to try your luck. There will always be a big difference between Natural park and artificially developed one.
Written June 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, we're sorry to hear that your visit to Akagera did not match you expectations. Although Akagera is a Big Five park, the newly introduced lions and rhinos are still in relatively small numbers for a park of this size and so sightings are often not as common as people hope for, particularly if you have only a few hours to visit. Elephants number just over 100, but can be easily missed, buffalo numbers have doubled to around 3,500 since 2010, and leopard actually exist in high densities in Akagera however as solitary, nocturnal, animals they are difficult to see. While Rwandan operators and the Government of Rwanda are proud of the conservation achievements made in Akagera, we certianly take your comments on board that the marketing of the park should instead focus on Akagera's advantages. We see these as the parks conservation story; restoring Akagera, securing the park, allowing wildlife populations to recover and engaging the local communities so they can benefit from the development of the park. Akagera has not been 'articifically developed' but existed as a park since 1934. Over the last 10 years it has been managed by a partnership between conservation non-profit organisation, African Parks, and the Government of Rwanda. The diveristy and the scenery of the park are also what sets Akagera apart from other parks regionally. For those looking for the Big Five, Akagera may not be for you, however if you are looking for a diverse wildlife experience, spectacular views, knowledge that your visit is making a contribution to the restoration and protection of the only savannah environment in the country, and the communities around, then we look forward to welcoming you.
Written November 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

punawa
Trier, Germany141 contributions
Oct 2020
Having already visited Kruger (South Africa) and Etosha (Namibia), we did not feel the need to visit Akagera. But because of covid situation and the compulsory 72h testing before entering any national parks, we had to take last minute decision every day. So in the end, we decided to visit the park with little expectations. The park is still super recent and it will take time to grow, so it's useless to compare it to other long-established ones.
In the end, our 24h there were really amazing, we loved it.
We crossed from South to North and we basically so all animals within few kilometers of the northern gate. We have also seen them along the way but the last part was the best.
Plenty of buffaloes (200 easily, in the South and in the North), 20 giraffes during the journey, 3 elephants at the exit gate and a leopard along the road. Plus all the other "smaller" ones you easily spot (impalas etc...).
We left from the reception at 7h30 and decided to drive non stop North till mid-way. It took just 2hrs to reach it. After, we slowed down and enjoyed all the rest of the way.
Road is in perfect shape for most of the time even though it had been down pouring the night before.

Hard work is being done and there is no way this park won't become even better in the next decade.
Written October 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

paul k
Toronto, Canada11 contributions
Dec 2022
we were hosted by Sibo, from LEGENDARY TOURS RWANDA for this great day trip to Akagera NP. Our host was so knowledgeable of all the many creatures were encountered. The park has so many features including lakes, woodlands, green hills so the creatures are in a very unique ecosystem.
Written December 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Matt O
World4 contributions
Mar 2022
Akagera was amazing. Each minute is filled with wonderful wildlife, beautiful scenery, and staggering birds. Every single view is more breathtaking than the last. Watching the sunset as the animals gathered in the plains in the north of the park was the greatest moment of our whole trip (if you have the time, make sure you spend the night at the Karenge Bush Camp). Thank you to every staff member! Everyone was incredible friendly, warm, and welcoming. Beyond just being able to be among the animals and wilderness, Akagera’s (and all of African Parks members) commitment to preservation of the environment is a cause that any traveler can feel great about supporting.
Written April 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Madeline R
2 contributions
Jul 2021
We enjoyed our trip to akagera park.
Tips: take a guide; do a sunset boat trip (saw hippo's, elephant bathing, crocodiles and loads of birds) and a night game drive. Spotted two leopards. One having a close encounter with lots of buffalos.
The park scenery is wonderful, but there isn't a lot of wildlife. This may be a result of us being spoilt by previous trips to Etosha and Masai Mara.
We spotted 5 lions, two pythons, a black mamba, tons of hippo's, some zebra's and giraffe. Blue monkey, velvet monkey, crocodile, buffalo's lots of different antelopes. And some lovely birds.
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tom
41 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
A really nice scenery and there are a couple of wild animals. On your own probably hard to find, so hire a guide. He/she knows where to find the animals and they know a lot about the park. You will have a great time.
We saw some hippo’s, elephants, antilopes, zebra’s, giraffe and crocodile.

That said, you should only go if you are from Rwanda. The prices for Rwandese are $16. A fair price in my opinion. So every Rwandese who can, should go!
The prices for foreigners is $100! That is just a insane amount of money compair to other parks in Africa and the prices payed by Rwandese . We came at 5 o’clock and had to pay for the whole day. We had to get in due our lodge is in the park. The same problem we had with the day we left. We left at 9 o’clock and had to pay for the whole day. With the 2 of us, this means we payed over $400. The people at the reception didn’t want to do anything about it and weren’t that friendly and understandible. So as a foreigner I would recommend if you realy want to go, to do just 1 day. With in mind that the value for money isn’t worth it.
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grace
3 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
Akagera National Park is a beautiful savannah ecosystem which seems infinite in size. The animals here aren’t shy and will hangout around the vehicles allowing extended observations including plenty of picture opportunities! My guide was well-informed and answered most, if not all, of my large groups’ hundreds of questions on the day safari. The night drive safari was an experience I wasn’t prepared for; the guide could spot animals that I would have never found! Hyenas, porcupines, bush babies, etc.... amazing!
My only advice: bring plenty of Dramamine because the uneven roads aren’t easy on the stomach!
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ochuko A
4 contributions
Oct 2022 • Friends
I visited last Saturday, and I had an amazing time here. My friend and I got a private taxi from Kigali, and we were at the park in less than 3 hours. A covid rapid test is required to gain entry to the park. At the park they only accept card payments for all purchases (we didn't know this before we arrived).
The staff there were friendly and helpful. We had an amazing tour guide, Jean (I hope I remembered the name correctly) and driver, they answered all our questions. We saw baboons, impalas, waterbuck antelopes, bufallos, crocodiles (though in the lake), giraffes, zebras, and an elephant. We didn't see a lion though. The tour was about 4 hours, but we didn't get to the end of the park. It's best to go early. We started our tour a few minutes past 12 noon. The tour car was rented at the park.
Written October 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

vdoran01
3 contributions
Jan 2023
An easy day trip from Kigali (although overnight stay will offer more wildlife options). Well maintained park with numerous sightings of big five and much more. Strongly suggest using guide(s). (Mine was excellent - Amani Twagiryezu - Happy Trail Tours (www. happytrailrwanda.com). He was totally professional and knows his country thoroughly.
Written January 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Farfar
Hilversum, The Netherlands793 contributions
Dec 2020
Visited Akagera for the 3rd time and entered for the first time via the Mutumba Northern Gate. Coming from Nyagatare this saved us quite some kilometers to drive to the main entrance in the Soutern part of the park. At the same time you can do more different loops before reaching the southern part with the nice Akagera Game Lodge. Road to Mutumba Northern Gate is excellent and all paved. Game viewing remains nice due to the superb nature of this park. Saw in half a day buffalo, zebra, impala, topi, baboons, wartog, bushbuck, fish eagle, crocodile, hippo, guinea fowl and a large herd of giraf. After a good night sleep in the excellent Akagera Lodge spotted in an early morning drive a leopard and elephant on the way out to the park gate. Roads to/from the park have improved a lot illustrating how much Rwanda Government is doing to attract tourism.
Written January 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Akagera National Park (Eastern Province) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Akagera National Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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