Driving in a 4X4 safari jeep with a pop-up roof for easy viewing, you shall explore the open plains, bushes, and woodlands to see a variety of animals and other wildlife in Akagera. Animals that you may not miss on your Akagera National Park safari include buffaloes, elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, monkeys and many species of antelope among others. The park also has a large wetland system consisting of many lakes and swamps. You will do a boat safari on the park’s largest lake Ihema and you will see crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards and many water birds.
Your tour guide/driver shall pick you from your hotel or residence in Kigali at 7 am and you will depart for Akagera National Park. The travel time from Kigali to Akagera is about 2.5 hours. Prior to checking into your lodge, you shall do a short game drive to spot some animals and enjoy the amazing scenery. The southern part of Akagera National Park which is the arrival point and offers your first game drive is covered mostly by acacia thickets and woodlands which is not favorable habitat for most grazing animals. Expect to see some impala, zebra, reedbuck, giraffe, baboons, black-faced vervet monkeys among others. However, the most exciting prospect in the south of Akagera national park is the Rhino! The rhinos live in this part of the park which is the natural habitat for them and if lucky may see them.
After lunch, you shall go out for the boat cruise on Lake Ihema at 3 pm. Lake Ihema is the largest lake in the park and second-largest in Rwanda. The boat cruise will provide among other sightings: hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards and plenty of water birds.
Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner
Upmarket: Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
Budget: Akagera Rhino Lodge (located outside the park)
After early breakfast, check out of the lodge by 6.30am and set off for the full safari in Akagera taking about 6 hours. Driving along the main game track, from the south of the park to the north and exit, you shall go through a range of habitats from acacia thickets, woodland, bushes and savanna grassland, which will provide a variety of animals and wildlife and varied scenery. Along the drive, you shall make stops at swamps and lakeshores to watch water animals and birds and also take in the beautiful scenery. The most notable stop is the “hippo beach” where schools of hippos and groups of crocodile can be found basking in the shallows of the swamps. Continuing on the main track you will finally get to the Kilala plains in the north of the park. The Kilala plains have a high concentration of animals and are the main game watching area of the park. Almost without trees, this expanse of beautiful savanna grasslands hosts large herds of grazing animals and provides for uninterrupted views. Some of the common animals here include buffaloes, zebra, topi, impala, elephants, warthogs. The abundance of antelopes and other grazing animals makes the plains a favorite hunting ground for the lions and hyenas among other predators. In the fringes of the plains are woodlands and thickets where browsers such as the giraffes and elephants can be seen. Predators such as the lions are often found taking shelter from the afternoon heat under trees, satisfied from the successful morning hunt in the Kilala plains!
After the game drive shall have picnic lunch, exit the park and travel back to Kigali.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch (packed)