Akagera & Nyungwe National Park Safari- Rwanda Safaris.
Akagera & Nyungwe National Park Safari: A tour to Akagera National Park in Rwanda can be combined with a trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Rwanda Safaris to either of the two national parks are quite common, with most visitors choosing to do a game drive in Akagera and then trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park.
Akagera National Park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda, along its border with Tanzania. The national park sits on 433 square miles of land and was founded in 1934. Most of the park features savannah, montane and swamp vegetation.
The national park derives its name from River Kagera which flows through the national park and on-wards into Uganda. Most Akagera national park is dominated by swamps, marshland, savannah grasslands, woodland, forests, lakes and rivers. The national park has a total of 10 lakes that are located in different areas within the park, with the most popular ones being; Lakes Ihema, Shakani, and Rwanyakazinga among others.
The southern gate of the national park is situated in Kayonza district while the northern gate, which is an exit only, is located in the district of Nyagatare. The park previously covered 2,500 square kilometers of land but most of it was destroyed following the return of refugees who had fled the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
Although a lot was lost in Akagera national park, the park has managed to revive from its tragic past following the formation of Akagera Management Company which manages the national park. The company was formed after a joined agreement was made between Rwanda Development Board and African Parks, a non-government conservation agency that oversees the management of other national parks in Africa.
Visitors on a wildlife safari in Akagera national park can take part in a number of activities that are offered by the park, which include; a guided day or night game drive, a boat cruise on Lake Ihema, sport fishing on Lake Shakani, birding, behind the scenes Akagera tour, walk the line tour, camping, and a community visit to mention but a few.
There is so much for tourists to see during their visit to the national park and these include sighting stunning wildlife like; lions, elephants, hippos, baboons, buffalos, zebras, impala, hyenas, giraffes, antelopes, leopards, and Sitatunga among others. The national park also has more than 480 bird species, some of which include; the African Open-bill stock, the rare shoebill stork, papyrus Gonolek, Grey Crowned Crane and so many more.
In addition to this, visitors who wish to spend a night or more in Akagera National Park can stay in the following accommodation facilities located within the national park, and these include; Akagera Game Lodge, Magashi Safari Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp, and Karenge Bush Camp to mention but a few. There are also designated camping sites that are located within the national park for visitors interested in camping, and these include; Shakani Akagera Campsite, Mutumba Campsite, and Muyumbu campsite.
From Akagera National Park, visitors can travel to Nyungwe Forest National Park which is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda. The national park was established in 2004 and covers about 970 square kilometers of land. It is part of the renowned Nyungwe Forest. Most of the national park is composed of bamboo, grasslands, rainforest, swamps and bogs.
Nyungwe Forest National Park contains 13 distinct primate species, including chimpanzees and monkey species like the vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and the red-tailed monkeys among others, about 275 bird species, 1068 plant species, 85 species of mammals, 32 amphibian species and 38 reptile species.
Visitors in Nyungwe national park can take park in any of the activities offered by the national park such as; Chimpanzee trekking, a hike to Isumo waterfalls, Nyungwe canopy walk, birding, forest hiking, the Congo Nile Trail, and golden monkey tracking to mention but a few.
Most visitors travel to Nyugwe national park to track its habituated chimpanzees that inhabit its dense forests. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest national park is a major highlight of most visits to the national park and is best done in Cyamudongo forest and Nyungwe forest.
A chimpanzee tracking permit in Nyungwe National Park costs USD 60 dollars per person and the activities lasts between 2- 6 hours. Tracking begins at exactly 8 am from three major points which are; Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura.
Visitors interesting in chimpanzee trekking activities in Nyungwe national park should endeavor to be at the park by 5am for registration and a briefing from the head ranger in the park.
Visiting looking to spend a longer period of time in Nyungwe national park can find accommodation in the following facilities; Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Gisakura Guest House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, One & Only Nyungwe House, and Nyungwe Nziza Eco Lodge among others.
Visitors can then proceed with their transfer back to Kigali city for a brief tour of the city before proceeding to Kigali International Airport for to catch your return flight back home.