Boat trips in Akagera national park
Akagera National park is the ideal place to be for any tourist who wishes to experience the ultimate East African wildlife safari in Rwanda. The national park has sowered above its dark past of forest destruction, mismanagement, and extinction of some wildlife animals. Now, Akagera national park shelters a wide variety of wildlife animals and including the highly sought after Big Five.
The national park was established in 1934 and covers 1,122km² of land, thus making it the largest and oldest national park in Rwanda. The park is currently being managed by the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks, a non-government organization.
Visitors who have visited Akagera will attest to the fact that the national park is rich in bio-diversity, with a large base of flora and fauna species. The park is home to over 500 bird species, with 8,000 large animals including; about 22 lions, over 80 giraffes and more than 100 African bush elephants. The national park offers its visitors activities such as; day and night game drives, fishing, hiking and nature walks, lazy camping, and birding tours.
Akagera national park also offers its guests boat trips. Visitors can explore the lakes in the national park along their surrounding islands, and existent wildlife that inhibit the lake waters and shores.
Exploring Akagera national park on a boat is and exciting and adventurous activity. Majority of the boat trips in Akagera are conducted on Lake Ihema. The lake is located in the southern part of the national park and is one of the biggest out of the 10 lakes in the park.
Lake Ihema covers a surface area of about 90 square kilometers, and is approximately 5-7 meters deep. The eastern part of the lake lies on Rwanda’s border with Tanzania. The lake is fed by the famous River Kagera, which feeds most of the lakes in the national park.
Boat trips on Lake Ihema give visitors a chance to explore the rich biodiversity in and around the lake. While on a boat trip on Lake Ihema in Akagera national park, visitors are able to see wildlife animals like hippopotami and crocodiles. The lake is well known for having the largest hippo concentration in all of East Africa.
In addition to this, visitors can also view lots of bird species such as; the Papyrus Gonolek, jacanas, herons, sandpipers, malachite kingfisher, the hawk, and the rare shoebill stork among so many more.
Visitors can do some fishing on the lake after a short boat trip. The most common fish species caught in Lake Ihema is tilapia. However, most sport fishing activities in Akagera national park are conducted on Lake Shakani, and visitors are allowed to come along with your own fishing equipment.
Lake Ihema in Akagera national park is mainly characterized by relatively large seasonal and perennial papyrus swamps. It is in these swamps that visitors have a high chance of sighting the rare and highly sought after Shoebill Stork.
There is a lot of water hyacinth on Lake Ihema and this is actually one of the major threats to the lake. The existence of water hyacinth on the lake threatens the livelihood of many aquatic mammals, as well as birds. The water hyacinth also affects the easy movement of boats on the lake, and also affects the quality of water in the lake.
The lake is also connected to most of the swamps in Akagera national park and the Akagera River, also known as Kagera River.
Most boat trips in Akagera National Park are scheduled, with boat trips conducted four times a day at 7:30am and 9am in the morning, 3pm and at 4:30pm in the evening. However, there are also non-scheduled boat trips available in the national park for visitors who wish to take private tours.
Visitors who wish to go on a boat trip in Akagera national park will have to pay USD 45 dollars per person for the evening boat trips, and USD 35 dollars for the morning trips.
Akagera national park also offers accommodation to visitors staying on longer tours in the park. These lodging facilities offer guests a wide variety of services and accommodation options ranging from budget, mid-range and luxury. Accommodation options within the national park include; Akagera Game Lodge, Magashi Safari Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp, and Karenge Bush Camp.
Visitors planning to travel to Akagera can access the national park by road from Kigali City, which is about 110km from the City Centre. Visitors travelling to the national park are advised to hire 4×4 wheel drive safari vehicles for easy movement to and from the park.
Contact us for any inquires and book with us a wildlife safari to Akagera National Park.