Game Drives in Akagera National Park
Game drives in Akagera National Park: Akagera national park is a wildlife park in Rwanda and the only wildlife park in the country. Rwanda has 3 major national parks that is Volcanoes national park where you can visit the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, the Nyungwe forest national park where you can visit the chimpanzees and a number of the smaller primates and the Akagera national park where you can take on a number of activities with the game drives standing out. Akagera national park is the oldest of the 3 national parks of Rwanda. It is a home to over 8,000 large mammals among these is the rhinos that were reintroduced into the park.
The Akagera national park is situated in the eastern part of Rwanda sharing a border with Tanzania. The major vegetation of the park is savannah plains, swampy vegetation, low mountain area with woodlands. This park boosts of a number of wildlife like the zebras, lions, eastern black rhinoceros among the many. There are 500 plus different bird species in the Akagera national park with the rare shoebill stork.
Akagera national park is divided into two sectors. The northern and southern sector which both has a special animal on their circuits during the game drives. The northern circuit is famously known to have the big numbers of the smaller game while the southern sector is where the large animals and most accommodations are located.
Game drives of Akagera national park are run by the Akagera management company (AMC). The AMC is a company that was established to manage the national park and its resources and this came from the joint agreement between the African parks and the Rwanda Development Bank coming up with a group of board members from both parties. This agreement has brought more life to the park as the conservation efforts have been emphasized and enforced also the company has created employment opportunities for the local people of the area. The numbers of wildlife has also multiplied over the years since 2010 when the company took control of the park. This company’s achievements include reintroduction of 7 lions in 2015 after their became extinct about 20 years ago, poaching numbers have lowered significantly, better infrastructural structures have been set up, over 220 locals have been employed by the park and also reintroduction of the black rhinos in 2019.
The Akagera national park receives a great number of tourists looking to do game drives as the main activity. The game drives in Akagera have three sessions that is the morning half day game drive, the afternoon game drive and a night game drive. The morning game drive starts from 6:30 am to 11:30 am then the afternoon 12 pm to 5pm then the night drives start from 5:30 pm and end at around 8pm to 8:30 pm. The night game drives are only done in the southern part of the park. Night game drives are carried out by the AMC vehicles that pick you up from your hotel and drop you off back to your accommodation at the end of the safari.
Games drives in Akagera national park are charged according to half day or full day. The full day game drives are from 6:30 am to 5pm. The park entry fees are inclusive of a self-drive game drive but if you would prefer a guide from Akagera, you can pick one up at the Akagera reception before 9 am and dropped back after 5 hours and that is considered as a half day game drive. If you pick up the guide after 9 am, you will be charged the full day rate unless you drop the guide before midday. Also guides picked up after midday will be charged the half day rate.
Game viewing is best recommended for the morning hours and the evening hours when the temperatures are abit cool and the animals are out on a hunt for food. Entry fees are charged in different categories that is adults or kids, citizens or foreign residents. The children below the age of 5 can access the Akagera national park for free and all activities can be enjoyed for free. Status to qualify for an exemption must be verified by a document or normal fees will apply.
The AMC operated day game drives are charged as follows; the half day game drive that is a 5 hour drive, inclusive of a driver guide, vehicle goes for 180 USD while the full day game drive I charged 280 USD with a maximum of seven people. The night game drive is a 2 and a half game drive that is charged 40 USD for the adults and 25 USD for the children from age 6 to 12 years.
The self-drive game drive in Akagera national park is catered for on the park entry fee but I you would like a guide from Akagera, you will have to part with 25 USD per guide for half-day that is 5 hours or 40 USD for the full day game drive.
There are many more activities that one can engage in while in Akagera National Park like boat rides, birding, fishing, behind the scenes tour, walks the line and cultural experiences which we can arrange for you once you contact us.