Lake Ihema

Lake Ihema

Lake Ihema

Lake Ihema is located in the Akagera national park a place where the big five animals in Rwanda call home. In order to access Lake Ihema, one should first access Akagera national park which is one of the, most rewarding national parks in Rwanda aside from Volcanoes national park and Nyungwe National park. There are many activities in Akagera national park that can be carried and a number of attractions that can be seen to ensure that you have an exciting trip.

Accessing akagera national park

In order to visit Lake Ihema on your Rwanda tour, you should first access Akagera national park because the lake is found within the national park. Akagera national park is found in the eastern part of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. 

The Akagera National Park can be accessed by road transport where after your flight to Kigali International Airport you will get road transport means to the park. And depending on your location you can access the different gates that is the northern or the southern gates. From Kigali city, you will be able to reach the park within two and a half hours because of the distance from the city to the park, it is about 110km. For self-drive tourists, it is advisable to use private means of road transport because public transport means like buses, it will take a long time to reach the park.

Still, for self-drive tourists, it is advisable for them to hire a guide once they access the park, a guide who can be hired at the park entrance who will be knowledgeable about the park in order for you to have an exciting trip in the park. While on your way to tour Lake Ihema, you will have added benefits where you will participate in other activities and see a number of attractions in akagera national park which are as follows.

Tracking the big five animals

Akagera national park is the only place where you can find the big five animals in Rwanda. It boasts of all the big five animals that is the leopard, lion, buffalos, rhinos, elephants and the buffalo that can be seen during the game drives. Interested in visiting akagera national park to see all the big five animals, you will have the most exciting adventure because of the size of the park it will give you ease to see the animal species in the shortest time possible which is not the case in some parks that have the big five animals. Therefore if you are interested in seeing the big five animals then choose Akagera National park so that you have an amazing experience.

Game drives

In Akagera national park, you will have the chance to carry out game drives where you will see a number of game animals. Interesting about the game drives you can have the morning game drive in the park and the nocturnal game drives where you will see a number of animals in the morning game drives but for nocturnal animals, you will have a chance to see them in the nocturnal game drives where you will see a number of hyenas, lions trying hard to catch prey for their dinner which is such a nice display to catch. Some of the animals that cannot be seen during the day can be seen in the nocturnal game drives.

Other attractions and activities that can be carried out include the cultural encounters that can be carried out in the Humure refugee village and the Inema crafts village where you will see the culture of Rwanda that is explained through art, the Humure refugee village will teach you a number of cultural values in Rwanda that is their traditional dress code, food among other interesting cultural attributes. Visiting akagera national park will enable you have a great time because it is one of the Rwanda tour packages that will ensure you have a great time in the country but among the activities and attractions that can be seen in the park, one to point out is Lake Ihema which will offer amazing experiences in the park.

Lake Ihema

Lake Ihema is found in the southern part in akagera national park, the lake gets its water from a river tributary of the Akagera River which supplies a number of lakes in the park. Among the lake in the park, it is clear to note that Lake Ihema is the biggest lake in the park. 

The lake is blessed with rich biodiversity including a number of attractions like 155 bird species including the endangered shoe bill stork, papyrus gonolek, jacanas Sandpipers, Malachite Kingfisher, herons among other bird species.  Around the lake, you will see a number of papyrus swamps where you will see a number of bid species, hippos, buffalos and many more. The papyruses also act as bird sanctuaries to a number of bird species in the park which makes it a great birding destination while in the park.

While visiting akagera national park in order to visit lake Ihema, you will carry out a number of activities as explained below but you can also participate in a number of activities in other areas of the park to have an amazing experience.


A number of bird species can be seen during the boat cruise on the lake or during your game drive in the park, the lake attracts a number of water bird and other bird species that can be seen for instance flycatchers, sunbirds, Cardinal Woodpecker and weavers, White tailed blue monard, African Harrier Hawk, grey crowned cranes, Herons, egrets, the cardinal woodpecker, the levillant cuckoo, slender-billed baglafetch, weavers, levillant cuckoo that can be seen either trying to get prey from the lake or seen lining up near the animals like the buffaloes which are among the common animals in the park.

Sport fishing

A number of activities can be carried out in the park on Lake Ihema but one of the interesting activities is the sport fishing. For any person to take part in sport fishing in Akagera national park, they should have a sport fishing license in order to have a great time and because the park focuses more on conservation, the activity involves catch and release and you are only allowed to catch mature fish not the young ones however as a way of rewarding the tourists who participate in the activity a reward of one fish is given to them to keep among the fish caught.

Game viewing

While at the lake, you will get exceptional views of the park that will be rewarding while in the park, at the lake you will see a number of animal species that can be seen taking rhinos and buffalos trying to take a dip in the water of the lake, elephants quenching their thirst you will also have a chance to see the egrets and a number of bird species on the backs of the elephants which is a nice view of co-existence among the wild animals in the park.

Lake Ihema
Lake Ihema

A number of amphibians and reptiles trying hard to get prey can be seen in the park for example the crocodiles hat can either be seen sun bathing or waiting patiently on the antelopes, zebras that are quenching their thirst and if they are unlucky the crocodiles are able to attack the animals for prey which can be an exciting view to see.