Akagera National Park covers 1,200 km² in eastern Rwanda, along the Tanzanian border. It was founded in 1934 to protect animals and vegetation in three ecoregions: savannah, mountain, and swamp. The park is named for the Kagera River which flows along with its eastern boundary feeding into several lakes the largest of which is Lake Ihema. The complex system of lakes and linking papyrus swamps makes up over 1/3 of the park and is the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
Much of the savannah area of the park was settled in the late 1990s by former refugees returning after the end of the Rwandan Civil War. Due to land shortages, in 1997 the western boundary was degazetted, and much of the land allocated as farms to returning refugees. The park was reduced in size from over 2,500 km² to its current size. Although much of the best savannah grazing land is now outside the park boundaries, what remains of Akagera is some of the most diverse and scenic landscapes in Africa.
In 2009 the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the African Parks Network entered into a 20-year renewable agreement for the joint management of Akagera. The Akagera Management Company was formed in 2010 as the joint management body for Akagera National Park.
Over the next 5 years, a US$10 million expenditure is planned for Akagera including the construction of a 120 km western boundary fence and the reintroduction of lions and black rhinos.
Accommodation in Akagera National Park
Akagera Game Lodge
Akagera Game Lodge is located in Eastern Province; about 2 hours drive from Kigali. It is within the boundaries of Akagera National Park its south entrance and has an attractive setting on a ridge overlooking Lake Ihema. The surrounding area has a wealth of big game and other wildlife on the open savannah, protected woodland, deep valley, and Lakes.
Recognized as a superior venue, Akagera Game Lodge offers a superbly relaxed atmosphere, ideal for a successful conference, retreat, a tranquil gateway, or an undisturbed encounter with nature.
The lodge is located on the shores of Lake Ihema (which is Rwanda’s second largest lake). The main deck in the communal areas supposedly has lovely views of the lake which you can sit and enjoy. There is a fireplace out there to keep you warm on cool evenings.
It is entirely powered by solar, to leave minimum impact on the environment. The seven tents each has its own en-suite bathroom (which has hot running water), a dressing area and a queen-sized, or two small double beds. Each tent also has a private patio at the front.