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Game drives in Akagera National Park

Game drives in Akagera National Park, Travel guide for birders in Akagera National Park

Game drives in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is the only wildlife park in Rwanda where you can go for game drives and big 5 encounter. Rwanda has three major national parks: Volcanoes National Park with mountain gorillas; Nyungwe Forest National Park with chimpanzees and small primates; and Akagera National Park with a variety of activities, especially game drives. Akagera National Park is the oldest of the three national parks in Rwanda and is home to over 8,000 large mammals, among them the reintroduced rhinoceros.

Akagera National Park is located in the eastern part of Rwanda, bordering Tanzania. Savannah, wetlands, low mountains, and woodlands are the main vegetation types. It is home to many wild animals, including zebras, lions, and black rhinos. Akagera National Park is home to more than 500 species of birds, including the rare civet.

Akagera National Park is divided into two sectors. The northern and southern sectors offer special animal sightings during game drives. The northern sector is known for its smaller animals, while the southern sector is known for its larger animals and accommodations.

Game drives in Akagera National Park are operated by the Akagera Management Company (AMC), a company established to manage the national park and its resources, which originated from a joint agreement between African Parks and the Rwanda Development Bank, which brought together executives from both parties. The agreement strengthened the national park’s conservation efforts and created employment opportunities for local people. In addition, since the company took control of the park in 2010, the number of wild animals has increased every year. The company reintroduced seven lions in 2015, which were extinct 20 years ago; significantly reduced the number of poachers; built better infrastructure; employed more than 220 local people; and reintroduced black rhinos in 2019, among other accomplishments.

 Akagera National Park attracts many visitors, mainly for game drives. There are three sessions of game drives in Akagera: morning half-day game drives, afternoon game drives, and night game drives. Morning game drives run from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., while night drives begin at 5:30 p.m. and end around 8:30 p.m. Night Game Drives will only take place in the southern portion of the park. AMC vehicles will pick you up from your hotel for the night game drive and take you back to your accommodation at the end of the safari.

Game drives in Akagera National Park are priced for half or full days. Full-day game drives are from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Self-drive game drives are included in the park entrance fee, but if you wish to have a guide at Akagera, you can pick up your guide at the Akagera reception before 9:00 a.m. and send him back five hours later; this is considered a half-day game drive. If you pick up your guide after 9 a.m., you will be charged the full-day rate unless you drop him off before noon. If you pick up your guide in the afternoon, you will be charged the half-day rate.

Game viewing is recommended in the mornings and evenings when temperatures are cooler and animals are out foraging for food. Entrance fees are charged in different categories: adults and children, citizens and foreign residents; children under 5 years of age can enter Akagera National Park for free and enjoy all activities for free. To obtain an exemption, you must prove your status with documents; otherwise, the regular fee will apply.

AMC’s one-day game drives are priced as follows. Half-day game drives are 5-hour drives that cost US$180 per person, including driver-guide and vehicle, and full-day game drives cost US$280 per person. Night game drives are two and a half hours long and cost US$40 for adults aged 6 to 12 and US$25 for youngsters.

The park entrance price includes self-drive game drives in Akagera National Park. However, if you want to hire a guide from Akagera, you must pay US$25 for a 5-hour half-day tour and US$40 for a full-day game drive. Boat rides, bird watching, fishing, behind-the-scenes tours, walks-the-line, and cultural experiences are among the numerous activities available in Akagera National Park. Please come and explore Rwanda with our Africa adventure vacations.