Game Drive Safari in Akagera National Park

It may not have the prominence of a Uganda safari or neighboring Kenya Safari, but what a Rwandan game drive safari also lacks is something you won’t miss at all: tourist hordes. Actually, the fact that Akagera National Park—a stunningly picturesque 432-square-mile park in the country’s east and the only Savannah wildlife park in this small country, since 2010 managed by a public-private partnership between Rwanda Development Board and the nonprofit conservation organization African Parks —has only lately made its debut on the international tourism scene means that the time to go is now, before the crowds do. Here’s your guide to a seamless Rwanda game drive safari.

Rwanda Game Drive Safari Guide

You’ll need to hire a tour company to take you on the three-hour drive from Kigali, organize your entrance to the park and coordinate safari game drives and other excursions. Scenic Trail Ventures is impeccable, building a tailor-made schedule for you and providing you with a 4WD safari landcruiser and a wonderfully personable driver, whom you’ll appreciated for his knowledge of all-things-Rwanda and, especially, his flawless local tales collection, which will have smiling alone for days. The company can also arrange extended experiences in Rwanda and Uganda after your Rwanda game drive safari. Request a Quote here.

Where to stay on game drive safari

Bush Lodges in Akagera National Park like Ruzizi Tented lodge are a fully eco-friendly with gorgeous tents decorated in classic Rwandan style and connected by long wooden boardwalks. Booked in Ruzizi for the night, you’ll be treated to your first animal sighting: butterflies so massive and vibrantly colored, you’ll take them for birds. Then vervet monkeys, cavorting on the lake’s shore. And my then the beautiful night noises: hippos grunting in the lake beside your tent. Meals are delicious and supremely fresh—for lunch, paneer cheese and vegetable skewers with my favorite local hot sauce, Sabana Gold; for dinner, an impeccable steak—but really anything tastes divine when served in this setting: a boardwalk extending out to the lake, perfectly shaded from the sun during the day and home to a warming fire by night. Best part: Ruzizi is designed, built and fully operated by the management of the park, which means that all its profits go toward Akagera’s long-term sustainability.

Scenic Game Drive Views

On your game drive safari in Akagera you’ll see almost everything you hope for in a Savannah wildlife setting: herds of buffalo and impala, zebras, antelopes, a giraffe, crocodiles, hippos and at least 100 of the 482 bird species in Rwanda.

Akagera’s management is avidly working to revive the animal life here after years of poaching, introducing seven lions in 2015, and you could get blessed to lay eyes on one.

Akagera Lions

Ogle at dramatic landscapes of remarkable variety: rolling hills of acacia bush, scattered verdant grassland, thick forest, swamp-fringed lakes, and, on the way back to Kigali, a veritable sea of banana farms.

Lake Ihema Boat Trip

A sunset boat trip on Lake Ihema, amid lively hippos and basking crocodiles, is nothing short of magical. As the sky turns crimson, squint your eyes and look out for a lone elephant grazing into the nightfall, relishing his grass supper. What a away to end your Rwanda game drive safari.

Let’s get you started on one now! Request a quote right away.

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Tourist Activities To Do in Rwanda

Rwanda gorillas in the mist

Gorillas in The Mist

This unique experience is available all year round, but due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by the jungles in which these gorillas stay, June to September is the best time.
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Rwanda Savannah Wildlife Safaris

Safari Game Drive

Tacked away between Uganda, Tanzania and Congo, this tiny country gives away more than you expect. Untill recently you can drive through Akagera National park and see all the big 5 game animals.
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Rwanda people and culture

Culture & Community Tourism

Rwanda is bubbling over with culture rich and diverse culture which spans centuries: 4 languages, countless customs and traditions, uplifting music and dance can be encountered all around the country.

Rwanda's historical sites

Cities & Historical Sites

Rwanda’s 1994 Genocide left a lot of wounds to nurse for the Rwanda people but have healed amazingly building structures and sites for those that want to come have a revisionist history. We take you there.

Responsible Travel in Rwanda

Surrounded by phenomenal volcanic landscapes, wildlife that many of you grew up dreaming of seeing with your own eyes, and some of the continent’s most friendly, welcoming people making you feel like a VIP wherever you go – being in Rwanda can feel like such a privilege. Rwanda really gives visitors all it can, and as guests we really should try to repay this kindness in some way.

Most tourism in Rwanda takes place in its national parks with official guides – which shuts local residents and businesses out. But by looking beyond the parks, even for just a couple of days of your holiday, your money will go much further, and you’ll completely shift your opinion of Rwanda as a place to see wildlife. Rwanda’s people are every bit as fascinating.

More about travelling responsibly in Uganda 

Best Time to Visit Rwanda

Equatorial Rwanda has a blissful springlike climate – a 25oC with cooling night time breezes perfect for an African Safari night.

Rwanda sits squarely a few kilometers bellow the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which tempers the heat and means this really is a year-round African safari destination. March-May and Oct-Nov see the highest rainfall, but gorillas are still lurking in the mist – although trekking to find them will be slippery and slower. However, accommodation can be much cheaper at this time. The best time to visit Rwanda is June-Sep, which is the peak season – but Uganda remains happily oblivious to mass tourism and you won’t need to worry about crowds.

Know more about when to visit 

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