Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is one of the top destinations in Rwanda that one should visit though the country is a small landlocked country with quite a number of attractions for a traveler.
Even though it is not currently very recognized among tourists who visit Africa, akagera national park is one of the protected that have proved the ability of nature to rebound itself back. You can find all the animals in other national parks in Africa and cages of zoos, but the story of this national park and the power it has used for more than 3 times, is such an interesting one as when told by the guides in akagera.
The park is the largest protected wet land sanctuary. Akagera national park also is the only remaining of the refuge areas for the savannah adapted wildlife species in Africa. This national park lies on the eastern side of Rwanda just near to the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. The park is dominated by mainly woodland vegetation cover, swamps, and low mountains and perches of savannah grasslands. Every vegetation cover is an ecosystem on its own which hosts a lot of wildlife species, this has made akagera a biologically diverse protected area.
This national park is a home for a lot of wild mammals or animals including, zebras, elephants, lions, giraffes, and a wide range of species of birds, such as the prehistoric sought after shoe bill stork. The park sits on a vast area of about 1122sq.km where a lot of wildlife flourishes from for quite a time. Akagera is a savannah montane and swamp vegetation mainly.
Akagera national park is one of the biodiverse protected swamps in Africa covered with mainly savannah montane vegetation and swamp vegetation. The national park was named after the river that drains protected area, called river Kagera. The river flows along the eastern border feeding Lake Ihema and other smaller lakes; the river system is a papyrus valley with makes up over a third of the akagera national park.
Akagera national park is a home for a lot of water birds that inhabit the papyrus swamp along the river Kagera and Lake Ihema. A boat ride along Lake Ihema offers a great chance to see the beauty of akagera national park and a wide range of water birds, including kingfishers plus mammals such as hippos, warthogs, and others.
The black rhinos in akagera national park make the highlight of the safaris in Rwanda. This is supplemented with the lions to make a memorable visit in akagera national park. akagera national park is where you can go for a big five African safari, it hosts all the big five mammals of Africa, including hippos, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, lions, and leopard. However, some animals are not easily found in the park, but by chance, a game drive is an opportunity for you to enjoy the wide wildlife of akagera national park.
Akagera national park is relatively warm all through the year however the low savannah grasslands are warmer than the areas of the high altitude in akagera. The weather of akagera is greatly modified by the vegetation cover and the landscape of the area. The dry season in this national park receives a lot of visitors for game drives and birding safaris, however, the true beauty of this oark is flaunted in the wet season when the moisture ground brings out the lush verdant grassland and the evergreen trees attract a lot of primates like monkeys.
Akagera national park was made on a definite agreement of a national park by the Rwanda Development Board in 1934. However, a lot of terrible things kept on happening to akagera from when it was formed. Akagera national park has fought through stages of poaching and encroachment among other illegal actions to any national park, but this is the strength of the national park.
For over 20 years ago, the national park lost fame, the loss of popularity started way back when the civil wars in Rwanda took the reign of every part of the country in 1990, the civil wars lived on until 1994 when the rage of the genocide stopped. A lot of Rwandan nationals had fled to safety in other countries in Africa and outside Africa, however, the others that stayed in the country ran to the near forests including akagera national park. The refugees of the war encroached on the park’s land for settlement and continued to depend on the national park for meat which led to massive poaching, and also grazed their cattle from the savannah grassland in the national park, which led to the destruction of ecology in this national park.
It is such amazing how, after all the turmoil this national park went through. The national park still survived until 2010 when African parks accepted to be the real management of this vulnerable protected area at that time. African parks merged with the Rwanda development board to carry on the management of akagera national park, which was expected to move it to greater glory.
The new park management resorted to the enforcement of vivid laws aiming at achieving a balance in the biodiversity of the national park. Later after years of serious preparation, the management board of akagera decided to reintroduce about 18 eastern black rhinos. This was after ten years of being extinct from the national park, thanks to the Howard G Buffett Foundation which assisted in the reintroduction of the rhinos in this national park.
Still, in the same year, the campaign of reviving akagera national park continued with the reintroduction of the two male lions in 2017. This led to the enhancement of genetic diversification within the park. However, the continued law enforcement to curb poaching, it has led to an increment in the wildlife of the national park. In 2018, akagera joined in with the other national parks in Rwanda, to increase the economic development of the country and received more than 44000 visitors.
There are a number of accommodation options to choose from during your safari to this national park. However, the campsites are more than the luxury lavish lodges, but the bush camp lodge is an awesome choice for you. For the adventurous ones, who would want to enjoy a full epic African wilderness, you can book for any of the many campsites in the national park.