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Interested in visiting Rwanda? Consider Akagera National Park as an add-on

Arriving at Magashi Camp in Akagera N.P. by boat

Many considering a trip to Rwanda do not consider any destinations beyond gorilla-trekking at Volcanoes National Park. But for those seeking to combine this experience with a traditional safari now have a viable option within Rwanda: Akagera National Park. Plus, if you intend to visit Akagera for 3 or more nights from November to May, you will receive 30% discounts for each of your gorilla permits at Volcanoes. What a great deal!

Highlights of Miles’ Visit to Akagera in January 2019

Miles Nolting visited Akagera National Park back in January before visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park. Akagera is a collection of the lakes, swamps and rivers that flow into the eponymous Akagera River on the park’s eastern border. To the west lie rolling savannah and verdant acacia woodland.

Meeting with African Parks, Miles learned of the park’s stunning restoration. In the aftermath of the infamous Rwandan Genocide of 1994, the park became a haven for poaching, cattle grazing and logging. But with African Parks assuming management of the park in 2010, this trend reversed. After years of developing a viable anti-poaching unit, African Parks decided to reintroduce lions in 2015 and black rhinos in 2017.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge

A major component of African Parks strategy of restoring Akagera’s biodiversity was ecotourism. They currently own and operate Ruzizi Tented Lodge and Karenge Bush Camp, both of which Miles visited back in January.

Clockwise from Top Left: one of Magashi’s tent’s; dining with views of Lake Rwanyakazinga; the bar; the lounge

Earlier this year, Magashi Camp, Akagera’s first luxury tented camp, opened. The camp also operates within the only private concession in all of Akagera – a true privilege, as this area has had the best and most consistent leopard sightings!

Along with traditional game drives, available activities include night drives, boat cruises and catch-and-release fishing. Besides great views of the mountains, Lake Rwanyakazinga (which Magashi is next to) and Lake Ilhema (which Ruzizi is next to) the boat cruises also offers incredible birdwatching – more than 520 species have been recorded in the park! When Miles went on his boat cruise in January, his notable sightings included Grey Crowned Crane, Malachite Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Black-Shouldered Kite and African Fish Eagles.

Recent wildlife sightings at Akagera, clockwise from top left: leopard; lion cub; impalas & giraffe; silver monkey

Guests at Magashi Camp will appreciate its intimate and low-impact design. 6 spacious canvased tents are complemented by a canvassed main lounge, dining and bar areas. The entire camp is decorated with traditional Rwandan art and tapestries.

The Africa Adventure Company was cited as the go-to safari planner to Rwanda in National Geographic Traveler’s latest edition:
“These African Lodges Lead the Way in Wildlife Conservation”

A photo from Miles’ gorilla trek in January

As mentioned before, guests staying at Akagera for 3 or more nights from November to May will receive 30% discounts for each of their gorilla permits at Volcanoes.

Clockwise from Top Left: Singita Kwitonda; Bisate Lodge; Gorilla Mountain View Lodge;
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Take a look at our 4-Day Gorilla Trekking Extension in Rwanda for some suggested lodges in Volcanoes National Park!

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