Akagera National Park, set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania,
AkageraNP is big game country. Large herds of buffalo, giraffe and zebra move across the savannah, lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of elephants emerging from the woodland to drink at the lakes. The National park is the home of the king of Jungle “Lions” as the park management has reintroduced lions in 2015. Akagera is home to more than a dozen types of antelope, most commonly the handsome impala, but also oribi and bushbuck, as well as the ungainly topi, the rare roan and the world’s largest antelope, the cape eland. Leopard and hyena might be seen on a night drive as well as other secretive creatures of the night. And hippo and crocodile are almost guaranteed on a boat trip in Akagera’s largest lake, Ihema.
Camping alongside the picturesque lakes of Akagera is a truly mystical introduction to the wonders of the African bush. Pods of 50 hippopotami grunt and splutter throughout the day, while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws menacingly agape. Magically, the air is torn apart by the unforgettable high dieting of a pair of fish eagles, asserting their status as the avian monarchs of Africa’s waterways. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds, while the connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre shoebill stork – the latter perhaps the most eagerly sought of all African birds.