2 Days Safari trip to Akagera National Park

A zebra sighted on Akagera National Park safari

This 2 day/1 night safari trip to Akagera National Park will give you an amazing experience in the beautiful Akagera wilderness where you will see a variety of wild animals and birds in Rwanda.  Akagera National Park protects the only savanna environment in Rwanda which makes the park unique because Rwanda is largely covered by hills, mountains and forests.

On this 2 day trip to Akagera National Park you shall drive in a 4X4 safari jeep with a pop up roof for easy viewing. You shall explore the open plains, bushes and woodlands to see a variety of animals in Akagera.

Animals that you should expect to see during the safari in Akagera National Park include: buffaloes, elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, monkeys and many species of antelope among others. The park also has a large wetland system consisting of many lakes and swamps. You will do a boat trip on the park’s largest lake Ihema and you will see crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards and many water birds.

Akagera National Park 2 day safari trip itinerary:

Day 1 – transfer to Akagera, game drive and afternoon boat safari

You will start your 2 day trip to Akagera at 7am prompt. The tour driver shall pick you up from your hotel in Kigali and depart for Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda. The travel time from Kigali to Akagera is about 2.5 hours. Prior to checking into your lodge you shall do a short game drive to spot some animals and enjoy the amazing scenery. The southern part of Akagera National Park which is the arrival point and offers you your first game drive, is covered mostly by acacia thickets and woodlands which is not favorable habitat for most grazing animals. Expect to see some impala, zebra, reedbuck, giraffe, baboons, black faced vervet monkeys among others. However, the most exciting prospect in the south of Akagera national park is the Rhino! The rhinos live in this part of the park which is the natural habitat for them and if lucky may see them.

After lunch, you shall go out for the boat safari on Lake Ihema at 3pm. Lake Ihema is the largest lake in the park and second largest in Rwanda. The boat safari will provide among other sightings: hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards and plenty of water birds.

Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation options:

Luxury: Magashi Camp

Upmarket: Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge

Budget: Akagera Rhino Lodge (located outside the park)

Day 2 – Full safari in Akagera and transfer back to Kigali

After early breakfast, check out of the lodge by 6.30am and set off for the full safari in Akagera taking about 6 hours. Driving along the main game track, from the south of the park to the north and exit, you shall go through a range of habitats from acacia thickets, woodland, bushes and savanna grassland, which will provide a variety of animals and wildlife and varied scenery. Along the drive you shall make stops at swamps and lake shores to watch water animals and birds and also take in the beautiful scenery. Most notable stop is the “hippo beach” where schools of hippos and groups of crocodile can be found basking in the shallows of the swamps. Continuing on the main track you will finally get to the Kilala plains in the north of the park. The Kilala plains have a high concentration of animals and are the main game watching area of the park. Almost without trees, this expanse of beautiful savanna grasslands hosts large herds of grazing animals and provides for uninterrupted views. Some of the common animals here include buffaloes, zebra, topi, impala, elephants, warthogs. The abundance of antelopes and other grazing animals makes the plains a favorite hunting ground for the lions and hyenas among other predators. In the fringes of the plains are woodlands and thickets where browsers such as the giraffes and elephants can be seen. Predators such as the lions are often found taking shelter from the afternoon heat under trees, satisfied from the successful morning hunt in the Kilala plains!

After the game drive shall have picnic lunch, exit the park and travel back to Kigali.

Optional activity:

Balloon safari in Akagera – You can add the hot air balloon safari before your game drive and experience the beautiful scenery and magical sunrise over the beautiful landscape. The balloon safari preparation starts as early as 5am and the flight will take about 45 minutes. The balloon safari gives you the best views over the park and a chance to explore parts of the park unreachable by car. At the end of the balloon safari you would continue with the game drive.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch (packed)

What to carry for the Akagera safari trip

  • Empty water bottle (water can provided by us)
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera and batteries

What this 2 Day Akagera safari trip includes:

  • A private 4X4 safari car
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide/driver
  • Park entrance fees
  • Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary above
  • Game drives and boat safari
  • Drinking water in the car
  • Hotel pick up and drop off

Do you have an extra day? Book this Akagera 3 day tour instead

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