1 Day Akagera national park - Big 5 & Big Cats safari

1 Day Rwanda Akagera National Park safari


Akagera National Park is situated in the eastern part of Rwanda, within the border of Tanzania. Kagera National Park was established in 1934 and covers an area of 1,200 square kilometers.


Akagera National Park got its name after the River Kagera, which feeds many lakes (such as Lake Gishanju, Lake Mihindi, Lake Rwanyakizinga, Lake Ihema, and Lake Shakani) around and within the park.


The park’s water bodies boost Savannah grasslands, plains, and forests, and the magical rolling hills make Akagera National Park very scenic and beautiful.


Attractions in Akagera National Park have been a great success because it offers all of the big five animals, such as leopards, buffaloes, lions, elephants, and rhinoceros, which makes Akagera National Park a one-stop-center for travelers interested in an African wildlife safari.

Overview of 1-day Rwanda Akagera national park tour

This 1-day Rwanda Akagera National Park tour makes a perfect escape out of the city for just a day.


This tour is perfect if you are in Rwanda for a very limited time but have time to spare for a wildlife expedition.


Besides the big 5, Akagera National Park has more Savannah animals such as topi, warthogs, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles, waterbucks, mongoose, eland, impalas, zebras, serval cats, reedbucks, duikers, black-masked civets, roan antelopes, bush pigs, giraffes, side-stripped jackals, Klipspringers, and Sitatunga antelopes.


Akagera National Park primate species include bush babies, olive baboons, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.


The Akagera National Park bird population has increased to approximately 500 species. Akagera National Park birds thrive in a wonderful range of habitats, such as the Savannah Plains, papyrus swamps, and forests.


Akagera National Park bird species that can be spotted during the boat cruise or wildlife viewing include the rare Shoebill stork, Papyrus gonolek, herons, African fish eagles, open-billed stork, crowned cranes, cormorants, egrets, and marabou stork.

Itinerary for 1-day Rwanda Akagera national park safari

Today morning, we leave Kigali at about 5 a.m. for a day trip to Akagera National Park, which is about 2.5 hours away from Kigali.


Akagera National Park is primarily a Savannah park with elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and recently introduced lions.


We shall take a game drive in search of these mammals. The game drive can last about 4 hours, depending on the animal sightings and interest.


Have a picnic lunch and drive your way out of the park, arriving in Kigali later that evening on your 1-day Rwanda Akagera National Park safari.

End of 1 Day Akagera national park - Big 5 & Big Cats safari

Tour includes

  • Ground transport per 4WD
  • Lunch
  • Bottled water
  • Park entrance fees
  • Game drive
  • Pick up & drop off
  • Service of an English-speaking driver guide

Tour excludes

  • Visa fees
  • Insurance

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How do I reach Rwanda's Akagera National Park?

You can reach Akagera National Park by land or air. The domestic flight from Kigali to Akagera National Park gives tourists a beautiful aerial view of the park.


The flights in Akagera National Park in Rwanda are organized by Akagera Aviation, with daily flights from the park to Kigali and back. Driving from Kigali to Akagera takes approximately 3 hours.


Travelers beginning their journey from Rwamagana or Kibungo drive for only one hour before reaching Akagera National Park.

What are the major activities and attractions in Akagera National Park?

Rwanda is famous for mountain gorillas, chimpanzee trekking, hiking volcanoes, and golden monkey trekking, among others.


However, Rwanda has only Akagera National Park, where travelers can view the big five animals while in Rwanda. An adventure safari in Akagera National Park is so special due to its unique scenery, which offers a great encounter for travelers who love nature.


The Akagera National Park landscape, with its rolling hills and valleys, provides a good hub for wonderful wildlife viewing and magical photography.


We recommend the 1-day Gorilla Trekking Rwanda tour


Akagera National Park It is a perfect tourism destination for travelers who have come to Kigali for a conference, workshop, or business trip and have a desire to go and view Africa’s famous Big 5 animals in the wild.


In order for travelers to participate in any of the park activities or drive within the park, they need clearance. Akagera National Park activities such as game drives and boat cruises are required to be booked prior to travel.


Let’s take a quick look at the activities in more detail at Akagera National Park.


1. Game drives:


Akagera National Park game drives can be done in the morning, afternoon, or at night in the savannah plains, hills, and lakes. The roads in Akagera National Park are well-developed.


Visitors have to acquire a tour van or a land cruiser that can manage the rough terrain in the park. Park guides are crucial during the game drive because they are knowledgeable about the park entrance fees to Akagera National Park and they know where animals can be seen.


Akagera National Park night game drives are carried out using heavy spotlights and an open-roof vehicle to allow travelers to see nocturnal animals such as geese, bush babies, mongoose, owls, hyenas, nightjars, and leopards.


The nocturnal animals and some birds are hard to see during the day. Akagera National Park night game drives cost $40 for foreign non-residents and last from two to three hours.


2. Boat cruise:


Lake Ihema is famous for boat cruises that offer travelers a chance to encounter crocodiles, elephants, hippos, and birds drinking water along the shores.


This lake and nearby swamps are the breeding spots for many bird species, such as the open-bill stork, African darter, blue-headed coucal, kingfisher, African jacana, cormorant, fish eagles, and marsh flycatcher.


3. Sport Fishing:


Akagera National Park is arguably another nice place to go for sport fishing in Rwanda. Akagera shores of Lake Shakani are great for catching fish such as tilapia and catfish.


While fishing, you may also see many birds and animals by the shores of the lake. Akagera National Park permits for sport fishing cost $20 per person.


4. Nature walks:


Akagera National Park nature walks can be organized with the help of a park guide.


Nature walks in Akagera National Park take place in a selected section of the park, which gives travelers an opportunity to appreciate the wonderful biodiversity in the park.


Akagera National Park nature walks involve passing through established park trails leading travelers to forests, swamps, and lakes.


5. Cultural visits:


Akagera National Park management collaborates with the nearby communities to allow tourists to go on cultural visits; these cultural visits are led by community guides.


The local cultural visits allow travelers to learn more about the locals, such as how they make beer, take care of their long-horned cows, prepare food, and celebrate important months of the year.


Visitors can also learn how to milk cows, taste Rwanda’s local food, and dance to local songs. The Akagera National Park community visits take approximately 3 hours.

When is the best time to go on a safari in Akagera National Park?

Akagera National Park wildlife viewing can be arranged all year round.


There is no public holiday at Rwanda Akagera National Park, and tourism activities take place every day, even over the weekends. Most travelers prefer to tour Akagera National Park in the dry season.


We recommend the 2-day Gorilla Trekking Rwanda Tour