“A savannah park in the land of mountains”
Rwanda is rightly considered a country of mountains and forests, far from being a Big Five safari destination like Kenya and Tanzania that are known for their savannah. In the country’s eastern border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park has emerged as one of the best off-the-beaten-path safari destinations in East Africa.
Named for the Kagera River which flows along with its eastern boundary feeding into Lake Ihema and several smaller lakes, the park has endured a terrible that almost reduced to half its size. Refugees from Rwanda’s civil war returned to live in the area in the later 1990s. Harming of the environment through cattle-grazing, poaching and the government reducing the park by half to allow settlement in one part of the park threatened the park’s viability. Recent efforts in conjunction with conservationists have brought the park back to life. The transplant of animals such as rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, and buffalo have made it an ideal game viewing location.
The proximity of the park to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, makes it a perfect day or two-day trip excursion. Its diverse variety of habitat, wildlife and birds gives visitors a similar feel to the classic safari destinations of East Africa.