Akagera National Park covers an area of 112,000 hectares in the east of Rwanda, on the border with Tanzania. It is named for the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes. Rolling hills of Acacia bush with panoramic views across scattered grassland, patches of thick forest and a mosaic of swamp-fringed lakes along the meandering Akagera watercourse contribute to this park’s almost unrivalled scenic beauty. As the only protected savannah environment in the country, Akagera is unique in Rwanda. Large herds of buffalo and impala, zebra and topi are commonly seen on the open plains, whilst smaller antelope such as oribi, klipspringer, bushbuck and reedbuck exist widely throughout the park. Elephant tend to stay around the lakes which are inhabited by large populations of hippo and crocodiles.
The Akagera Management Company (AMC) assumed management of Akagera National Park in 2010, in terms of a 20 year management agreement between the African Parks Network and the Rwanda Development Board, with the aim to restore, develop and manage Akagera National Park as a functioning savannah ecosystem through biodiversity rehabilitation, sound conservation practices and tourism development. In the past eight years significant steps have been made towards achieving this goal. Lions now roam the northern plains, after an absence of two decades, having grown in number from the seven re-introduced in 2015 to the 19 we have in the park today. The newly introduced black rhinos remain in the thickets in the south of the park; 18 were brought from South Africa to Rwanda in May 2017 restoring Akagera status as a ‘big five’ park.