​Wildlife & Animals – Akagera NP

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Rwanda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Rwanda.

Akagera National Park is now a Big Five destination, but sightings of key species are still hit-and-miss. Lions were reintroduced in 2015 and black rhinos in 2017. Both are thriving, but the more recent introduction of 30 white rhinos will make rhino sightings a lot easier. Take a boat trip to see lots of hippos, gigantic crocodiles and maybe elephants playing in the water.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantOccasional
GiraffeCommon
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
White RhinoOccasional
LionOccasional
HyenaRare

Wildlife Highlights

Plains animals are plentiful, including zebra and Masai giraffe. Akagera is also home to 11 antelope species. The most common is the gracious impala, but of particular interest are the big herds of topi. Defassa waterbuck is regularly seen around the lakes, and bushbuck is a widespread resident in the woodland areas. Also look out for pairs of oribi on the Mutumba Hills.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The main Dry season from June to September is the best time for wildlife viewing in Akagera. Wildlife is easier to spot because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around the lakes, which are a big feature of the park. Mid-December to mid-February, which is a drier spell between the short and long rains of the Wet season, is also a good time.

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