Game drive is one of the major activities in Rwanda. The activity is only done in Akagera national Park. Akagera National Park is a protected area in eastern Rwanda covering 1,122 km2 (433 sq mi) along the international border with Tanzania. The park is dominated by Savannah vegetation (Savannah woodland and Savannah grassland) and it is the only destination where you can experience traditional safaris in Rwanda.
Akagera National Park is famous for protecting “BIG 5 ANIMALS” namely; Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffaloes and Leopard. Lucky visitors can see all but not to miss any during game drive in Akagera National Park. Game drive offers clear plat form to see a variety of animals, birds, drainage features, relief features and vegetation among others.
While in Akagera National Park, you can choose o go for early morning Game drive, afternoon Game drive or Night Game drive/ Nocturnal Game Drive. According to tourists, Morning Game drive is more rewarding to see herbivorous animals like elephants, Giraffes, Bushbuck, Zebras, Buffaloes, Rhinos among others. Morning game drive near Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani offers the views of water loving animals like crocodiles, Hippos and birds like African Fish Eagle, Open billed stork, the egrets, cormorant, Senegal lapwings, African darter, hamerkops, Caruthers’s cisticola, pied crow, black-headed weaver, fan-tailed widow bird, violet’s black weaver, long-crested eagle among others.
Morning game drive also enable travelers to see early raisers when still active. Early morning hunting of carnivorous animals is amazing so, get an experienced ranger guide to enable you explore the entire park most especially the busy trails.
Afternoon Game drive starts from 12 pm to 5pm – this is the period when herbivorous animals summarize feeding. Expect to find few animals than for morning game drive.
Night Game Drive/ Nocturnal Game drive – better for nocturnal animals and birds. The car must be well designed for night game drive; well decorated by powerful lights in all corners and the driver must move on lower speed to avoid knocking animals. Nocturnal games to see include hyenas, leopards, bush babies, civets, and several cats. The night game drives in Akagera National Park takes 2-3hrs and we recommend you to use 4wheel drive safari car.
Night game drive also enable tourists to see nocturnal birds like Nightjars and allies, Herons, egrets and bitterns, Hawks, kites and eagles Owls and so on. At night, you will see night moving animals especially those in cat family. You will find most of them hunting their prey while others enjoying the moon and star lights. Expert rangers will enable you explore different trails with where you will easily find the targeted nocturnal animals.
Akagera National Park can be visited all year round but dry season is the best. The Dry season (June to September) is the prime time for viewing wildlife in the park. Mid-December to mid-February, a dry spell in the Wet season, is also a good time.