Akagera Rwanda African Hiking Adventure

Akagera Game Park

Russell Family Holiday Safari – Akagera

One night of our African Hiking Adventure we were staying this holiday season in the northern Karenge Bush Camp in Akagera. The Karenge Bush Camp has six charming canvas tents and accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, set on a hill overlooking one of the most lush and fertile plains in all of Africa. With literally thousands of wild animals just a short distance away we were in a tented camp with no fence and only whistles in our tent in case of emergency.

In the middle of the night we heard the roar of the lion. Not two football fields away we could hear two adult lions sending their signal out to the world which literally shook our tent and made our hearts patter. We later learned that the camp staff was on top of everything and watching the two cut across the lower plain and while they were nearby, they were not coming up the hill towards us. It was a night to remember and something to tell our grandchildren when they visit the camp in a few years time.

Akagera Game Park

Akagera Game Park

Akagera is a Wild Animal park situated only a couple of hours from Kigali the capital of Rwanda.

In the park there are 4 lodges. This Park provides a variety of levels of accommodation from modern hotels to the ultimate in “glamping”. One of the three areas on our African Hiking Adventure goes to the Akagera Game Park run by African Parks which is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.

Russell Tours African Hiking Adventure

For our guests that join us for the Russell Tours African Hiking Adventure, we will arrive by helicopter landing at the Akagera Game Lodge. Akagera Park is the 3rd leg of 4 in our 8-day 9-night African Hiking Adventure. Our flight will include a tour across the country of Rwanda starting from the south inside Nyungwe Forest. Nyungwe Forest offers one of the few large stands of ancient trees in the world (250,000 acres) and has literally thousands of trees over 700 years old. Our tour will spend two days in Nyungwe Forest looking at and enjoying a Canopy Walk among these ancient trees that are hundreds of feet tall as well as observing and learning from our Naturalist about the chimpanzees and other endangered species of animals located in this wild primordial space of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs.

Once we have landed we can enjoy the pool and panoramic views from the hilltop setting of the Akagera Game Lodge for a few hours before dinner. Just before evening sets in, we will offer an optional 5km-walk along the perimeter of the park giving you a feeling of being next to the wild animals with the safety of the fence between you and their world. This walk, starting at the park entrance, takes you into the hills, following the fence on the outside of the park. The walk, which is guided by a trained Naturalist, is approximately two hours and ends at the top of the ridge with spectacular views in all directions. We will then return to the lodge for a sumptuous meal and enjoy a relaxing evening around the fire pit looking out over the savannah plains that we will be visiting in the morning.

Akagera Game Lodge

akagera game lodge akagera rwanda

Akagera Game Lodge stands on a hill at the southern tip of the Akagera National Park elevated above the Savannah with panoramic views of Lake Ihema, and the smaller Lake Shikani. With 60 rooms, a conference centre, restaurant, and bar – Akagera Game Lodge is the perfect home base while exploring the conservation treasures, simply relaxing or conferencing. Your journey begins today.

At 5:00 am the next morning we will go down to the boats at the Ruzizi Lodge and do a tour of the largest lake in the park finding some of the 482 bird species documented there and perhaps even see the rare and prehistoric shoebill. Often you will find Elephants and Crocodiles waking up to the morning sunrise along with Hippos rising up with their young to greet you as you go by.

After a great breakfast on the deck at the Ruzizi lodge we will drive up to the northern plains to the Kerange Bush Camp. We will observe many kinds of wild animals and creatures you have never been this close to as we journey up the dirt roads to our northern camp base. After a lovely meal served under the stars we can enjoy sitting around the fireplace for the evening listening to the animal sounds rising up from the Savannah below. Enjoying the night air and our unlimited view of the surrounding wild park and mountains. Looking up we can see the milky way in all its glory as we have almost no night lights except for a few huts 30 miles away.

Karenge Bush Camp

karenge bush camp akagera rwanda

Karenge means ‘small footprint’ in Kinyarwanda, and it’s the name of the area where the camp was first established. The word also represents Karenge Bush Camp’s commitment to leaving nothing more than a light ecological footprint. The seasonal camp is set up bi-annually for 3 months at a time. Because the camp does not utilise cement or other permanent construction materials, it leaves nothing behind when each season ends.

Karenge contains six charming canvas tents and accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, making it an intimate wilderness experience. Every tent contains two cozy camp beds with mattresses and bedding, camp chairs, reed mat floors, and solar lights for reading before bed, the sounds of nature all around you. The camp’s six tents enjoy own private, outdoor bathrooms with bucket showers, toilets, and canvas basins. Warm water is provided daily.

Leaving the Bush Camp by 5:30 am we are off to see the Hyenas and Lions on the plains as they cross early in the morning. Our breakfast will be served in a picnic area where we can safely step out of the vehicles and watch the towering Giraffes and Zebras pass in front of us along this 30 mile furtle valley plain.

By 9:30 am we are off to return to Kigali and end our trip. Stopping at the airport for those leaving that day and taking the rest of the group to the hotel in Kigali for later departure.

Akagera Park is one leg of a 4-leg journey for our Russell Tours African Hiking Adventure. Other posts will be released about seeing the Gorillas and touring the Chimpanzees and canopy walk in the Nyungwe Forest in the coming weeks.

Akagera Game Park

Currently African Parks Group manage 16 national parks and protected areas in 10 countries covering over 12 million hectares: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This is one of the most spectacular game parks they manage and is only a short 2 1/2 hour drive from the airport in Kigali Rwanda. More importantly, recently they have cleared and or paved all the roads to the entrance so getting to this park is like riding on carpet compared to many African roads which are known to be rather rough and bumpy. Going on Safari in Africa dates back to the big game hunters of the 1700 who were Dutch and English and then came the French and Belgians. Today we hunt with cameras and just enjoy having the honor of being in the presence of these magnificent animals that these park managers take care of for us.

Akagera is considered one of the best of the 16 parks managed by African Parks and provides access to both lakes, plains and mountains that have all the big game as well as thousands of smaller and rare species of animals, birds and plants.

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