Other National Parks

Akagera NP

Akagera NP /Rwanda/

The lake environment of Akagera National Park in northeastern Rwanda is magnificent and its campsites with electric fences are unique in central Africa.

The park’s specials in terms of fauna are the zebra, the giraffe and the rare roan antelope. Lions were introduced in 2015 and had their first offspring in 2016 while black rhinos returned in 2017 restoring the Akagera’s “Big Five” status. There are also elephants, leopards, hippos, buffalos, eleven species of antelope and almost 500 different bird species. Akagera’s wildlife is on the rise under the management of an international non-profit conservation organisation, African Parks, who are responsible for the total management of Akagera.

The park’s former reputation for “vegetarian safaris” is a matter of the past and it can surprise you in a most positive way. Along with the park’s successful conservation story, the diversity in wildlife and environments – a string of lakes to the east and rolling grassland hills to the west – make Akagera well worth visiting. It makes a particularly interesting savannah combination with Queen Elizabeth NP.

Activities in Akagera NP

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1-hour boat trip pricing begins with USD 35 pp for the scheduled morning trip, includes a sunset option at USD 45 and offers you a chance to hire the entire 11-person boat for USD 180. The 2.5-hour night drive in a specialised park vehicle and with a spotlight in the guide’s hands will cost you USD 40. Fishing with your own gear goes for USD 25 per day. Ultimately, take part in the 1.5-hour Behind the Scenes Tour for USD 25 and get to know the fascinating work of African Parks, an international nonprofit that manages Akagera in partnership with Rwanda’s government. Children receive reduced rates.

Queen Elizabeth NP

Queen Elizabeth NP /Uganda/

This park is a wonderful addition to a Gorilla Highlands holiday, popular due to abundant wildlife thriving in its diverse ecosystem of sprawling savanna, humid forests and sparkling lakes. Rare tree-climbing lions live in the Ishasha sector, the part closest to our region, and there are many other species: antelopes, buffalos, crocodiles, elephants, hippos, leopards, primates and more.

Some of the attractions:

• Kazinga Channel launch trip with plentiful birds and other animals visible from the boat
• chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge
• equator circles at the northern tip of the park

Nyungwe NP

Nyungwe NP /Rwanda/

chimp tracking in Nyungwe NP; photo by Marcus Westberg

Chimp tracking (the chimpanzee population is over 500) and the 160m/525ft canopy walk are the two activities people most associate with Nyungwe, and birders count it as Rwanda’s top destination.

But there’s more:

• black and white colobus monkey tracking
• Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail: a lovely waterfall plus huge diversity of fauna and flora around Nyungwe’s biggest swamp
• Congo-Nile Divide Trail: wilderness adventure of 3-5 days (not the same as the Congo Nile Trail)

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Kahuzi-Biega NP

Kahuzi-Biega NP /DR Congo/

Kahuzi-Biega Grauer’s gorilla tracking; photo by Marcus Westberg

Named after two dormant volcanoes, this park near Bukavu is known worldwide for Grauer’s or eastern lowland gorillas. Three habituated groups reside in the highland sector of the park that also protects over 1,100 plant species and 350 species of birds.

Other activities:

• trekking Mt Kahuzi (3,300 m/ 10,827ft)
• hiking to Tshibati Falls near Lwiro (p41)
• several nature trails