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Boat Cruise on Lake Ihema

Akagera National Park is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Rwanda and is the only park where wildlife game drives are done in Rwanda. Tourists to Rwanda get to encounter a plethora of wildlife species including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, leopards, kobs, zebras, lions among many others not to mention vast bird species that can be spotted during a boat cruise on Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park.

The park has a 90 square kilometre area. The Big 5 animals live in Akagera National Park, which is home to Lake Ihema.  The lake is a hidden treasure in Rwanda that provides travellers with the ideal getaway, the opportunity to explore and experience the wild, as well as scenic splendor. Aside from fish, the lake is home to a variety of aquatic animals, such as otters, crocodiles, and hippos.

Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park
Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park

Many species of animals that might want to cool off at the lake’s edges use it as a resting place. In Akagera National Park, you may be sure to witness a variety of species while on a game drive around the beaches of Lake Ihema. More than 550 different bird species, including the papyrus gonolek, shoebill, heron, and jacana, can be found along the lakeshores.

Lake Ihema is a lake in eastern Rwanda, near the Tanzanian border. It is located within the Kagera River Marshland, where the river empties into a narrow channel.

It is the largest lake in Akagera National Park, with an area of 100 km and is among Rwanda’s twenty-three lakes. A network of twelve lakes, including the 1,292-meter-high Lake Ihema, are fed by the Kagera River.

The nation’s lone savannah national park is Akagera. Bird watching, canoeing, and spot fishing are just a few of the tourism activities available in the park. You can also engage in biking, hiking, and game driving, all of which are located along the Lake Ihema shoreline.

Boat Tours on Lake Ihema Experience

Tourists on a Boat Tour on Lake Ihema.
Tourists on a Boat Tour on Lake Ihema.

There are three regular boat rides (morning, afternoon, and sunset) that allow visitors to take in the park’s surroundings from the water, where crocodiles, hippos, and birds abound. You can take a boat tour in the morning, mid-morning, afternoon, or at sunset, which will reward you with an exciting journey of sight-seeing various fauna and bird species.

In order to witness the enormous Nile crocodiles that are difficult to observe and the hippo pods, the park authorities can also organise cruises on Lake Ihema. This is also the greatest way to see the many water birds in the park, such as the open bill storks and the noisy, foul-smelling nesting colonies of cormorants. The cost of the one-hour boat tour is $40 per person, up to a maximum of 11 people. If you would like to charter the entire boat for a private group at your convenience, the fee is $180.

Additionally, you may go on a boat safari around Lake Ihema in Akagera Park, where you can observe a lot of crocodiles and hippos. Additionally, a boat ride on this lake with a guide costs $30 per person during the day. To make the most of your visit to Akagera National Park, you can combine the boat ride with a day or night time wildlife drive. Add a thrilling boat ride at Lake Ihema to your wildlife safari in Akagera.

Look out for crocodiles, buffalo, and hippos during your boat cruise on Lake Ihema. You may also spot vibrant Kingfishers, striking Fish Eagles, egrets, Hamerkops with their massive nests, and even the ancient-looking Shoebill. The jacana, ibis, plovers, herons, malachite kingfisher, hawk, and many other indigenous species are also present. After the two to three-hour boat excursion, you’ll get a wonderful, unforgettable experience of the Rwanda national park.

Other tourist activities in Akagera National Park

Wildlife Game Drives.

Game Drive in Akagera National Park
Game Drive in Akagera National Park

Wildlife game drives in Akagera National Park are conducted in specially designed safari vehicles that provide sufficient comfort for the safari experience. During the game drives, guests can enjoy the luxury of specially designed safari cars while seeing a variety of animals, birds, and stunning scenery. Akagera National Park in Rwanda should be on your list if you’re looking for a charming vacation amid stunning wildlife. The big five, namely; buffalo, rhino, leopard, lion, and elephant live in the park. Hippopotamuses, zebras, and giraffes are among the other wild creatures in the park. Located around three hours’ drive from Kigali International Airport, the park is among the nearest wildlife reserves to the airport.


Akagera boasts a rich bird checklist with over 525 species, which is indicative of the incredibly diverse ecosystem. There are approximately forty-four species of raptors, Papyrus gonolek, Shoebill stork, and numerous Palearctic migrants, including the Lesser Kestrel, Great Snipe, and Black-winged Hawk. Many species found in the Zambezian ecosystem, including as Sauza’s Shrike, Arnot’s Chat, and Long-tailed Cisticola, have their northern limit of distribution represented by the park. This location has reported one species from the Guinea-Congo Forests biome, seven from the Afrotropical Highlands biome, and nine out of the eleven species from the Lake Victoria Basin biome that are found in Rwanda.

Bird Watching is popular in Akagera National Park
Bird Watching is popular in Akagera National Park

Guided Nature Walks.

There are walking routes in Akagera National Park where you can go with an armed ranger guide. You can explore the park on foot in addition to during game drives, when you are usually sitting in a car. Additionally, you have additional time to learn about the park and its various wildlife species from the ranger tour.

Best time to visit Akagera National Park.

You may visit Akagera National Park at any time of year since its natural environment is so captivating. There’s always something new to see in the park depending on the season. Despite being only a few degrees south of the equator, the park is elevated between 1250 and 1825 metres, therefore the year-round weather is pleasant and mild.

The country has dry seasons in July, September, and January. Almost every day during the rainy season, the nation experiences intense rainfall. But after the rain stops, the rest of the day is usually sunny and bright. Therefore, the dry season is the ideal time to explore Akagera National Park. Most of the park’s roadways get muddy during the wet months of March, April, and December. Therefore sturdy 4 x 4 safari vehicles with ground clearance are necessary. It does not imply that it rains every day, however many tourists do go during the rainy season. Contact us to know more about a boat cruise on Lake Ihema in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park.

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