The best time to see many animals is early morning before the sun rises, when they are at the most active. A guide will lead you to a spot from where you can observe wild animals, many of which may be considered masters of the savanna - giraffes, zebra, buffalo, and impala. With luck, you may come across one of the savanna's beasts of prey, while at water's edge you are likely to see a family of hippopotami.
Akagera is a bird-watchers' paradise, well-known as a sanctuary that is home to more than 500 bird species. Patient waiting by a lake may be rewarded with the sight of fish eagles hunting. Rare species such as the shoebill stork and several of the 345 species of migratory bird that stop depending on the season may also be encountered. The many indigenous species that inhabit Akagera include grey heron, plover, snipe, and others.
The African elephant "Mutware"
One of the most popular animals in Akagera is a bull elephant named Mutware . It was raised from infancy as a pet in town by a Belgian man, but was released in Akagera when it became an adult. It was not accepted into any of the elephant herds, and during the civil war, when all the other elephants migrated to Tanzania, Mutware alone remained in Akagera. During mating season Mutware can be difficult to control, and sometimes destroys houses and cars, but he is recognized and looked after by park employees. He is also an intelligent elephant that enjoys matching wits with tourists by occasionally emerging from a thicket onto a road to surprise them, bringing their cars to a halt Mutware is the one animal you won't want to miss on a visit to Akagere.
*Visitors must travel with a guide in national parks. All visitors are requested to complete the entrance procedures at the park office. *Guides speak English and French. People joining tours individually are asked to note this.
Nearby places of interest
A magnificent falls on the border with Tanzania. This spot attracts many local people. About one hour from Akagera Gate.
Kakira Community (Kibungo)
Traditional cow dung decorative paintings and the Imigongo workshop. Watch local women create these works, which are also sold at a gallery inside the workshop. From $30. On the way from Kigali to Akagera.
* Please use prophylactic medicine for malaria. To avoid mosquito bites, visitors are advised not to wear clothes that expose the skin, and to carry insect repellant. * There is little protection from the sun on the savanna, and the direct sunlight and ultraviolet rays are strong. Visitors are advised to bring a brimmed hat and sunscreen lotion.