WHAT CAN I DO ON LAKE IHEMA IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK-RWANDA
Akagera National Park protects lakes such as Lake Ihema and Lake Kivu, which also attract many visitors. Lake Kivu is Rwanda's largest water body, while Lake Ihema is the country's second-largest lake and is situated in the only savannah national park in Rwanda where travelers can spot wildlife. Rwanda’s various regions can be explored to view the quite diverse range of flora and fauna, which includes trees, lakes, rivers, game animals, wetlands, and primates.
Rwanda is famous because of the mountain gorilla species that live in the Volcanoes National Park, as well as other primate species such as the golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park and the chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest National Park, which are the main reasons why Rwanda is popular.
Akagera National Park boat tours are conducted on Lake Ihema, which is found in the Kayonza district, which is in the southern part of the park. Lake Kivu is shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lake Kivu is slightly larger than Lake Ihema.
While on Lake Ihema, travelers can see various water animals such as hippos, crocodiles, and many bird species. At Lake Ihema, more frequently seen bird species include the shoebill stork, plovers, Papyrus gonolek, herons, hawks’ sandpipers, jacana, and malachite kingfishers, to name a few.
The primary plant species located on this lake is papyrus, and a seasonal papyrus swamp surrounds it. Because a wetland protects the lake's wildlife species, this papyrus swamp makes the perfect home for many wildlife species.
Lake Ihema is part of Rwanda's Akagera National Park, which is regarded as a protected area, which means that humans are forbidden to use the resources in any way, including fishing. According to a law passed in 1934, although there are fish in Lake Ihema, it is illegal for park visitors or residents within the surrounding communities to fish there.
How do you reach Lake Ihema?
Lake Ihema is in the Akagera National Park. Travelers can either take a minibus to the park or connect from Kigali on a 2-hour road transfer to get to Lake Ihema, which is inside the Akagera National Park. If a traveler chooses a bus, keep in mind that there is a chance of missing the scheduled boat trip because the buses are not scheduled and leave at random times.
Lake Ihema has boat trips from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for the morning shifts, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the afternoon shifts, and 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the evening shifts.
Before leaving Akagera National Park, make sure that you go on a quick game drive to view the park's land wonders as you refresh on the aquatic life that you saw on the boat cruise. After the game viewing, spend a few nights within the park, and then take a transfer back to Kigali. Akagera National Park offers affordable and moderately priced lodging, such as the Karenge Bush Camp. The most luxurious lodges to stay at are the Rusizi tented camp or the Magashi tented camp.
Akagera National Park has many other activities to offer in the area besides the boat cruise and game viewing, including behind-the-scenes tours, a walk-the-line experience, or a visit to the nearby local community for a cultural encounter. After a long day of game viewing or primate trekking in one of the nation's other national parks, taking a boat cruise on Lake Ihema can be so relaxing that you just sit back and take in the beautiful scenery. Get in touch with us to plan your ideal safari to Akagera National Park.