Boat tour on Lake Ihema

Explore the tranquil Lake Ihema, watch the wildlife and the birdlife by the shores of the lake on your Rwanda Safaris

Boat Tour on Lake Ihema: Akagera National Park is the best destination for any traveller looking for the ultimate wildlife safari in Rwanda. The national park has risen beyond its grim history of forest devastation, mismanagement, and the loss of several wildlife species. Now, Akagera National Park is home to a diverse range of species, including the highly sought-after Big Five. The park is home to over 500 bird species as well as 8,000 huge mammals such as 22 lions, over 80 giraffes, and more than 100 African bush elephants. The national park provides day and night wildlife drives, fishing, hiking and nature walks, leisurely camping, and birding trips to its guests. Boat rides are also available to visitors to Akagera National Park. Visitors may explore the national park’s lakes and neighboring islands, as well as the fauna that inhabits the lake waters and shoreline.

Exploring Akagera National Park by boat is a thrilling and daring experience. The majority of Akagera’s boat tours take place on Lake Ihema. The lake is located in the southern section of the national park and is one of the largest of the park’s ten lakes. Lake Ihema has a surface size of roughly 90 square kilometers and a depth of about 5-7 meters. The lake’s eastern end is on Rwanda’s border with Tanzania. The lake is fed by the famed River Kagera, which also supplies the majority of the national park’s lakes.

A boat tour on Lake Ihema allows you to discover the abundant wildlife in and around the lake. Visitors may witness wildlife such as hippopotami and crocodiles while taking a boat tour on Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park. The lake is well recognized for having the highest number of hippo in East Africa. Visitors may also see a variety of bird species such as the Papyrus Gonolek, jacanas, herons, sandpipers, malachite kingfisher, hawk, and the uncommon shoebill stork, among many more.

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Boat Tour on Lake Ihema

Boat Tour on Lake Ihema

Your private guide will bring you to the jetty where you will meet an Akagera National Park guide who will accompany you throughout the boat tour on Lake Ihema. Before you get on the water, the guide will provide a safety briefing and thorough training. In addition, your guide will carry a cooler box with drinking water and soft drinks. Private trips can be booked. Lake Ihema has a lot of water hyacinth, which is one of the lake’s biggest dangers. The presence of water hyacinth in the lake endangers the lives of numerous aquatic creatures and birds. The water hyacinth also has an impact on the ease of movement of boats on the lake, as well as the quality of the water.

The lake is also linked to the Akagera River, also known as the Kagera River, and most of the marshes in Akagera National Park. The majority of boat tour on Lake Ihema are planned, with boat journeys taking place four times a day at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. Non-scheduled boat cruises are provided in the national park for those who want to do private tours.


Akagera National Park, located in eastern Rwanda, has 2500 square kilometers of mostly Savannah terrain. The park takes its name from the Kagera River, which flows along Rwanda’s eastern border with Tanzania. Lake Ihema and several smaller lakes in and around the park are fed by the river. The park preserves an acacia and shrub environment with sections of open grassland and a dozen marshy lakes typical of the African Savannah. It has a high degree of biodiversity and is part of a huge protected wetland. Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s sole Savannah national park and the only area to see the majority of the large species when on a Rwanda safari. There are forest elephants in the other parks, but they are difficult to see. On a game drive, you may explore the park from the luxury of your safari vehicle.


Behind the Scenes Tours in Akagera National Park

Game drives in Akagera National park

Game drives in Akagera National Park begin early in the morning in pursuit of leopards, hyenas, and the reintroduced lions. This is because predators prefer to hunt at night or early in the morning and typically go into hiding when the sun heats up. Along with the predators, take in the surroundings and other large creatures such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, and giraffes. The environment and magnificent wildflowers will provide superb photographic opportunities for the interested photographer.

Park officials also conduct night game drives. These typically run for around 2 hours, beginning at 6 p.m. and ending about 8.30 p.m. You will have a flashlight to assist you in viewing the many night wildlife. You could get a chance to see leopards or lions while they hunt.

Bird watching in Akagera national park.

In Rwanda, Akagera National Park is a renowned and important birding destination. Bird watchers will enjoy visiting Akagera National Park since it allows them to see both endangered bird species such as the papyrus gonolek and the shoebill as well as more common species such as weavers, egrets, and various Kingfishers. Birding is done on game drives, nature walks with a ranger escort, and boat safaris on Lake Ihema. Birding on Lake Ihema allows you to witness aquatic species that you would not see on a game drive on the Savannah grassland. Overall, we encourage birding at Akagera National Park because of the diversity and convenience with which you may view the species.

Boat Tour on Lake Ihema

Cultural excursions in the vicinity of Akagera National Park

Experience rural Rwandan life near Akagera National Park’s cattle herding settlements. You may see and/or participate in traditional cow grazing, milking, and milk storage in calabashes for preservation. You next go through the process of transforming milk into various products such as traditional yogurt and ghee and finally participate in the preparation of a dinner using some of the milk products’ ingredients. This is a real cultural experience enjoyed by the villagers who live near to the park, and they may supplement their agricultural income with it. This eventually benefits conservation culture and the park’s wild creatures.


You may travel from Kigali to Akagera National Park through Rwamagana town (entry is only through the southern gate. The northern gate is now exclusively used for leaving. The travel to the park entrance takes around 2 hours. Those who do not want to drive the two hours can fly to the park utilizing the services of Akagera Aviation.

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