Lake Ihema

Welcome to Lake Ihema! Situated in the East of Rwanda and surrounded by lush Akagera National Park, Lake Ihema is Rwanda’s hidden gem with the size of 100 km2 that offers visitors the perfect escape and a chance to return to nature.

From tranquil and rejuvenating activities like bird watching, sport fishing and canoeing to more adventurous options like biking, hiking and game driving alongside Lake Ihema, there’s something here for everyone. With beautiful views, friendly locals, especially on the side of Tanzania, and a laid-back atmosphere, Lake Ihema is the ideal destination for your next Rwanda safari holiday. So why wait? Let’s explore this beautiful lake inside Akagera National Park. 

In addition to its natural beauty, Lake Ihema is also home to a variety of wildlife. The lake is a stopping point for many migrating animals, so you’re sure to see a wide variety of creatures if you take a safari through the park. Whether you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the Big Five or enjoy nature’s beauty, Lake Ihema is the perfect spot for animal lovers.

Rwanda is well-known for its variety of wildlife, including endangered mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park bordering Uganda and Dr Congo. Other primates, including chimpanzees and golden monkeys, also call Rwanda a home.

The country’s only savannah national park, Akagera National Park, has Lake Ihema, the second-largest lake in the nation. The only savannah park in the nation, Akagera National Park is also home to various animals some of which you will see on your Rwanda safari, such as elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippos, and others.

Two lakes in Akagera National Park are supplied by the renowned Akagera River, a Nile river branch. The river segment known as the Akagera River begins in Burundi. It travels east to Lake Ihema in Rwanda before continuing on to Tanzania. As a result, it is believed that Lake Ihema and the River Akagera define the border between Tanzania and Rwanda.

In the southern region of Akagera National Park, Lake Ihema covers 90 square kilometres. Its depth ranges from 5 to 7 meters, and its elevation is 1,292 meters.

Hippos, crocodiles, etc., Papyrus gonolex, shoebill storks, herons, jacanas, sandpipers, plovers, hawks, and malachite kingfishers, among other aquatic and avian species, can be found at Lake Ihema. Respectively,

Papyrus swamps, both perennial and seasonal, surround the lake, improving the habitat’s adaptability for the variety of animals and birds that inhabit it and its surroundings. The swamps create suitable wetlands that serve as wildlife habitats throughout the park.

Despite having fish in its waters, Lake Ihema is a protected area because it is located within Akagera National Park. It is prohibited to fish in the lake; please check out the rules and regulations in Kagera National Park. 

The water hyacinth spreads over Lake Ihema, threatening its waters despite their beauty and distinctiveness. The hyacinth’s impact on the lake not only contributes to its pollution but also threatens the existence of the aquatic life that inhabits it. The water hyacinth accomplishes this by covering the entire water body, which lowers the lake’s temperature, phosphate content, and oxygen content. The loss of any of these causes the aquatic life to perish or even stops the emergence of new life.

You will have a front-row seat to observe a variety of aquatic life like hippos, otters, etc. on the water, wild creatures at the lake’s shoreline coming to quench their thirst, and a variety of birds that live on the water as well as others flying off to their nests while you are on a boat trip.

You may observe the currents of the Akagera River as they enter the lake and neighboring lakes. You can take in the beautiful views of the local flora, including unusual plants, trees, and papyrus.

You can go on game drives at Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park to witness more land fauna and bird species.

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John Doe

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