Camping in Akagera National Park

Campsites in Akagera National park

There are three campsites that offer basic facilities for the overnight stays with in the park. Muyumbu and Shakani cams are located in the south direction of the park. Muyumbu is located on the ridge that overlooks the lakes in Tanzania with in a distance and has got a spectacular backdrop for the rising sun. shakani also offers a lakeshore camping adventure experience along with mumbling hippos and the variety of bird life. The Mutumba campsite is located in the northern and its rich in game rich with high rolling grassland hills. The tents available for hiring at the reception and the firewood is provided on site and the visitors are also asked to bring their own camping supplies and the equipment’s. The park has got flat savannah grassland that makes the place so perfect for camping. This national park has got 3 camping sites that you should explore and also these include;

  • Shakani Akagera campsite

This campsite is also found on the shores of Lake Shakani which is the only lake in the park where fishing is carried out.  Camping in the area will offer you a chance to view the many hippos found in this area.

  • Mutamba Akagera Campsite

This area is the highest point with in the entire park and it’s known for the large number of wild animals that gather there, and among are the big herds of the large elands as well as the roan antelope among others. Camping in this area will also give you a closer meeting with the park’s animals.

  • Muyumba Campsites

Situated on the ridge and it offers beautiful views over two lakes. Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani into the nearby country Tanzania. This is the only camping area that is close to the park gate at Kiyonza.

Each of these 3 campsites offers the toilets as well as the wash rooms. What you need to note here is that tap water is not safe to drink in Akagera national park. And we recommend that you boil water before drinking it. Another option might be to carry bottled water with you. You can hire the tents from the reception while the firewood will also be provided.

The Experience of the traveler at Akagera Camping

It was a Friday afternoon when we packed our camping gear and then headed east of Kigali. Before the border to Tanzania, we turned off the dirty road and then entered into Akagera National park. We had to stop at the ranger station on the way into the national park and paid $10 camping fees. Just at the station, they have got q three tiered, descending, tourist price, price scale, resident visa and the local. We also saw our first wildlife before getting to the campsite. There was a deer like animal that called a water buck. This campsite was on the grassy ridge that was scattered with trees that were overlooking a lake and the edge of Tanzania. There was also a covered pavilion, scattered fire pits as well as an outhouse. After the pitching process of the tents and setting up the camp, the men walked off while the women slaved away to organize a meal of hamburgers.

Just at dusk, these bats that lived with in the pavilion roof, also began to leave for the night and we could also hear them rooting around. The main scaring part was only the animals that we couldn’t see. . we were just finishing dinner and then Sarah went off to the outhouse and she heard the baboons. This was a honking sound from very close and one of the men in our group ran with the bear spray to save Sarah who was so scared. Up now we did not find out which animal was making that sound and it might have been a topee. And for the rest of the night, Sarah was persuaded that wild animals were surrounding their tent, and nothing appeared out of that place in the morning.

As the women cooked breakfast, the men moved off to investigate the night time noises. When they returned, we ate pan cakes and the bacon form Germany. There was a lone baboon that entered the campsite and then began to eat the abandoned potato chips and sneaking around as you look for more food to steal.  These baboons have also changed and have got yogi skills and will take whatever they can get their hands on. We were lucky that he only entered in the pavilion and never stole anything. Also got out about the potato chips and around many baboons started hanging around the campsite. We left one couple to keep the tents safe and headed off onto a safari drive.

We also came back to the ranger station in order to pay another fee and this one was for the ranger to accompany us as he points out the animals. As we moved in our land cruiser, we went for the savanna where we saw more water buck, the impalas as well as the topee. The savannah is also open fairly with 4×4 trails and it would have been possible to self-drive and the guide knew all the best places to go. He was able to show us the zebra herd, water buffalo in the shade and the giraffes were chewing. We also moved towards the lake where we were able to see a swimming snake, the hippos, a big stork, the ducks, blue balled monkeys as well as the baboons. After the three hours’ drive, we enjoyed lunch, removed the camp and the drove back to Kigali.