Interesting Thing To Do In Lake Ihema

If you have visited the Akagera National Park before, you will probably know that Lake Ihema lies within the southern side of this Protected Area, in the savannah area of Rwanda’s Eastern Province. This Lake is fed by the Akagera River that also feeds other Lakes in the Park, but its eastern shores forms the boundary between Rwanda and Tanzania.

As the largest Lake in Akagera National Park, it covers an area of 90 square kilometers with changing depths from five to seven meters depending on the area and season and is situated in an area of altitude 1292 meters above sea level. The Lake is a habitat to several fish, wildlife (especially crocodiles and Hippos) and aquatic bird species, hence there are several tourist activities conducted in the Lake and these include

  • Bird watching

Of all the 500 species of birds found in the Akagera National Park, Lake Ihema and the surrounding wetlands specifically offer shelter to the aquatic as well as wetland species of birds that include Malachite kingfishers, shoebills storks, Egrets, Pelicans, Sandpipers, Papyrus Gonolek, Hawks, Marabou storks, Pied Kingfishers, Open-billed storks, Jacanas, plovers, Herons, African fish eagles, Cormorants, Sacred ibis and Grey crowned cranes among others.

  • Boat rides/cruises

If you are an adventurous tourist looking forward to enjoying something different from the usual safari experience in Rwanda, a boat trip on the magnificent Lake Ihema will fulfill your dream. During this wonderful adventure, you will get the chance to sail along the water edges that are surrounded by tall trees but also drift past many crocodiles and giant Hippos at the shallows of the Lake while others basking on the shores. On top of the refreshing feeling you will get during the activity, several species of aquatic and wetland birds such as Papyrus gonolek, Kingfishers, Shoebill storks, African fish eagles and Pelicans can be spotted. At least four scheduled boat trips-7:30am, 9:00am, 3:30pm and finally 5:00pm are conducted daily on Lake Ihema. Nonetheless, private trips can be conducted by Park Management outside the normal schedule. Boat trip has undeniably become one of the must-do activities by tourists who visit the Akagera National Park, due to the presence of Lake Ihema and other Lakes.  

A one hour boat trip costs only $40 per person for a maximum of 11 people while a private boat ride costs about $180 to hire the entire boat. The latter is the best because you will get the chance to enjoy the sunset cruise with some drinks as you watch the sun set in an African wilderness. Watching the sun set makes all the stress rush out of you but being on the Lake generally brings that tiny peace of the serenity in Rwanda.

  • Sport fishing

Sport fishing is another interesting activity conducted on Lake Ihema, and can be organized for interested tourists as long as they seek for permission and acquire fishing permits on top of carrying their own equipments. The main method of fishing is use of hooks and Tilapias are the commonest fish species caught in this Lake.

Therefore, activities such as Sport fishing, boat rides and bird watching can be enjoyed within Rwanda’s Lake Ihema and can only be fulfilled by visiting the country’s only savannah Protected Area, Akagera National Park.

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Nyungwe National Park Accommodations (Lodges, Campsites)

Nyungwe National Park Accommodations (Lodges, Campsites)

Is Nyungwe Forest National Park your dream destination in Rwanda and you are wondering about which accommodation to spend a night? Nyungwe Forest National Park is remarkable one of the most spectacular and popular primate destinations in Rwanda that you should consider in your bucket list. For visitor complete safari at this park, there must be variety of comfortable lodging and accommodation facilities for visitor overnight stay. That said, the notable safari at Nyungwe Forest National Park range from midrange to luxury and all travelers interests are covered;

Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Nyungwe Forest Lodge features as one of the luxury safari lodges at Nyungwe Forest National Park that you should consider spending your overnight stay. The lodge is well designed to suit within the standards of the environment and five (5) star wilderness lodges, depicting the local culture which aligned with quality and modernity to offer visitors with magical experiences and satisfaction beyond their expectations. The lodge features a swimming pool, two treatment rooms, Jacuzzi pool, fitness center, pool side Boma, Boutique store, tea lounge, conference facilities, wireless internet at the main restaurant, modern restaurant and laundry along wheel chair user friendly main building.

Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Swimming pool

Nyungwe Forest Lodge offers accommodation in 22 luxury rooms which are fixed in six wooden villas each with four rooms. This lodge also has 2 presidential suites in rare villas with each of them featuring a Jacuzzi. The lodge’s rooms depict modernity and stunning décor and not to leave out the traditional touch. Every room at Nyungwe Forest Lodge features a private deck which over views the forest. This lodge has amenities like air conditioning, private mini bar, fire place, electric safe, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, private deck, en-suite bathroom with indoor shower, international dial telephone, international electric adaptors, Flat LCD screen and digital satellite channels and many more.

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

For visitors on safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park and interested spending a night in one of the most comfortable and convenient midrange safari lodge, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel should be a must for you to book in your next vacation in Rwanda. This lodge serves best for visitors who are undertaking chimpanzee trekking adventures at this national park or those who wish to engage in colobus monkey tracking, canopy walk and forest walks. The lodge features a fireplace in its rooms where travelers can enjoy while in their rooms or simply get out and enjoy it in an open environment after dinner as the Kinyarwanda will be entertaining you with amazing traditional dance and musical performances that reward visitors with the most thrilling cultural experiences. Nyungwe Hill Top View Hill Lodge features about 12 accommodation units and four of these rooms feature twin beds while the eight are in apartment form with Queen sized beds. The rooms are self contained and there is a well stocked bar and restaurant.

Gisakura Guesthouse

This guesthouse is located about 2 kilometers just outside Nyungwe Forest National Park and offers mainly basic accommodation to budget travelers on safari in Rwanda. Gisakura Guesthouse is situated in the Tea Estate of Gisakura on the road that links Cyangugu from Nyungwe Forest National Park. This guesthouse features double accommodation, twin and triple bed arrangement with en-suite facilities and the warm water is provided up on request as well as a very good restaurant.

The other alternative for visitor overnight stay at Nyungwe Forest National Park is camping. The park has wide range of campsites which favor camping safaris. There is Uwinka visitor center which has two camping facilities and they have tents, toilets and showers. These campsites have a canteen where visitors on safari can purchase some bites and drinks. Water and firewood is offered up on visitor request.

The wilderness campsites

There are also some campsite within the wilderness of Nyungwe Forest National Park and offer a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy their nights within the wilderness. These campsites are located on the walking forest trails. However, intending visitors are advised to come with their own camping gear especially tents, food, sleeping bags, and fire wood can be got at the site with the assistance of the park ranger. Mount Bigugu peak camp is another incredible camping ground that you should consider for your camping experiences at Nyungwe Forest National Park. This camping ground accommodates about 4 visitors and equally, visitors are advised to come along with their own camping gear.

The Congo Nile Divide Trail Campsite, this stretches up to 227 kilometers and allows visitors on safari in Rwanda to pay a visit to the point of divide between the catchment areas of the River Congo and the Nile River. This trail features about three best campsites.

In conclusion, if you are planning to have your next vacation to Nyungwe Forest National Park, the above accommodation should be a must for you to include in your travel plan. Simply contact our receptionist and we shall help you arrange your safaris and you will certainly have a memorable experience in Rwanda.

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