Rhino in Akagera - A Big Five Safari Park

A few months ago, we brought you Akagera's ambitious plans to become a big five safari park. Sarah Hall, Akagera's tourism and marketing manager, told us that re-introducing lions to the park was just the first stage in the attempt to make Akagera a sustainable Big Five safari park. Re-introducing black Rhino to the park is the next stage. 

In the 1970s, there were roughly fifty black Rhino present in Akagera. However, the park’s last black rhino was spotted in 2007, nearly 10 years ago. While Hall can’t unequivocally pin their extinction in the park on poaching, she acknowledges that it’s a potential culprit. 

It’s really hard to say,” she says. “But poaching was rife at that time, and there was no boundary fence, and law enforcement wasn’t up to the standard they are today.
— Sarah Hall

Excitingly, Sarah's hopes of re-introducing Rhino to Akagera has been successful. In May, 10 black Rhino were brought to Akagera on an extraordinary journey from South Africa. Akagera is now a Big Five safari park, with lions, elephants, leopards, buffalos and rhino all sharing their home here. 

What does this mean for your family? Whilst Rhino will require you to take extra precautions in the park, this is definitely an exciting time to visit Akagera. Alongside the big five, Akagera is also home to giraffes, hippos, topi, waterbuck, antelope, elope and zebra, along with smaller herbivores such as duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. 

Photos © Alexandra Sanderson

Akagera is now the perfect chance to educate your family on local fauna and flora, as well as the importance of conservation. If you are thinking of visiting the park, make sure to take along binoculars, a camera and plenty of snacks. You can stay overnight in the campsites or, for something more luxury, at Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Karenge Bush Camp or Akagera Game Lodge. To find out more, visit the African Parks section on Akagera. 

Fees for day visitors are: 

  • Rwandan nationals: US$6 
  • Rwandan residents: US$30 
  • International visitors: US$40

Vehicle fees:

  • Rwandan registered vehicle: 7,500 RWF
  • Rwandan registered bus: 15,000 RWF 
  • Other fees apply for non-EAC registered vehicles