07 Aug How to visit Akagera Park Cheaply
Akagera National Park is a rare thing in Rwanda; it is poised to become the nation’s only Big Five park. Although it was threatened in the recent past by reallocation and the winds of uncertainty brought by the Rwandan Genocide, the park has found a way to reinvent itself and protect the wildlife therein at once. It can be expensive to go on safari, and you might think that it is out of your reach. But we’re here to help you find ways to visit Akagera Park cheaply.
The park is the oldest in Rwanda, the only protected Savannah region in the country. After a time where they had been removed entirely, lions were re-introduced to the park in 2015. Two years later, the pride of the park is doing great and has even welcomed new arrivals. The park is in the middle of a revival that has seen many disappeared species reintroduced, and in 2017 there is a brilliant development. Black Rhinos are now back in Akagera National Park!
All this reinvention and history means that there are a lot of opportunities to have a different kind of safari experience if you go to Akagera Park cheaply. This is a perfect getaway from Kigali. Let’s break it down.
Get There Cheaply
Even though public transport is the cheapest option, it’s not always the most comfortable. We recommend renting a car and using it to do a self-drive tour. There are many companies that are both reliable and economical. Two stand out of the crowd for getting to Akagera Park cheaply:
Self Drive Rwanda has 4x4s for low prices, and they offer specific packages for self-drive tours in Akagera Park. Open 24 hours.
Kigali Car Rentals is a little bit more expensive, but it’s worth it for their five-star service. They have a Toyota Rav4 for just $65 US per day.
Activities in the Park
The price of the entrance fee is 35 USD for international visitors. That’s really reasonable, and the guided activities in the park are also good for seeing Akagera Park cheaply. There is bird-watching, fishing, and boating available for reasonable prices. In addition, you can hire a guide to help you find the best spots for just $15 for a half-day safari. That really is seeing Akagera Park cheaply! Don’t miss the behind-the-scenes tour, either.
Staying Near (Or IN!) Akagera Park Cheaply
A Google search may tell you that there are only two places to stay near Akagera. That’s simply not true, in the age of the shared economy, Airbnb offers several ways to stay near Akagera Park cheaply, including a great place called Rwinkwavu Eco-House. Their rooms are 25$ US and you can rent the whole house for 80$ US per night if you have a big group. The eco-lodge is well-stocked, sustainably designed, and only 15 minutes from the Akagera National Park gates.
For just $20 per night, you can stay at one of the three campsites in Akagera Park itself. You can rent a tent, but you should bring supplies with you. It’s a great way to stay in the park super cheaply.
Partners in Health (known locally as Inshuti Mu Buzima) operates a hospital very near to Akagera National Park. If you contact ahead of time, you may be able to volunteer or visit. In 2016, the group made the first neonatal intensive care unit for this region.