Earlier this month I visited Rwanda, where I had my very first safari experience at Akagera National Park.
We stayed at Magashi, a luxury eco camp situated in the center of Akagera national park, that is home of the “big five”.
Review Magashi Camp Akagera
Magashi Camp in Akagera national Park is a project by Wilderness Safaris, the number one operator for luxury and sustainable safaris. Magashi camp was opened in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board and conservation group African Park in order to protect and develop Akagera National Park.
As a sustainable camp, Magashi stays very exclusive. Indeed mass tourism does not match with sustainability. It has only 6 tents all very luxurious with views over Lake Rwanyakazinga. Our tent had the same standard than a luxury hotel room, with running hot water, spacious bed, comfortable bed, beautiful interior and a patio with lake view. We fell asleep with the sound of the hippos under our tent. Something that I will remember forever!
The main area of the camp has a bar and a living room, both decorated in Rwandan style with handicraft from the area. It is indeed Wilderness Safaris’ will to support the locals in it’s projects. Therefore, 1 of 3 emplyees at Magashi are from theneighbooring villages and the plan is to increase this number in the future.
Finally, there is also a fire place by the lake and a swimming pool for relaxing moments.
Safari in Akagera National Park
Before we talk about our safari, I want to point out that a few years ago, the wildlife in Akagera was endangered. Through zoos and conservation programms, wildlife was slowly reintroduced and protected from poachers. By now, all big 5 are to be seen in the park and Akagera is a must see destination for all wildlife lovers.
There are different ways to do a safari in Akagera National Park. We went on one game drive and one boat safari with the rangers of Magashi Camp
Game drive in Akagena National Park with Wilderness Safaris
We woke up early in the morning to go on a game drive with Adrian, one of the ranger at Magashi Camp. We drove through the very interesting landscape that is Akagera national Park : It has mountains, lakes, swamps, forests, plains… I did not expect such a landscape for a safari but it was even more interesting. After a short drive, Adrian, our ranger took out a tracker to see where lions were and luckily for us they were very close by. Indeed, Wilderness Safaris makes a work of observation and research for the conservation of endangered animals and this is why lions are wearing a tracker in the pictures below.
We also spotted many of the animals of Rwanda : baboons, antilopes, many zebras, buffalos, etc. So magical to see those animals in their natural habitat.
Boat safari in Akagena National Park with Wilderness Safaris
After the game drive, we hopped on a boat for safari on Lake Rwanyakazinga. Such a different experience than a game drive. That way you see animals from a very different perspective. We saw a giraffe and buffalos by the water, many hippos and crocodiles. It is also a very relaxing experience.
Both safari were leaded b our ranger Adrian who gave us informations about the animals but also about the work they do for conservation!
Fazit | Magashi Camp and safari in Akagera – Rwanda
Definitely once in a lifetime experience that I will remember forever. There are other ways to visit Akagera National Park that I mentionned in my article about the things to do in Rwanda but I would have not want to do it any other way. I mean sleeping with the sounds of hippos was magical! Also, Magashi camp is a wonderful project and gave me the feeling of actually supporting the conservation and empowerment project around Akagera National park by visiting. In regards of animals, we didn’t see all big 5 but this I didn’t expect. We saw lions but no elephants for example and I have heard from other groups that they saw elephants but no lions. It was still a fabulous experience and seeing wildlife is guaranteed anyways!