Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Akagera National Park, Rwanda

In what was turning out to be a very expensive day the park authorities relieved us of $320us for our 3 nights stay in the Akagera National Park.

Bearing in mind that this is camping in a park with little or no infrastructure, which is in dire need of visitor numbers and with only a limited selection of animals to see.  That is expensive.

The roads leading to the park had been slowly deteriorating since we turned of the tarmac of Route 2b.  Many of the villages in this area are populated by refugees who fled into the Akagera park trying to get away from the genocide.  They had then been cleared from the park, as the govt tried to re-establish the reserve.s They are the poorest looking village we passed through in Rwanda, even with their shiny new looking water pumps.

We were told by the wardens at the park gate where we could camp - one of the few sites was off limits due to an elephant in musth which had been causing problems.  So we headed for the nearest site on the worst roads we have seen to date.

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We were the only campers, in fact it appeared that we were the only visitors to the park.  In our time there we only saw three or four other vehicles and they all seemed to be park staff.  The campsite is basic, a long drop toilet, NO water, a rondavel for sheltering in, and...... well that's all.  This park has nothing other than wild landscapes, great views, nice animals and peace perfect peace.

Sunrise in the Akagera National Park, Rwanda
We pitched our tent and headed down from the campsite (which is high on a hilltop) towards the lake side.  Battling with the rocks, pot holes and tsetse flies all the way.  There are some hippo in the lake and lots of signs of elephants, but we weren't lucky enough to spot any.  There are various antelopes around so we assume there are some big predators too - again we weren't lucky enough to see any.

Back at camp for a dinner cooked in the rondavel and an early night to escape the mossies.

Camping in the Akagera National Park, Rwanda

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