Akagera National Park

This is a national park where I spent my last two days in Africa.  I added this on to follow the gorilla trip.  It is not well known, and is recovering from the war.  It is a beautiful park.  It’s hard to believe that this small park could hold such different ecosystems.. from dense bush, to savannah, to marsh.  It is surrounded by lakes.  The animals are few and far between though.  And the only predators we saw was hyena poop.  Unmistakable because it’s white.  There was hardly anyone there.  After the busy parks we’d been to this was a change we were unprepared for.  At dinner the first night, there was absolutely no one in the dining room except us!  Later a group showed up but really, it seemed so strange… we thought perhaps we had entered the twilight zone!

This is the area of dense bush… in case you hadn’t noticed…

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vervet monkeys give a whole new meaning to the words ‘blue balls’.. Smile

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Although this is an entirely different place, the boats are built almost exactly the same as the boats in the Channel in Uganda.  I wish I had pictures of the contraptions built to help the men create planks of wood… all by hand.

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So many fish eagles… of course being around so much water helps..

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I have never, ever seen so many baboons in one place.  The baboons on this road represent only a few of the total number that were around.

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Then it gets a bit marshy…

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I cannot get enough of this beautiful bird, lilac breasted roller.

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Martial eagle, the largest!

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spur winged goose

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another goliath heron!

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another thick knee…

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In several places we saw these little butterflies all over slightly muddy spots in the road.  Perhaps they were after some mineral?

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hippos, hippos, hippos!

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It’s such hard work being a hippo…..

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This vegetation floats on top and these jacana just walk around on top of it.

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reed buck, I’m not sure..

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All the animals in this park are skittish.  They are not accustomed to vehicles.  They keep their distance or run away as these cape buffalo are doing.

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And savannah… a little bit of everything.

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The ranger had known there were quite a few giraffe in this area.  But there were men working in the area which made the giraffe move off.  They pointed us in the right direction and we found them easily.

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There were both maasai and reticulated giraffe here.  I think we counted over 20 giraffe hanging out here together.

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The next day we took a boat ride around an island.  What I really wanted to see, because they have been seen in this park, is the shoebill.  But the ranger told us that with the fishermen in the area, they hadn’t been seen for a while.  At any rate, most of the pictures that follow are birds.  Just warning you in case you are tired of birds.  There is, however, buried in this maze of pictures a very young crocodile.  I think you could even say it’s pretty cute.

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night heron (can’t remember which kind….)

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african darter… this is such a cool bird.

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cormorants

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giant kingfisher, I think

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grey heron..

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There it is…. so tiny!

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black stork

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That’s it on Akagera.  Nights and early mornings were interesting, however.  One night we were visited by buffalo wandering through the grounds of the lodge.  And early one morning we were invaded by baboons.  Too bad I couldn’t get pictures.

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3 thoughts on “Akagera National Park

  1. I am just getting started – going to work my way backwards – just wanted to say the birds are amazing! I just can’t imagine seeing so many varities! I would just die! And definitely…that baby croc is precious! i love it! It will be baby gator hatching season here soon!! I hope I get to see some!

    Looking forward to the rest of the trip!

  2. What a large variety of birdlife. You were fortunate to be able to see this area before the tourists flock there. There is nothing like seeing a park untouched by humans. Much of Southern Tanzania is like that.

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