Though Rwanda is a small country, it still emerges among the most beautiful countries in the world. The thousand hills, orderly and exciting capital, first rate views and the vast ecosystems all just make this small country tamely exclusive. Lake Ihema is the largest lake in Akagera National Park.
Being famously known for its huge numbers of endangered mountain gorillas that reside in the north-west based Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda is also home to amazing wildlife and primate safaris in Akagera and Nyungwe National park respectively.
The country proudly homes a series of mountains of the Virunga ranges, the Bisoke Mountain, Karisimbi Mountain, Muhabura Mountain and several others all presenting incredible hiking safaris.
Notably all safaris in Rwanda take visitors for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park; a renowned home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, plus a city tour around Rwanda’s capital Kigali and also a cultural safari at Ibyiwachu cultural village.
But this rather tiny country offers much more than that. It is filled with numerous lakes amounting to a total of 23 lakes. Situated in the great lakes region, Rwanda is bordered with stacks of beautiful lakes, rivers and wetlands and several tourists assemble in the country to view these serene Rwandan lakes.
Other major famous lakes in Rwanda include; Lake Kivu, the largest in Rwanda and one of the large fresh water lakes lying in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Burera and Ruhondo, the twin lakes based in the outskirts Volcanoes national park, Muhazi, Rweru, Cohoha and many others. However, amidst all those beautiful lakes, there is a unique one with special features and attractions not found on all other lakes that make it an outstanding lake in Rwanda, it’s Lake Ihema.
Located in the eastern province, south of Akagera National Park, Lake Ihema is the largest lake in the park and the second largest in Rwanda covering a total space area of about 90 square kilometers. It is one of the many lakes fed by Akagera River and its depth varies from 5 to 7 metres depending on the season.
This richly supplied lake with biodiversity forms a border between Rwanda and Tanzania. Its location in Akagera national park renders its ample environment for crocodiles, hippos and other wildlife species. For more adventurous travelers intending to have a different experience from the usual one in this park, opt for a boat ride on the shimmering Lake Ihema.
For the birders, Lake Ihema is a haven with more than 550 bird species including the vulnerable and rare species ranging from the shoebill stork, papyrus Gonolek among endemic species to the ibises, herons, kingfishers, jacanas, raptors and many more. A simple sail takes you to the edge of the lake spotting various sea birds, crocodiles basking on the shores and giant hippos.
Visitors in Akagera national park can also undertake sport fishing adventures on Lake Ihema. However, those interested in this adventure are encouraged to carry along equipment to use for fishing, and the commonest species caught are always the tilapias.
The lake’s position in the park guarantees visitors on Rwanda wildlife safaris the best game drive experience in the country. Over 50 wildlife species are spotted in just a few minutes of the drive, this is an ultimate chance to spot the buffaloes, elephants, water bucks, bush bucks, warthogs, Oribis, among others.
For any traveler planning an African safari, it should be in Rwanda’s Akagera national park for exclusive boat rides on Lake Ihema and up close wildlife encounters with Africa’s Big 5 mammals in the jungle.
Note that Rwanda is also popularly known for her incredible gorilla safaris in Volcanoes national park. An exclusive Rwanda safari could take you to see the big game, chimpanzees in Nyungwe national park, beautiful scenery, boat rides as well as exploring the historical / genocide sites of the country.