The latest offering from Wilderness Safaris, Magashi offers a very high end base camp from which to explore Akagera! As this national park is a lesser-visited area in Rwanda, the prices for Magashi are very reasonable and designed to appeal. So for a great-value safari, offering luxury and some of the best service and guiding in the country, this lodge is well worth including in an itinerary to Rwanda.
Magashi is the newest addition to Wilderness Safaris’ impressive and extensive portfolio. The collection features some of our favourite camps and lodges across Safari Africa, not least the fabulous Bisate, a lodge providing gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park. Bisate and Magashi would make a really great combination for a diverse experience of the country. As Magashi is so new, no one at YZ has visited, but once we have we’ll provide a full report. In the meantime, our partners in Rwanda only have good things to say. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, and the camp is open throughout the year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed either via shuttle service from Kigali or by helicopter transfer. The shuttle service departs at 8am and midday daily. This takes around 5–6 hours, but it does include a few hours of wildlife viewing on the way to the camp. The helicopter transfer is much faster and offers spectacular views. We recommend flying one way and driving the other, to experience the views from above as well as the country at eye level – the latter provides opportunities to absorb some of Rwanda’s culture. The camp’s location is amazing, in the northern region of Akagera National Park and overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT MAGASHI CAMP:
Guest accommodation consists of just six tented rooms, accessed via a wooden walkway from the main areas. The rooms look spacious and airy – and they’re open sided, boasting uninterrupted lake views. Each has a king-size bed that could be reconfigured as twin beds, bedside stands and lighting, some storage furniture, and a comfortable seating area. A couple of plush rugs adorn the timber floor, and useful additions such as a multi-plug adaptor for charging, fans for hot days, and tea-and-coffee-making facilities add to the comfort. Every en-suite bathroom includes an indoor shower, single sink, and flush toilet.
The communal spaces at Magashi are also airy and open sided, with beautiful vistas over the lake. There’s a luxurious lounge, dining and bar area, pool, and expansive viewing deck with a convivial fire-pit, which is the perfect place for guests to socialise and share safari stories! The lounge has sumptuous seating around coffee tables, elegant lighting, overhead fans, and shelves containing reading material and some intriguing artefacts. The dining area features chic tables-and-chairs, in addition to fans and sophisticated chandelier-style lighting, while the bar is centrally positioned within the building and features traditional Rwandan imigongo elements. All interiors flow out onto the large viewing deck, with a semi-circle of chairs around the fire-pit. There isn’t a picture of the pool yet, but we’ll add that to our set of images once it becomes available.
ACTIVITIES AT MAGASHI CAMP:
Magashi offers a great range of activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives– Akagera National Park covers approximately 1,120 square kilometres, including beautiful highlands, sprawling plains, swamplands, and lakes. It’s the only park in Rwanda that’s home to all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! There are numerous smaller predators and herbivores too, such as hyenas, jackals, Maasai giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, and all sorts of antelopes. Day drives from the lodge take place during early morning and late afternoon.
Night drives– Head out after sunset, and you’ll enjoy opportunities to spot Akagera’s nocturnal species, not least leopard, hyenas, civet, and bush baby!
Boating– Guests are invited to board a boat and set sail on Lake Rwanyakazinga. The lake is home to impressive populations of hippo, as well as Nile crocodile and a thrilling assortment of waterbirds.
Catch-and-release fishing– The lake is fantastic for fishing too – keen anglers can happily while away a whole afternoon waiting for a bite from the likes of catfish and tilapia.
Guided walks– Please note, the availability of this activity depends on the time of your visit and also whether a specialist guide is in camp during your stay. Walks appeal to travellers interested in getting to know the smaller lives of Akagera – for example, the park’s plants, insects, and bird life. There are over 480 bird species here, including storks, herons, egrets, and the majestic crowned crane!