Managed by African Parks, a not-for-profit conservation organisation, Ruzizi Tented Lodge opened in 2012. The property has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! The accommodation is booked on a half-board basis, including breakfast, dinner, and parking – and children aged 5 years and younger stay for free. Please note, Wi-Fi is not available here.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Situated on the shores of Lake Ihema in Akagera National Park, Ruzizi is usually accessed via road transfer from Kigali International Airport. The journey takes approximately two-and-a-half hours.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The property has nine guest tents, positioned on either side of the communal lodge along the lake shore. Shaded among beautiful palm and fig trees, each tent is mounted on a sturdy stone plinth and Meru in style. This means it’s double layered – the outer layer of canvas extends over the inner layer to provide a shaded veranda, set with a couple of campaign chairs, a tree-trunk table, and a relaxing hammock! Inside, there are twin beds or a queen-size bed, bedside tables and lighting, a seating area, and snug rugs for comfort. Camp beds can be added for children aged up to 15 years. At the back of the tent, you’ll find the en-suite facilities, comprising flush toilet, twin washbasins, and bathtub or outdoor shower. There’s also plenty of storage space in each washroom area.
Ruzizi’s communal spaces are housed in a timber-and-thatch structure, which is linked to the guest tents via raised wooden walkways. The property’s reception leads through to a small bar, with lovely lake views. There’s also a lounge and a dining area, where hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are served daily. You can also tuck in to delicious meals on Ruzizi’s spacious deck, all the while enjoying spectacular vistas of Lake Ihema and its resident crocodile, hippopotamus, and birdlife! If you decide to take a full day out on safari, staff members will happily pack up a picnic for you. The deck has its own fire-pit, so it’s perfect for pre-dinner drinks with fellow guests. Dinners often feature pizzas, prepared in the lodge’s own pizza oven.
Ruzizi offers an exciting variety of activities. Guided game drives are great for exploring the highlands, savanna, and other areas of Akagera National Park, with guests encountering an impressive range of wildlife. Since 2017, with the reintroduction of rhino, Akagera has been home to all Big Five species – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! The park also contains hyenas, jackals, Maasai giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, and an excellent assortment of antelopes including eland, oribi, sable, roan, bushbuck, reedbuck, and waterbuck. The birdlife totals about 480 species, among them storks, eagles, herons, egrets, and the majestic crowned crane! Boat safaris bring you different perspectives of Akagera and its inhabitants, not least the crocs and hippos. And anyone interested in the region’s culture will be keen to take up opportunities to visit local villages and communities. Behind-the-scenes tours of park headquarters are available too, and you can even walk the 7 kilometres of fence line in the company of an armed scout and a guide. Termed ‘Walk the Line’, this activity provides a lot of insights into how Akagera is protected.
Photo credits: Sarah Hall, John Dickens, Marcus Westberg, Oliver Wiedemann, Mark Darrough, Gael Vande Weghe/Akagera Management Company