Akagera National Park was founded in 1934 by the Belgian government, which occupied Rwanda during that time. It is located in eastern Rwanda, near the border of Tanzania, named for the Kagera River, which flows along the eastern border of the park. This park is an African safari destination made up of savannah, woodland, wetland, and lakes. Lakes and swamps make up a third of the park, and it is the largest protected wetland in Eastern-Central Africa. There are various lodges and spots to spend the night within this park so visitors can enjoy long driving safaris. The park was once overrun with so many wild dogs that they were considered pests, but an epidemic eradicated them and they were last seen in 1984. The park also suffered degradation from poachers and settlers, but has since recovered and is now thriving. Much like most African reserves, lodges, and parks, this area is a “Big 5” destination with popular African game like buffalos, elephants, rhinos, zebras, and giraffes, making it a great park for the best wildlife photography. Most recently, a family of lions from South Africa were donated from other African reserves to this park in an effort to conserve the lion population in Rwanda. While African parks and reserves are most known for enjoying the larger mammals, this national park is home to at least a whopping 490 bird species! This makes it a great destination for wildlife photography with a focus on the birds. You can go birding to see the colorful Malachite Kingfisher, Lizard Buzzard, African Fish Eagle, African Harrier Hawk, and the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. Owen traveled to Akagera National Park in February 2019.