Lake Ihema in Rwanda.

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

After the enormous Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema is the second biggest Lake in Rwanda covering 110 Km2 surface area with a depth of 16ft and a surface elevation of 4,239ft, it’s one of the great tourism destinations in the country. It lies at the border of Rwanda and Tanzania in the East of Rwanda in the southern part of Akagera National Park, Kayonza District. This magnificent lake is fed by the Kagera River. Lake Ihema is the largest lake in Akagera national park.  

Just around Lake Ihema, there are seasonal wetlands and large perennial swamps that house several protected animals of the Akagera National Park and also act as a source of permanent drinking water for these animals. Due to the park’s richness of lakes, papyrus swamps, beautiful wildlife and several bird species, the park gives such an extraordinarily remarkable Safari tour in Rwanda. The lake also hosts several crocodiles and hippopotamuses with over 550 stunning bird species including the famous shoe bill, jacanas, malachite kingfishers, hawks and plovers. 

Boat Cruising at Lake Ihema.

Boat cruising at Lake Ihema gives the most tremendous and fun experience for its blend of stunning bird and sunset views, in fact, visitors and guests shall sight several water species including crocodiles and hippopotamuses while on the boat tour. 

The boat cruising tickets at Lake Ihema go for about USD $45 per head and each session lasts for two hours and a half. While on the boat safari, visitors shall also be able to sight Zebras, Elephants and antelopes on the shores of Lake Ihema. 

There are also several water bird species in and around Lake Ihema including the crowned lapwing, Blue-cheeked bee-eater, African darter, Great egret, Squacco heron, Eastern Grey plantain eater and the famous shoe bills. Migratory bird species are always an eye-catching attraction for most tourists since they migrate and move distances from Europe to Africa running away from cold winter conditions and can be sighted along the showers of Lake Ihema.    

Boat tours on the lake are also scheduled so visitors should be time managers because the first cruise kicks off at exactly 8:00 am for the Morning session while the second one will come in at around 2:00pm before the last session for the evening hours at about 5:00 pm. Watching the sunset along these beautiful water bodies in the evening hours during the evening session is yet another remarkable moment that shouldn’t be missed by travelers.  

Visitors should tattoo it on their mind that to get to explore these freshwater bodies, one has to get into the Akagera National Park first, this is because Lake Ihema is situated in the park. Therefore, visitors shall be required to pay park fees of about USD $100 for a single day so they can access the park alone without the USD$45 for a boat cruising ticket. 

There are also game drives along Lake Ihema in Rwanda that gives guests and travelers the chance to sight wildlife in the Akagera National Park which also hosts the big 5 mammals including lions, leopards, elephants and several bird species around the lake. The herbivores in the park can be sighted especially in the early hours of morning during the boat tour morning session from buffaloes to Elephants and Hippopotamuses heavily drinking water from Lake Ihema. 

Sport Fishing at Ihema.  

Here, visitors are actually rewarded with fishing certificates to show their participation in the fun activity.  It is such a remarkable moment that visitors get to engage in different fishing activities along Ihema Lake and can even observe a number of fish species from Nile perch, Tilapia, Catfish to mention but a few. 

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