Our journeys change lives….That’s the brand line for Wilderness Safaris and they are totally right!
Magashi Camp (Wilderness Safari’s newest Rwanda masterpiece)
Magashi Camp is situated in the productive and phenomenally diverse north-eastern corner of Akagera National Park, overlooking scenic Lake Rwanyakazinga. Akagera comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp and grassy low mountains – and is home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, large crocodiles, as well as the rare sitatunga and almost 500 species of birds. Teeming with plains game, Akagera also boasts a healthy population of lion which were introduced by African Parks in 2015 after a 20-year absence; black rhino were reintroduced in 2017. Magashi – the only exclusive-use area in Akagera – also harbors a good density of leopard.
Wilderness Safaris’s core purpose in Akagera is to help conserve Rwanda’s last protected savannah ecosystem, and regenerate species like black rhino and the rare and elusive shoebill.
Due to the sheer acreage of Akagera National Park, game drives can turn into big adventures with the distance being covered in all types of terrains. Like any safari experience it can boil down to luck if you spot the Big 5 but Akagera offers a huge possibility, with elephants strolling by your camp, hippos in the lake in front of your tent, the big cats and buffaloes roaming across the savannah.
During one of our game drives we unexpectedly came across two leopards playing and most likely mating in some of the rockiest terrain possible. The male ran off but the female was not in the least affected, in fact she was very confident and playful and even put on a little show for us, posturing and posing, which is actually very rare for a leopard to act this way. Even Bosco, our game drive guide and ranger of over 20 years of experience was totally flabbergasted by the audacity of the female leopard. Nature will never cease to amaze.
One day after our boat safari we came back to land and spotted two female lions relaxing in the tree. I’ve seen lions on many safaris but never relaxing in a tree. They looked like they were literally balancing on the branches and one wrong move and they would fall down. They chilled on the branches for a while and we also waited patiently as we knew when the sun went down they would be on the move again in the cooler temperature of the night. It was fascinating as we essentially went into “lion time”, animals have a totally different rhythm to life in the wild and it can be very therapeutic for us ‘hurried’ humans.
Once our stay at Magashi had ended we were on our drive back to the main gate and the team radio came through with the announcement that approx. 50 elephants had come to visit the camp. Again, Mother Nature does not care about our human schedules!
What I really loved about Magashi was the fact you could enjoy a boat or land safari. On arrival we were driven from the main gate on an hours drive and then we hopped on the boat with refreshments heading to the camp
Our welcome to the property was by boat with the staff all signing from the jetty.
The jetty leads up to the main dining, a living area, pass the pool and the boma (fire pit)
Magashi has 6 tents either side of their central dining area. They are all one bedrooms and spread along a 1km wooden bridge that snakes through the entire property. All the tents face the lake which provides the most incredible views of the mountain range. Be it lying in bed or sitting on your terrace you have a great view of the hippos basking in the sun or bobbing their heads out of the water.
The rooms are spacious with a large bathroom. As they are tents we left the canvas cover off the zipped doors facing the terrace so we could listen to the sounds of nature in the night. This can be noisy with the sounds of lions or hippos but its totally safe and so incredible to listen to while you drift off to sleep or when you wake up in the morning.
The camp is an all inclusive with private cars so game drives can be done at any time that suits you. After a long morning game drive, we would have lunch then sit by the pool, get ready again for a sunset boat cruise. The cruise is great to enjoy sitting on the top deck of the small motor boat as you get to see wildlife you wouldn't normally get close to by land. I’m not a fan of crocs but you would see them lying on the waters edge with a bloat (group) of hippos close by. You can even crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy the journey before heading back to camp for dinner. Rwanda truly at its most magnificent.
Our guide was called Bosco from Zambia, he was so amazing to chat to with a wealth of knowledge about Africa and wildlife. Having worked with Wilderness Safaris for many years he’s worked all around Africa specially Zambia. I would recommend him to all my clients; he adds that level of originality and authenticity that makes the trip even more special.
I have to say my experience with Rwandair was pretty amazing. We flew business class which is really affordable, very comfortable, fully reclinable seats, the latest movies on touch screen and excellent service.
Flights direct to Kigali only 5 hours from Dubai. The absolute best way to start your Rwanda adventure.
From the remains and ruins of a brutal civil war and the horrific genocide of over 800,000 human beings, rises a new country. Rwanda is not only a symbol of hope for Africa but a shining example for the world - when peace, tolerance, forgiveness, respect for rule of law and compassion and dignity for your fellow human being become cornerstones for a vibrant, growing and creative new community.
This was all on display as I traversed through the raw, natural beauty of Rwanda. Rwandans are exceptional people. They wear the lesson of the genocide with care and understanding, using the pain and suffering of those frightful days to keep striving towards a better society. It shows in the gentle words they speak and the love they show through their smiles.
The energy is palpable. You can feel that this is a country on the move, they have found the right path and they’re not looking back.
From the jungles in the north, the bush in the east and the lakes in the west, it is easy to see why Rwanda is fast becoming a new tourism favorite. The rawness of the natural beauty combined with the vibrancy of a new community is intoxicating. Whether you are on game drives spotting lions and leopards, making that ‘bucket-list visit to the famous mountain gorillas, or just taking in the incredible natural vistas of mountains, jungles, savannahs and bush, Rwanda has so much to offer. As those American ladies we met at Bisate, who literally make annual pilgrimages to the gorillas, can attest, one visit to Rwanda is simply not enough.
Watch my Bisate video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_45bG_gH_sc&t=121s
Watch my Gorilla Trekking video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPx2D4I1Y58&t=3s
Read my experience trekking the Mountain Gorillas: http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2022/04/08/gorilla-trekking-rwanda/
To book your bucket list experience, please contact: