We are from the U.S. but living in Kigali for the year with 2 small kids (age 3 and 1) so are somewhat used to what to expect in Rwanda. That being said reading the reviews we almost cancelled our weekend plans for Akagera because Ruzizi was full and the reviews on here were abysmal. But after talking to a few friends who reassured us we decided to give it a try - and were so glad we did!
If you are expecting luxury safari accommodations you will be disappointed so should probably go elsewhere. But if you are looking for a comfortable, pleasant place to sleep for a great weekend at Akagera seeing the amazing animals this place definitely does the trick. The hotel is a bit run down but on a beautiful property, with nice and helpful staff and good food.
The lobby was very nice and they welcomed us with an easy check-in and mango juice for all which was delicious. There is a gorgeous property in the back on a hill overlooking the lake with a nice pool that when we were there looked clean and swimmable, a small playground (rare in Rwanda - my kids were thrilled) and poolside seating.
The restaurant upstairs feels a bit like a camp dining room but has windows on all sides to look out at the lake. The service is a bit slow as usual in Rwanda but they were pleasant and helpful. The food wasn't amazing but was good enough and the omelet bar in the morning was a hit with everyone. The packed lunches were pretty simple sandwiches and overpriced but what do you expect when you are a captive audience with no where to buy supplies for miles and miles of bumpy dirt road. Next time we go I'll definitely pack sandwich fixings and skip the box lunch.
The rooms were slightly old but ours and my father's (who they kindly put right next door to us) were totally acceptable. There was a king sized bed with decent pillows (don't get me wrong nothing fancy at all but totally acceptable). They brought us a crib quickly that wasn't in the best shape but was safe and worked. The bathroom was pretty standard for Rwanda and even had a shower curtain (which is unusual for around here) and the hot water and water pressure was good. Things were certainly clean enough - nothing gross at all and we were totally comfortable. Hot water, clean towels, reliable power and water. There wasn't a mosquito net in our room but we asked for one and they put it up quickly while we were at dinner, plus brought us two more to put over our kids's cribs.
The baboons are everywhere so I wouldn't let my kids run around too far away from us given that they are small - but we never had any trouble - and the kids thought the baboons were great built-in entertainment. Just don't leave your hotel room or car door open! We even had one open the door of the restaurant and run across the room while we were eating lunch (quickly chased away by the attentive waitstaff) - which my kids are still talking about with glee.
All in all a great stay and we will definitely be back. Don't miss the boat trip on the lake while you are there. The animals are amazing!
- Also Known As:
- Akagera Game Hotel Kigali