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The new Ruzizi Tented Lodge opened in November 2012 is tucked away in the riverine forest on the edge of Akagera's largest lake. This small private camp offers seven en-suite tents dotted along the forested lake edge, sheltered by large trees and swaying palms. The tents are spaced either side of a thatched reception area with a lounge, bar and dining room. Each tent is accessible by a wooden boardwalk from the reception. The camp is entirely powered by solar, with a solar hot water system.
ABOUT THE LODGE
Ruzizi Tented Lodge was started in January 2012 and completed for opening in November 2012. This tented lodge is the first of its kind in Rwanda, although a well proven concept elsewhere in Africa. Ruzizi is built on the forested shores of Lake Ihema, Rwanda’s second largest lake.
With only 7 tents, a maximum of 14 guests, the camp is a quiet an intimate retreat. Each tent has its own en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, a dressing area and either comfortable queen or ¾ twin beds, with a private patio at the front.
A thatched central lounge/dining area is accessible by boardwalks from each tent. And a large deck under a shaded fig tree overlooks Lake Ihema, with a fireplace for cooler evenings.
Entirely powered by solar, the lodge prides itself on being environmentally aware.
CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT
Check in is at 2pm, earlier check-in may be possible by prior arrangement.
Check-out time is at 11am on the day of departure. It is possible for the lodge to keep your luggage in a safe place if you wish to collect it at a later time however we ask that you please vacate the room by 11am so it can be cleaned. Please make prior arrangements for any late check-outs.
POWER AND WATER
The tented lodge is entirely powered by a solar system. The lights, fridges and kitchen equipment, water provision and heating, and any personal electrical items you plug in are powered by solar. The system was custom designed to provide enough power for 3 days of autonomy at full occupancy. While we encourage you to enjoy the lodge and take advantage of the clean power to charge any electrical items, we also ask that you be conscious of your power usage by not leaving lights on unnecessarily, or leaving fully charged items plugged into power points.
Water is heated using a solar hot water system. There is an estimated allocation of 40L of hot water per person per day, which should be sufficient; however we ask you to please be conscious of your water usage, particularly hot water, and do not leave taps on unnecessarily.
Water is pumped, using solar, from a borehole. Although it has been tested and is safe for human consumption, we recommend you do not drink water straight from the tap. A bottle of drinking water is provided for you in your room daily. For brushing your teeth and washing the tap water is fine.
Children are welcome at Ruzizi Tented Lodge at any time, however we will be holding special package deals for families and actively encouraging families to visit at certain times of the year, so please keep an eye on our website for details on these.
Children must be accompanied by adults at all time during their stay. Due to the situation and design of the tented lodge, it is essential that children are not left unattended.
This policy applies to all children from 0 up to and including 12 years old.
Persons from 13 years and above are considered as adults and will therefore require their own room at the applicable adult rates.
0 – 5 Years
Accommodated at no additional cost, sharing with adults
Cost of food and drinks apply
Camp beds are provided. Cots are not available for small babies and travel cots must be brought
6 – 12 Year old
Accommodated at the child rate, sharing with adults
Cost includes breakfast and dinner
13 Years and above
Adult rates apply
Children accommodated in their own tent
Breakfast is served from 5.30am onwards in the dining room.
Lodge staff will ask you approximately what time you would like breakfast in the morning.
Breakfast may differ slightly daily but generally consists of local fruits, homemade breads and condiments, and eggs made to order, fresh fruit juice, tea and coffee.
Lunch is not included in the rate but a limited lunch menu is available, if requested.
Packed lunches can also be organized for you if you plan to be in the park, or on the road, but this must be arranged with lodge staff the night before they will be needed.
Guests are requested to join us in the lounge for pre-dinner drinks and snacks at 7pm. Dinner is served at 7.30pm in the dining room. Dinner is a set menu, freshly prepared by our lodge chefs, and will differ daily. Examples include a braai with a selection of meats and salads, a variety of gourmet pizzas, or a selection of potjie dishes, followed by a desert of the day.
If you have any allergies please let the lodge staff know upon arrival ,if you have not already done so when making your booking.
To conserve energy and water, bed linen is changed every second day for stay-over guests and fresh towels are provided at the guests request.
A laundry service for personal items is available. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for any washed and ironed laundry to be returned to your tent so it is not advisable to request for laundry to be washed less than 24 hours before your departure. To request for laundry, please fill in the form available in your tent and leave it on top of the laundry bag with your washing inside for collection by housekeeping staff. A set price of Rwf 5,000 per bag applies.
Please do not step off the boardwalks at the tented lodge. You are inside a National Park and there are wild animals around. It is very dangerous to walk anywhere which is not marked by a boardwalk.
Please be courteous to other guests and avoid playing loud music or anything else which may disturb the experience for other visitors.
A no smoking rule applies throughout the lodge.
We request that you put your mobile phones on silent or vibrate for the duration of your stay at Ruzizi.
Children must be accompanied by adults at all times during their stay.
Please adhere to the National Park Rules which apply to you during your stay at the tented lodge.
ABOUT THE PARK
Akagera National Park covers an area of 112,000 hectares in the east of Rwanda, on the border with Tanzania. It is named for the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes. Rolling hills of Acacia bush with panoramic views across scattered grassland, patches of thick forest and a mosaic of swamp-fringed lakes along the meandering Akagera watercourse contribute to this park’s almost unrivalled scenic beauty.
As the only protected savannah environment in the country, Akagera is unique in Rwanda. Large herds of buffalo and impala, zebra and topi are commonly seen on the open plains, whilst smaller antelope such as oribi, klipspringer, bushbuck and reedbuck exist widely throughout the park. Elephant tend to stay around the lakes which are inhabited by large populations of hippo and crocodiles. Baboons and vervet monkeys are commonplace, less so is the secretive blue monkey. Leopard, hyena and jackal are also residents and may be seen on a night drive along with genet, serval, bushbabies, porcupine and other nocturnal wildlife. An important population of sitatunga lives in the papyrus swamps along with other rarities such as the shoebill and other papyrus endemic bird species. These are among the 482 bird species found in the park, which make Akagera a haven for bird enthusiasts.
MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION
In 2009, African Parks partnered with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to create the Akagera Management Company (AMC), the entity responsible for the day to day management of Akagera National Park, in terms of a 20 year joint management agreement.
African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. By adopting a business approach to conservation, supported by donor funding, African Parks aims to make each park sustainable in the long term, thereby contributing to economic development and poverty alleviation. Currently African Parks manages seven parks in six African countries, with a combined area of 4.1 million hectares.
AMC are also responsible for the construction and management of Ruzizi Tented lodge. Although it is being run as a business, all profits from Ruzizi Tented Lodge go directly back into the management of the Park for conservation initiatives and the long term sustainability of Akagera National Park.
Further information on African Parks and Akagera can be found on the African Parks website www.african-parks.org.
Explore the park at a leisurely pace on a self-drive or take a knowledgeable guide who can direct you to areas of abundant wildlife and stunning scenic vistas.
If you are looking for a variation on the usual safari experience, a boat trip on Lake Ihema will not disappoint. Drift along the forest-fringed lake edge, past huddles of hippo and basking crocodiles. For the serious birder a boat trip is a must, offering several rare gems.
Lake Shakani is the site of our fishing activity; spend a relaxing day fishing off the lake shore and then cook your catch over an open fire at the campsite.
Behind the Scenes
For more insight into Akagera, including conservation developments within the park, take a ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ tour of the park headquarters and meet some of the people integral to the management of the park.
Finally, a sunset departure for a guided night drive adventure is an ideal way to end your day.
WHAT TO BRING
- Camera and video (if you have, please remember to bring spare batteries, although it is possible to recharge batteries at the Lodge)
- Sun block
- Insect repellent
- Reading material
- Any personal medication
- Cash for drinks bills, any additional costs such as lunch, laundry and gratuities (gratuities at your discretion)
Booking via a Tour Operator or Travel Agent
We are happy to work with your local Rwandan, or overseas Tour or Travel agent – please ask them to get in touch with us via email or give us a call.