Magashi Camp: Our full report
Magashi Camp is a new and luxurious safari camp in the far north of Akagera National Park, overlooking Lake ...... Rwanyakazinga. Magashi opened in mid 2019, and provides high-end accommodation in a very scenic safari area.
Magashi is owned and run by the same team who run a number of high-end safari camps throughout Southern and East Africa, including Bisate in the Volcanoes National Park. In the short time since Bisate opened, it has developed a reputation for being one of the top lodges in the area. Although Magashi maintains a slightly more low-key and traditional safari style, it is certainly built and run to comparably high standards - and the two properties combine well.
There are six tented-rooms which offer uninterrupted views over Lake Rwanyakazinga. Inside, the tents are bright and airy, and thoughtfully furnished with neutral colours throughout. There is a comfortable king-size or twin beds, a writing desk with tablet for guest use, and a refreshment station which is regularly replenished. At the back of the tent you’ll find the en-suite bathroom with separate toilet and rainfall shower. The tents are reached by long raised wooden walkways, and are very spread out. It feels very private, but this does mean that it is quite a walk from the further tents to the central area, which is worth bearing in mind for those with mobility issues.
The open-plan lounge and dining area in the middle of the camp is beautifully designed using natural materials and traditional Rwandan ‘imigongo’ murals, with the circular bar taking centre stage. There is plenty of space and seating options and a number of interesting books for guests to browse.
Just beyond the bar and dining area is a small swimming pool with sun loungers, and a viewing deck with convivial fire pit. We enjoyed relaxing by the pool in between game activities. Given the camp's small size we found Magashi to feel friendly and intimate, with a very personalised service, even though the camp was at full occupancy during our stay.
Akagera National Park is one of East Africa’s less visited safari areas, however it is strikingly beautiful. It is a park of diverse landscapes with dry savannah, rolling grassland and a complex network of lakes and channels, lined with papyrus swamps.
Safari activities at Magashi Camp focus around game drives and boating safaris with expert guides. We loved the boating safaris here, these give you a great opportunity to come close to hippos and crocodiles, as well as discovering the birdlife found around the shore. On one boating safari, we spent some time searching for the pretty papyrus gonolek, which we could hear singing in the swamp, but it sadly remained hidden from view. There are plans to introduce walking safaris here, which we feel would be a wonderful addition. When we visited in late 2019 the camp was in the process of arranging the appropriate firearm licences with the Rwandan government.
The re-introduction of black rhino in 2017 saw Akagera become a ‘big 5’ national park, and the area is home to a wide range of wildlife including lion, buffalo, elephant, hippo, giraffe and numerous antelope species. With over 500 species found in Akagera, the park is particularly good for birding; if lucky you may even find the elusive shoebill stork hidden in the wetlands. Whilst the density of animals in Akagera is not yet at the level found in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, the wildlife here appears to be thriving and numbers have increased in recent years. Under the current management of African Parks, Akagera National Park certainly has a lot of potential, and we are very enthusiastic about its future.
We are excited to see a new safari camp open in Akagera, presently this is the only permanent accommodation option in the northern region of the park. Given the quality of its sister properties we had high expectations for Magashi before our first visit, and we were not disappointed. This is a fantastic inclusion to a high-end Rwandan safari.
- Akagera National Park, Rwanda
- Ideal length of stay
- We would recommend a three-night stay at Magashi Camp to explore Akagera and experience the different safari activities.
- Akagera is about 2–3 hours drive from Kigali.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- As with other Wilderness properties, the quality, presentation and variety of food at Magashi Camp is very high. We thoroughly enjoyed all meals we had during our two night stay. There are no set meal times, and guests are encouraged to be as relaxed as they wish. With advance notice special diets and requests can be catered.
For breakfast you can expect a buffet with hot items cooked to order.
During our stay, Lunch was also a buffet, with a number of fresh, colourful salads and light dishes to choose from. Deserts are on offer as well, and tend to be simple and flavourful such as a refreshing sorbet, perfect in the midday heat.
Dinner is served a la carte, with a couple of options for each course. Orders are taken a few hours earlier, prior to heading out on the afternoon game drive to allow the kitchen sufficient time to prepare. We enjoyed a delicately cooked steak one evening and a vegetable lasagne the other - both were very good.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- All drinks included apart from premium wines and spirits.
- Magashi Camp is a great choice for a honeymoon in Rwanda. With six luxurious tents and personalised service it feels both intimate and very relaxed. Explore Akagera on game drives and boating safaris and enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the lake.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Photography holidays
- Located in the north of Akagera National Park, Magashi is in a great area for wildlife. Join the resident guides to photograph lions and giraffe on the open plains and keep an eye out for leopards around the lodge. This is also a good location to try and spot the elusive shoebill stork.
- See ideas for Photography holidays
- Magashi is the only high end offering in Akagera National Park. Located in the remote north, you can expect top-level guiding, charming staff, fine food and very comfortable surroundings.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Property’s age restrictions
- 12+ on request.
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- Magashi does not have a family tent, and there are no children specific activities. A visit to Akagera is likely to be made in conjunction with gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. As it is only possible for children over the age of 15 years to trek, we’d generally recommend staying here only with children over 15.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Magashi Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Magashi Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- WiFi in guest tents only.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Fully plumbed, with flush toilet. Safe, filtered drinking water in reusable bottles are provided.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- In a medical emergency, the nearest doctor is in Kigali – about a three hour drive from Magashi.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Guests are accompanied around camp after dark.
- Fire safety
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- 24 hour service included.
- Electronic safes in all guest tents.
- Accepted payment on location
- A range of currencies are accepted including Rwandan Francs, USD, ZA Rand, GBP and Euro. Visa and MasterCard are accepted, but Amex is not.
Other lodges in Akagera National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.