Akagera Game Lodge is currently the only accommodation option within Akagera National Park. More of a hotel than a traditional safari lodge, it has fantastic views over Lake Ihema, with a large swimming pool perched on the edge of the savannah. However, plans to upgrade and expand were been put on hold due to the recession, and the site is dotted with unfinished buildings. At present, fewer than half the 64 rooms are in use, although we understand that work is expected to recommence in 2012.

The large reception area at Akagera Game Lodge is dotted with African carvings and pieces of art, and incorporates a small curio shop. Up a spiral staircase you’ll find the bar – with chunky wooden bar-stools lining a long wooden bar, some chairs and tables, and a TV. The bar opens out onto a wooden terrace which overlooks the pool below. The large restaurant also has an outside decked area where meals can be served.

Akagera Game Lodge also has two flood-lit tennis courts which guests can use for free, a children’s play area, and a small children’s pool. A gym and spa are planned as part of the renovations.

Guest accommodation at Akagera Game Lodge encompasses a range of bedrooms, suites and cottages. The 20 standard bedrooms currently in use are in one long double-story terrace, and are fairly simple, with African print curtains and covers on the two beds. Each room also has a writing desk and chair, satellite TV and a small balcony/patio with a couple of chairs overlooking the lake or the savannah. The bathrooms are functional as opposed to stylish. Some of the rooms interconnect so are suitable for families.

The two suites were our favorite rooms at Akagera. They’re the last room on the terrace – one on the top floor and one on the ground floor. Each has a lounge area with sofa, solid green-marble table and dining table, TV and minibar (which is filled on request). African artifacts such as traditional drums lend some character, which is lacking in the standard rooms. The en-suite bedroom has a four-poster king size bed with mosquito net, a dressing table, and a balcony overlooking the lake.

Furthest away from the reception are two cottages: two-story circular stone-and-thatch buildings, with shiny polished floors, and a kitchen area with large dining table. One of the cottages has three bedrooms (one twin and two king – all en suite); the other has just a king and a twin. Each has a lovely wraparound terrace affording beautiful views. On our last visit in 2011 the cottages were rather sparsely decorated and furnished, but we were told that they were in the process of improving this. Several more cottages were originally planned, but have yet to materialise.

Would you love to book this Lodge?