Lake Ihema - Rwanda
Lake Ihema is located in the south of the Akagera National Park in the savanna region of the Eastern province of Rwanda. The Akagera River feeds a complex of a dozen of lakes including Lake Ihema, which is located at an altitude of 1,292 m. It is the biggest lake in the park, it covers an area of about 90 square kilometres, with a depth varying from 5 to 7 metres depending on the area and the season. The eastern lake shore forms the border between Rwanda and Tanzania.
The lake is rich in biodiversity, except fish, the lake is home to hippopotami and crocodiles. As for birds, it has 550 species including unique species such as Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) and the Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri). Among the endemic species, there are the ibis (Threskiornithinae), jacanas, herons, Plovers (Charadriidae), Sandpipers, Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata), Hawk and many others.
The lake is surrounded by large seasonal and perennial papyrus swamps. These wetlands are important habitats to the protected animals within the park: they do not only provide a permanent source of drinking water for the large mammals, but also form an important water bird sanctuary. Like in other lakes of the park, fishing was restricted by the royal decree of 1934 on creation and management of the national park, but nowadays, a new policy on management of the park has authorized fishing activities.
Threats to Lake Ihema