Akanyaru wetlands are located in the south of Rwanda, north-east of Butare, on the international border with Burundi, and lie close to Rwihinda Lake Nature Reserve in Burundi. The vegetation consists of a variety of marshy habitats and papyrus swamp. Early successional stages are occupied by floating vegetation dominated by Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), Southern cutgrass (Leersia hexandra) and Barth Rice (Oryza barthii). Intermediate stages are a mixture of Typha australis, Miscanthidium violaceum, Cladium jamaicense and some papyrus. More complex habitats are occupied by Typha australis, Miscanthidium violaceum, Cyperus denudatus, C. latifolius and Antelope grass (Echinochloa pyramidalis). There are expanses of papyrus, either as pure stands or combined with shrubby vegetation. Average annual rainfall is estimated to be 800 mm.
At least 54 species of wetland habitats have been recorded from Akanyaru and include migrant Madagascar Pond-heron, Pallid Harrier and Great Snipe. Lesser kestrel has been reported. In addition, one species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and three of the Afrotropical Highlands biome have been recorded.
The sitatunga is known to occur.