Akagera National Park is central Africa’s largest protected wetland and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. The rolling highlands, vast plains and swamp fringed lakes of this north-eastern territory contain a rich biodiversity and are home to a number of rare species, such as the shoebill stork. With more than 12,000 large mammals and 482 bird species, this breath-taking landscape is every nature lover’s wildest dream.
The Rwandan Civil War in the 1990’s took its toll on the park when much of the land was reallocated as farmland for returning refugees, reducing the size of the park from 2,500 km² to just 1,122 km². The high population density and human encroachment into the park was a pressing issue in the past, but the ongoing efforts to restore animal populations, increased law enforcement and the construction of the fence resulted in a positive impact. With the implementation of rigorous law enforcement since 2010, poaching has been reduced, wildlife has prospered and the tourism industry has been transformed.
Now, at the threshold of becoming Rwanda’s only Big Five park, Akagera provides opportunity for local employment. This life-giving revenue stream not only strengthens ties with surrounding communities, but ensures the very survival of the park and its wildlife.
Tourism! This industry, alongside continued conservation, holds the key to unlocking a brighter future for Akagera and Rwanda as a whole. That’s why we’re working to expand the park’s offering through the reintroduction of wildlife and the development of exceptional tourism offerings!