Why we like it
- Great ongoing conservation success story.
- Rwanda’s only Big 5 National Park.
- Awesome backpacking walking trails.
- High biodiversity and home to over 500 bird species including the Shoebill.
Located in eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park is one of Africa’s oldest parks and lies on the border to Tanzania, covering around 1120 km2. Akagera has seen a big turnaround from a once troubled past to now being Rwanda’s only Big 5 safari destination, thanks to its management by African Parks.
The park boasts an incredible biodiversity due to a variety of different habitats all found within the relatively small area. To the north you will find mostly lower-lying savanna grasslands reminiscent of typical East Africa. To the west are undulating hills with spectacular views, much like the rest of Rwanda, whilst to the west lies large papyrus swamps and lakes forming one of the largest protected wetlands in the region.
In 2010, African Parks assumed management of Akagera in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), shifting the park’s trajectory from one of oblivion to prosperity and hope. After years of preparation, through effective law enforcement and management, 2017 saw the historic return of 18 Eastern black rhinoceros after a 10-year absence, thanks to the support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Two new male lions were also translocated to Akagera in 2017 to enhance the genetic diversity of the growing pride, which has now tripled since their reintroduction in 2015. With poaching essentially halted, the park’s key wildlife populations have continued to rise. More than 44,000 tourists visited the park in 2018 alone, half of whom were Rwandan nationals, bringing in a record US$2 million in revenue and making the park 75% self-sustaining in just eight years.
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