- The government partner
Within 1997, as you follow the Rwanda Civil war, part of the national park was moved as farm land for the returning refugees, and was left smaller at 1,122km. The war had also taken its toll on the national park, completely destroying Akagera’s wildlife as well as spreading out its lion population. This combined with the highest population density in Africa, means that Rwanda had also suffered wide spread biodiversity loss.
In the late year of 2009, the African parks also signed a combined management agreement with the Rwanda Development Board that established the Akagera Management Company (AMC) in 2010 with the board members from both the African parks and Rwanda Development Board. This cooperative partnership has managed many of the flag projects, which have not only created the jobs for the local communities, but also improved the park’s tourism appeal as well as alleviated the human wildlife conflicts.
- There were 7 lions that were introduced into the park in the year 2015 after 20 years that they were absent and the population of the lions has increased since then with over 7 cubs being born.
- The plans are also in place on re introducing the black Rhinos, which is a species that has not been seen in this park since 2007
- The number of poached animals has also been reduced from 80 in 2012 to 5 by 2015.
- The canine dog units have been trained and put to the counter poaching.
- The infrastructure development has also included the renovation of the park facilities like the workshops, the staff housing as well as the new park entrance and the social infrastructures for the local communities.
- There are over 220 locals that are employed by the Akagera Management company
- There is also a 120km long electrified, predator proof as well as the solar powered perimeter fence that was constructed and it’s the first of its kind in Rwanda.
- There are also a number of positive livelihood change projects that have been implemented, like the development of bee keeping business and the freelance community guiding programme.
- In the year 2014, this national park also celebrated its 80th anniversary and within the same year, tourism revenue also surpassed $ I million.
- There were over 1000 children from schools that visited Akagera each year along with the local leaders and the educators.
- The tourism developments also include; the construction of a day visitor information Centre and the Ruzizi tented Lodge and both were opened in 2013.
- The visitor numbers to Akagera also show a high year on year growth, with Rwanda nationals which comprises more than 50% of the visitors to the park.
The Park Mission
In order for Akagera to arrive at its potential as a world class national park that provides a protected and unspoiled environment for variety of wildlife with all the infrastructure in place for proper management. There is a larger tourism product that ensures the long term financial sustainability of the park, and all this is also achieved through the collaborative efforts as well as the strong relationships with all the stakeholders.