The Elephants in Akagera National Park

In the year 1975, over 26 elephants were moved into Akagera National Park from Bugesera Kigali, these 7 year old elephants also included 14 males and 12 females. And of these 3 were habituated and included Mutware the chief, Mwiza as well as Helico. Though the rest remained wild. With time, Mwiza and Helico followed the wild elephants thus leaving Muware to remain lonely.

rwanda elephant


Muware the elderly elephant in Akagera

Within little time, Mwiza and Helico followed the wild elephants thus leaving Muware to remain alone. He then became rather so destructive most especially to the nearby farmlands and then gained popularity amongst the locals. There were many stories that wre being told about Muware elephant since people didn’t hear stories about the other elephants. And some people have lived to think that there is only one elephant in akagera National park

Recently Mutware is about 40 years old and weighs over 6.2 tons. He is also one of the oldest elephant among the many that live in the park. The park wardens in Akagera have maintained that this elephant is very friendly to the people and it also responds to the commandments of its guards.  The guests to the park can easily take photos with it and they are advised to avoid direct contacts with it most especially in the months of June, July and August when he wants female elephants.

Unluckily Mutware lost his two ivories during the 1994 civil war which took place in Rwanda. Recently he is among the leading tourist attraction s and many people travel from different parts of the country and parts of the continent to visit him.

These elephants in the park have been transported from Bugesera Kigali in 1975 and by that time, they were about 7 years old. And among those elephants, only three ( Mwiza, Mutware and Helico ) had been habituated , while the others remained in the wild. The elephants ( Mwiza and Helico) also ended up by following the wild ones. Mutware is also still alone and he is still causing damage and that’s the reason that he is so famous. And since people only listen to stories about this lonely elephant, the story goes that there is only one elephant in Akagera National park. And recently, the elephant population in the park is around 80. Mutware also survived the war of 1994 though lost both his ivories. He is now the main tourist attraction with in the park and the people from other parts of the world to Rwanda and try to meet this large beast that lives in this fantastic national park.

As it submerges in the muddy waters of Rwandan Lake, Mutware also cools down form the scorching morning heat, as it ignores the crowd of visitors who come to visit him. Fretting his ears as birds rest on his back, this 38 year old elephant seems to be out of sorts, there is no sign of its aggressiveness that exhausted at least 3 cars last year, threatening a security warning from the U.S state Department. Mutware, Mutware, you should wake up, many villagers cry out, keen to please the tourists who have come to see the elephant. It also takes many hours and cassava floor plus leaves to make the Mutware move. The villagers also say that the elephant is tired after a long night of feeding on their crops. The bathing spot for Mutware is Lake Ihema in Rwanda eastern Akagera Park and is just one of the attractions over 25000 foreign tourists visited last year in Rwanda.