By Inspirer Staff
In 2019, Over 49,000 tourists visited Akagera National Park a 12% increase compared to 2018, a report shows.
It says that 48% of those who visited Akagera were Rwandan Nationals.
The following are highlights from the twelve months of 2019.
-We received over 49,000 total visitors in 2019; a 12% increase on 2018
-48% of those visiting Akagera are Rwandan Nationals
-Over USD 2.5 million net was generated in park revenue, up by almost 25% on 2018.
-Nearly 90% self-financing
-Ruzizi Tented Lodge continues to receive rave reviews on TripAdvisor and received the Certificate of Excellence for the 5th year in a row! This year we opened a massage hut where guests can really unwind after a day in the park. Due to increasing demand, we extended the open months for the seasonal Karenge Bush Camp.
-2,000 local students, 329 teachers and 300 local leaders, visited Akagera for a day trip as part of the parks’ annual environmental education programme
-In the Lions Cup Football Tournament 16 men’s and 9 women’s football teams participated attracting 31,450 spectators across all matches and the Rhino Velo Race attracted 123 participants and over 3,000 spectators on the day.
-2019 saw the opening of the Community Centre; a multi-use space outside the park including an example of the vegetable garden, bee-keeping and chicken rearing, tree nursery, shop for local craft, and an education centre. Construction for the dormitories is underway.
-16,520 trees planted mostly at schools in 10 different locations bordering the park
-A honey building at the community centre is now a fully equipped facility for honey collection, filtering, storing, processing and packaging and a bee-keepers union was created. over 8,000kgs in total harvested from bee-keeping cooperatives working with Akagera over the year.
-USD $525,000 directly contributing to the local community through salaries of local staff and local purchases in 2019.
-The aerial census for 2019 has shown an increase in overall animal numbers with a total of 13,500 animals recorded. This is up from 12,000 counted in 2017.
-Three Rwandan Rangers, two from Akagera National Park, received the Paradise Foundation African Rangers Award. Leonidas Mpumuje and Anthony Nzuki were among the 50 park rangers recognised in this year’s African Rangers Award, the ceremony was held in November in Accra, Ghana and attended by Leonidas.
-In June, five critically endangered black rhinos, born and bred in Europe, flown 6,000km to Akagera National Park. The move was a collaboration between the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Government of Rwanda and African Parks.
-An intensive six-week training programme in Akagera, jointly organised by the park management and the Government of Rwanda, saw 47 new rangers passing out. 22 of the new rangers are now working in Akagera. New rhino monitoring team were recruited and trained for the north of Akagera
-Four Akagera Guides participated in an advanced bird training exercise organized by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in partnership with the German Development Corporation (GIZ) and Rwanda Safari Guides Association (RSGA) aimed at improving the bird watching experience in Rwanda.
-Shakani, Akagera’s only lakeshore campsite, was renovated with new camp toilets and solar hot water showers making Shakani the first and only campsite with flushing toilets and warm water!
-Akagera’s first concession, a five start tented lodge, opened on Magashi Peninsula. Magashi Lodge, operated by Wilderness Safaris, opened in May with six spacious tents overlooking beautiful Lake Rwanyakizinga