Akagera to reintroduce Lion and Rhino

November 17, 2011

Buffalo in Akagera National Park, RwandaRwanda is bringing Lions and Rhinos from South Africa to help restock their wildlife after widespread poaching as a result of devastating conflict in the 1990s depleted local populations. The animals will be relocated to Akagera National Park, a savannah game park that is currently home to growing populations of Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra and Leopard. The reintroduction of Lion and Rhino will occur after the boundary fencing is completed in early 2012.

Akagera National Park is currently enjoying a resurgence under the management of African Parks Network. A major development programme is underway, incorporating the building of essential park buildings, boundary fencing, improvements to the road infrastructure, ranger training and anti-poaching projects, as well as longer term plans for high-end safari accommodation facilities within the park.

In addition to large game, the park is also a haven for birdlife. The park management recently reported sightings of the reclusive Finfoot, as well as other rare birds including the Shoebill Stork, the Swamp Flycatcher and the Red-Chested Sunbird.

Rare primate species such as Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys, located in the Virunga Mountains, are currently the main safari attraction in Rwanda, but the country has recently invested heavily in diversifying its tourism product. As well as the resurgence of wildlife populations and infrastructure development in Akagera National Park, a new hiking route called the Congo Nile Trail is being launched later this month in the west of the country. Rwanda is anticipating a continued upward trend in tourist visitors. With exciting product developments supported by a number of international carriers adding Kigali to their scheduled flights, this seems eminently possible.

Posted by Anne-Marie Weeden

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