Akagera National Park, Rwanda, is almost unrecognisable today compared to over 20 years ago when it was on the verge of being lost forever. The aftermath of the 1994 genocide had a devastating impact on the environment, making its story of revival even more remarkable. In 2010, African Parks assumed management of Akagera National Park in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), shifting the park's trajectory from one of oblivion to prosperity and hope.

From the beginning there was a clear joint vision: to transform Akagera from a depleted landscape overrun by more than 30,000 cattle into an income-generating park for the benefit of people and wildlife. Effective law enforcement and strong community engagement was the foundation for rehabilitation. After practically eliminating poaching in just five years, lions were reintroduced in 2015, followed by black rhinos in 2017 and 2019 and in 2021, 30 white rhinos were introduced to the park. Wildlife numbers have grown from less than 5,000 in 2010 to almost 12,000. Besides being a haven for wildlife, the park’s support for income-generating enterprises for local communities is growing. Today, Akagera National Park continues to provide for the 300,000 people living around its boundaries, directly benefitting from its existence.

As a result of our track record in Akagera and over 10 years of successful collaboration with the RDB, in October 2020, the Government once again entered into a long-term agreement to have African Parks, this time to manage Nyungwe National Park. The Rwandan Government is showing how protected areas, with clear vision and under the right management, can support people and wildlife long into the future.  

Akagera Highlights

  • In 2021, 30 Southern white rhinos were successfully translocated from Phinda Reserve in South Africa to Akagera in the largest single rhino translocation to date.
  • Wildlife populations have flourished with over 11,000 large mammals counted in a 2021 aerial survey, including 133 elephants (a 20% increase since the 2019), nearly 4,000 buffalos and a lion population of 37.
  • With the help of our counter-poaching canine unit, African Parks overhauled law enforcement to help secure Akagera National Park and, as a result, not one high-value species has been lost to poaching since 2010.
  • More than 2,000 schoolchildren visit Akagera National Park each year, along with teachers and local leaders, as part of the environmental education programme.
  • Pre-Covid-19, Akagera was 80% self-financing, and despite a reduction in visitors due to Covid-19, tourism contributed 47% towards the park’s operating costs in 2021. 


In late 2010, African Parks signed a joint management agreement with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) establishing the Akagera Management Company with board members from both the RDB and African Parks jointly managing the park.

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