Home to more than 8,000 large mammals and 500 bird species, wildlife populations are flourishing in this spectacular landscape due to effective law enforcement and community engagement. African Parks successfully reintroduced seven lions into the park in 2015, bringing the species back to Rwanda after being extirpated for almost 20 years; and plans are in place to reintroduce rhino after an almost ten year absence, making this Rwanda’s only Big Five park.
In 1997, following the Rwandan civil war, much of the park was reallocated as farmland for returning refugees, leaving it considerably smaller at 1,122km². The war had taken its toll on the national park, completely decimating Akagera’s wildlife and wiping out its lion population. This, coupled with the highest population density in continental Africa, meant that Rwanda had suffered extensive biodiversity loss.
In late 2009, African Parks signed a joint management agreement with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) establishing the Akagera Management Company (AMC) in 2010 with board members from both the RDB and African Parks jointly managing the park.
This collaborative partnership has overseen a number of flagship projects, which have not only created employment for local communities, but also enhanced the park’s tourism appeal and mitigated human-wildlife conflict.
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