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

From the beginning there was a clear joint vision: to transform Akagera into an income-generating park for the benefit of people and wildlife. Effective conservation law enforcement measures and strong community engagement formed the foundation for this rehabilitation. After practically eliminating poaching in just five years, lion and black rhino were reintroduced between 2015 and 2017, and white rhino were introduced in 2021 in a conservation move to help protect the species. With sound wildlife conservation management methods, Akagera is now home to thriving populations of wildlife, having grown from less than 5,000 in 2010 to almost 12,000 animals today. 

Besides becoming a haven for wildlife, the park’s support for income-generating enterprises for local communities has grown remarkably. With each year since 2010, the park has moved closer to achieving complete financial sustainability, becoming a true example of what can be achieved through effective management of protected areas in partnership with government and communities and showcasing the efficacy of the holistic management approach. Today, Akagera National Park is 92% self-financing as it continues its work with surrounding communities, bringing economic and social benefits, allowing the ecosystem and people to thrive together.


  • The 30 southern white rhinos that were translocated from South Africa in 2021 were released into the park in 2022. With the birth of healthy calves since the reintroduction, it’s clear that the move has been a success.
  • Gishanda Fish Farm, situated 10km from Akagera, opened in October 2022. This innovative project sustainably farms tilapia to benefit communities and the ecosystem.
  • Effective community engagement and conservation law enforcement programmes have proven very successful, with not one high-value species lost to poaching since 2010.
  • Over 2,000 schoolchildren and 3,000 community members visit Akagera National Park each year, as part of the environmental education programme. A new Community Library has been opened.
  • The upward trajectory in park revenue continued in 2023: After commercial expenses, Akagera’s net revenue made the park 92% self-sufficient.
  • Since 2010, Rwandan citizens have on average constituted over 40% of paying guests to the park, showing its value as an attraction and an asset in the country.


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.

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