Nyungwe is the second national park in Rwanda to fall under our management. The park is the largest remaining tract of forest in Rwanda and is nestled in the southwest of the country, bordering Burundi.
Nyungwe is one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, and the largest expanse of forest in Rwanda, covering 1,019 km2 of dense Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands and wetlands. The park feeds two of the world’s largest rivers, the Congo and the Nile, providing a significant portion of the country’s freshwater. As a regional biodiversity hotspot, Nyungwe supports 1,068 recorded plant species, 322 bird species, 75 known mammal species and 13 different primate species. But Nyungwe’s unique shape and topography has exposed it to a variety of threats including poaching, illegal mining, and agricultural encroachment which have significantly endangered the integrity of its unique biodiversity, preventing the park from reaching its true potential as a tourist destination and a support system for local communities.
However, following a successful 10-year partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) that saw the ecological and economic revival of Akagera National Park, African Parks was invited by the government in 2020 to sign a 20- year agreement to manage Nyungwe National Park. Together, we are working to restore and protect wildlife, engage with the local communities, and implement an effective law enforcement strategy to ensure the long-term ecological, social and economic sustainability of the park. The spectacular mountainous topography and unique biodiversity gives this park enormous potential to emerge as one of the continent’s most extraordinary tourism destinations. With adequate conservation and the optimisation of tourism and other sustainable revenue-generating activities, Nyungwe is set to support healthy terrestrial ecosystems to benefit people long into the future.
There is high potential for the sustainable development of tourism to benefit local communities. Nyungwe is part of a national three-park route that would see visitors travel among Akagera, Nyungwe, and Volcanoes, position Rwanda as having one of the most spectacular wildlife experiences on the planet.
African Parks signed a joint management agreement with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for Nyungwe National Park in October 2020.
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