In order to provide local communities with alternative, more sustainable livelihood opportunities, African Parks will explore various initiatives and determine ways to stimulate local businesses in order to reduce pressure on the park’s ecosystem. Current projects around the park include bee-keeping associations as well as community tourism programmes to encourage local people to become tourist guides as well as improving their skills in this area. In 2021, over 80 community environmental awareness meetings were held, reaching over 6,000 community members and local leaders. In addition, 1,000 children from school environmental clubs visited the parks to encourage conservation awareness.
Our goal is to double tourism to the park within 10 years. There is high potential to further develop tourism in Nyungwe, particularly as part of a circuit with Rwanda’s other national parks. As one of the best protected and safest montane forests in the region, Nyungwe is a great option for visitors after special sightings of chimpanzees and endemic birds. The recently built Canopy Walkway is also a great draw for tourists, allowing you to experience the forest 70 m in the air. Tea plantations border the park, encouraging visitors to see the meeting of both conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
Rwanda is a prime location for adventure tourists. Nyungwe in particular has many hiking and cycling trails, such as the 260 km long Congo Nile trail, that can be combined with other parks and experiences in the country.
Currently, the primary accommodation options within the park are luxury lodges and guesthouses. The development of mid-range options will be investigated to open the park up to more tourists and economic opportunity for the local communities to be both involved in and benefit from the park.
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