Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, named after the Akagera River is an African reserve of complete natural splendour. The park boasts some breath-taking biomes from the rolling hills of Acacia and Brachystegia wood to open landscapes peppered with grassland and lakes.
With tourism figures on the rise in the park it has become a source on national pride as 50% of the park visitors are locals.
Rwanda is known as the “land of a thousand hills” and Akagera has its fair share of mountainous terrain, reaching altitudes of nearly 2 000m in the Mutumba Hills region. These highlands provide spectacular views over the expanse of lakes and swamps
The Rwandan civil war took its toll on conservation as park land was reallocated to returning refugees and the park was reduced to it’s current size of 1 122km2.
Rwanda has the highest human population density in continental Africa resulting in human wildlife conflict on the periphery of the reserve. The Akagera Management Company (AMC) has provided humanitarian and financial assistance in cases of human wildlife conflict. The government-funded western boundary fence was completed in 2013 and handed over to the AMC for management, this has helped successfully alleviate the conflict giving both community and wildlife a respite.
The current elephant population at Akagera was re-introduced in 1975 after the last herd of elephants disappeared in 1961. 26 young elephants were brought in from Bugesera. Little was known about transporting elephants in 1975 so only calves were introduced into the park. The population now stands at 90 individuals and continues to rise.
The new goal is to reintroduce lions to Akagera, adding a new and exciting dynamic to this incredible wildlife habitat.