Akagera set to become another “Big Five” park

It seems a done deal now for Eastern Black rhinos to return to Rwanda, after the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks – AP manages Akagera under a joint venture agreement – partnered with the Dutch government to start the process of relocating several rhinos as a breeding stock into the park.

Only last year did African Parks succeed in bringing a pride of seven lions from South Africa to Akagera, after some Kenyan pseudo conservationists scuttled a deal under which a similar number of lions from Kenya was to be brought to Rwanda

The rhino relocation will in all likelihood also bring several of the rare animals from South Africa to Rwanda. This is to avoid similar tactics to be played again by the same misguided individuals in Kenya who felt the Land of a Thousand Hills was unfit to get lions and perhaps even more so for the introduction of rhinos.

The deal was struck on occasion of the World Wildlife Day, when as part of the day’s celebrations the rhino relocation project was part of the day’s program.

Under the management of African Parks was Akagera not only fenced along the boundary with adjoining farms but the fence was also lion proved to avoid the predators straying into ranch- and farmland.

Visitor numbers have vastly increased to Akagera with notably Rwandans now constituting the highest number of park entries as domestic tourism is taking roots.

Poaching, a regular menace before AP came on board, has also literally been wiped out to a large part due to the regular patrols mounted with sniffer dogs used to detect illegal entries into the park and chase down intruders.

Akagera, the oldest park in Rwanda, is one of four national parks, besides Volcanoes, Nyungwe Forest and as of last year Gishwati Forest.