ADDED INVESTMENTS IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK ON COURSE
News emerged from Kigali that a top level meeting between the Akagera partners, the Rwanda Development Board on behalf of the Government of Rwanda and the African Parks Network, which own the Akagera Management Company, have reaffirmed their commitment to invest an initial 12 million US Dollars this year. The funds will be used to create additional park infrastructure in particular with a new visitor reception centre offering state of the art services at the main gate, work on roads and tracks, fence off sections of the park closest to neighbouring farming communities and villages and generally improve on areas seen as degraded. A new five year strategic plan, developed in recent months, was also reviewed and subsequently approved by the board of the company.
In order to improve on park management it is also expected that a new workshop will be set up, as will current facilities be expanded, rebuilt and modernized to create better working and living conditions for staff. It was also learned that a site had been identified where a new up-market tented safari camp will be set up, to add more beds for visitors to the Akagera National Park while tapping into a new market segment.
The development will be welcome news to tourism operators in Rwanda seeking to diversify their products away from being ‘only’ a ‘gorilla tracking destination’ – in itself of course a major global attraction – and the revamp at Akagera will open new options for more varied safari itineraries for visitors, allowing for the key objective of ‘longer stays, higher expenditure’ per visitor to be achieved.
While no specific time frame for the work has been given, expect to read about it as and when it happens right here.