News updates from #Rwanda’s #Akagera National Park

© VYSAKH R NAMBIAR

We bid farewell to one year and welcome to the next, it’s a time to reflect on the highlights in Akagera over the past 12 months;

· 50% of the total 37,284 visitors to Akagera in 2017 were Rwandan Nationals

· Achieved over USD $1.6 million net in park revenue, up by over 20% on 2016 and contributing more than fifty percent to our annual budget in 2017

· Ruzizi Tented Lodge maintains Five Star rating on TripAdvisor & received a Certificate of Excellence for the third year in a row!

· Red Carpet Premiere of ‘Return of the Lion’, a Nat Geo documentary, in Kigali with over 100 invited guests including Hon. Anastase Murekezi, former Prime Minister of Rwanda

· Over 1,000 people attended the local premiere of Return of the Lion, translated into Kinyarwanda, held in the community outside the park

· Guides, Ruzizi and Karenge staff and park receptionists received interpretive training & workshops on bird, insect & plant taxonomy

· His Excellency President Paul Kagame visited Akagera and dined at Karenge Bush Camp, guided by Community Freelance Guide, Daniel

· 1,624 local students visited as part of the parks’ annual environmental education programme

· Over 2,400 students from 37 Rwandan Schools or institutions given free or discounted entry to visit Akagera in 2017

· 4th Annual Lions Cup Football Tournament held involving a team from each of the 16 cells in the 3 districts surrounding the park with a total audience of 16,000 people

· Over USD $519,000 spent in the local community on casual staff salaries, purchasing of building materials and food, hiring and technical support and community activities

· Rhino Velo Race 30 km cycling competition saw 30 participants and 800 spectators

· 5km Rhino Fun Run held in Kayonza & Nyagatare districts with a total of 168 participants & 1,400 spectators

· 8,028 trees planted in 4 locations; 3 schools and one model village bordering Akagera

· 2,323 kgs Honey harvested by 4 cooperatives on the Akagera boundary and 92 hives donated

· 9 hyenas released into the park from community traps, two additional young ones being raised by park management for future release

· Phase 1 of Community example plot development is well underway

· Rwanda Red Cross certified 100 members of staff in First Aid in 2017

· Fourth Aerial Census conducted since AMC management of Akagera

· Helicopter now based in Akagera for rapid response and rhino monitoring

· Two new male lions introduced taking the Akagera lion population to 19

· 18 black rhinos reintroduced Akagera is a Big Five park again

· Poaching continues to decline with just 2 poachers arrested & 6 snares collected in 2017 compared to over 200 arrests & almost 2,000 snares in 2013

· More than 4,800 Patrols conducted in 2017

· Three Akagera rangers completed the Intermediate and Advanced Tracking Course in Malawi

· LoRa Network installed throughout Akagera making it one of Africa’s first Smart Parks

Thank You for your support in 2017
Please share this good news and we look forward to keeping you updated on developments in 2018. You can keep in touch with us through our social media channels; Facebook Friends of Akagera National Park and @AkageraPark on Twitter and Instagram.
Have a Joyful New Year!

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