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Ikaze Rwanda Tours Akagera Expedition - Part VII: Conservation success story

Ikaze Rwanda Tours Akagera Expedition - Part VII: Conservation success story

If you are new here, I have been running the Akagera series for a week. Initially dubbed Akagera Expedition, the series was renamed Ikaze Rwanda Tours Akagera Expedition after the acquisition of naming rights by a company known as Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel.

The 12-part series will be followed by the release of an e-book covering the entire tour. This electronic publication will be given to you free of charge. Its print version will be donated to selected community libraries through Exposure’s Give Back initiative.

In Part II of this series, I revisited Akagera National Park’s turbulent history. Moreover, that piece culminated in a celebration of the park’s rebirth and unprecedented economic growth. The post examined strategic policymaking and gave readers a sneak peek preview of brighter future prospects.

Founded in 1934, Akagera was much bigger than it is today — covering about 10% of the entire country. Over the years, population growth and the arrival of returning refugees led to land utilization challenges. Poaching and other illegal activities became rampant. Eventually, the park lost a big chunk of land and a significant percentage of its flora and fauna.

The last couple of decades have seen successful efforts to turn the situation around. When the government joined forces with partners and members of the surrounding communities, the ensuing ecological and economic revival was nothing short of spectacular.

Under the management of African Parks, lost animals have been reintroduced through translocation. The Big Five status has been restored. Numbers across the board are rebounding. An aerial survey conducted in 2021 recorded almost 12,000 animals, a significant increase from 2010 when the park’s wildlife population had plummeted to less than 5,000. The best is yet to come.

The author is a travel enthusiast on a tour of different African countries. His Akagera series is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Royal Balloon Rwanda and Akagera Transit Lodge.

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