We are glad to announce that the land of a thousand hills has imported seven lions from South Africa. This move is intended to boost Rwanda’s tourism potential since the country’s economy largely depends on its tourism exchange earnings. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) together with the African Parks plan to relocate them and introduce the to the Akagera National Park located within eastern Rwanda.
While interviewing Mr Yamina Karitanyi – the chief tourism Officer at the RDB, the major aim of introducing the lions to the Akagere national park is geared at boosting the tourism sector and encourage the natural balance of the ecosystem in the park.
The chief of tourism at the RDB refers to this achievement as a breakthrough in the rehabilitation of the park under the public private partnership between the RDB and African Parks.
This means visitors to Akagera national park will now have a chance to see one of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ animals in one of the continent’s most diverse national parks, cementing destination Rwanda’s status as conservation focused, all-in- one safari destination.
The group of lions received include five females and two males, selected mainly because of future potential of reproduction so as to multiply in numbers. The lions have been donated by Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Reserve respectively.
The lions are expected to arrive in the land of a thousand hills by June 30 and will be introduced to the Akagera national park and will be fitted with satellite collars, which would enable the Akagera management team to monitor their movements and reduce the risk of the lions entering community areas as well as proof fencing the park fence to protect predators hurting humans.
RDB further explained that when the lions arrive, they will be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days during which they would be continually monitored before being released into the wilderness of the park.
Note: Rwanda previously had over 230 lions in Akagera national park, many were killed during the 1994 genocide while others were chased off by returnees encroaching on the park land.
The Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s popular Savanna animal sanctuary with a number of wildlife including buffalos, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and antelopes.