USAID begins work in Nyungwe with the Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park Program. Or more simply put, “Nyungwe Nziza” meaning “Beautiful Nyungwe.” These efforts were the first to kick start Nyungwe’s growing eco-tourist industry and resulted in the construction of the Uwinka Interpretation Center.
The Wildlife Conservation Society begins a three year Conservation Education and Outreach Program with the goal of decreasing threats to the park by educating the local communities about the value of Nyungwe’s biodiversity. Since the start of the program the participants have led local community groups on several educational visits to the park. They’ve also visited schools, churches, and other groups with successful education programs.
Nyungwe Forest Lodge was opened as the first five star establishment serving the Nyungwe Forest region. It was built to blend in with the surrounding environment and is situated in a tea plantation at the edge of the park.
Rwanda Development Board launched the park’s Canopy Walk. The Canopy Walk is the first of its kind in East Africa and the third of its kind in Africa. This hanging platform allows tourists to view different animal species and take in breath taking views.
Nyungwe Nziza project won British Guild of Travel Writers’ Global Award for the best new tourism project in the world. The project was praised for its effort in balancing tourism, wildlife, and agricultural community. The award highlighted the 44% increase of visitors within one year after the introduction of the canopy walk. Rwanda Development Board News
The park becomes the first in Africa to train all guides as Certified Interpretive Guides.
“Park launches professional guide certification”
Nyungwe is nominated for World Travel Awards, which looks to acknowledge, reward, and celebrate excellence across sectors of the tourism industry.