National parks of Rwanda
The national parks of Rwanda are protected ecosystems and wildlife reserves located within the borders of Rwanda in east central Africa. In 2012, these protected natural zones include the Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest. Maintenance of the national park system, as well as tourism infrastructure and promotion of the parks, is managed by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with assistance from government ministries.
Each park protects a distinct ecosystem and variety of species. Bordering Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, into which the Virungas volcanic mountain chain extends, Volcanoes National Park is the most heavily patrolled park in the world and the oldest in Africa. In combination with adjoining parks in the neighboring countries, it serves as the world's only habitat of the mountain gorillas, whose numbers have been increasing here over the past decade. Visitor numbers to the gorillas are strictly limited and passes must be purchased, often well in advance, from RDB. Golden monkeys also inhabit a separate portion of the park.
The eastern border of Rwanda, along Lake Victoria and Tanzania, is the location of Akagera National Park and protects a variety of African fauna in a savannah ecosystem, including giraffes, elephant, buffalo, baboons, gazelles and zebra. Lions originally inhabited the park but were exterminated by poisoning during and after the Rwandan genocide. The park is currently being fenced in to allow the reintroduction of lions to be imported from South Africa in 2014.
- Rwanda Development Board (2011). "About". Rwanda Development Board. Retrieved May 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Rwanda Development Board (2011). "Volcanoes Destination". Rwanda Development Board. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Rwanda Development Board (2011). "Nyungwe National Park". Rwanda Development Board. Retrieved May 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Rwanda Development Board (2011). "About the Park". Rwanda Development Board. Retrieved May 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]