Eco Tourism sites in Rwanda
It essentially means ecological and sustainable tourism; where ecological has both environmental and social connotations. Eco-tourism is a combination of tourism and the environment such as planning before development; sustainability of resources; economic viability of a tourism product; no negative impact on either the environment or local communities; responsibility for the environment from developers, the tourism industry and tourists; environmentally-friendly practices by all parties concerned and economic benefits flowing to local communities.
Local communities, understanding the economic benefits of Eco-tourism and are often involved and motivated to protect resources and adopt conservationist attitudes. The activities of ORTPN (the body that governs the tourism sector) that are geared toward Eco-tourism have impacted on the various tourist sites, in a manner that has in turn, favoured responsible tourism. A case in point is Banda, a small village in Nyungwe forest that is frequently visited by the tourists. The residents of this village have been able to tap directly from the tourists owing to their crafts that they sale to the tourist.
ORTPN has managed to contribute to communities living around these tourist attractions, in revenue benefit sharing schemes all around the country, for their various self development projects that have no bearing at all on tourism and which is a growing trend. Just like tourism elsewhere, the trends in Rwanda are changing and embracing Eco-tourism since it targets long term profits in a sustainable tourist environment.
Rwanda Eco tourism sites have been established with the aim of protecting the wildlife in those areas including endangered species and preserving the environment for purpose of tourism. Eco tourism site in Rwanda and facilities is under the Ecological-Tourism.
Rwanda’s main ecotourism attractions in wild life protected areas include
- Chimpanzee Trekking
- Mountain hiking (Visoke and Karisimbi)
- Mountain gorilla trekking
- Wildlife Game viewing
- Nature guided walks, primate walk, and forest walk
- Bird watching
- Musanze Caving
- Scenery viewing
- Beach holidays at the shores of Lake Kivu
Rwanda is an emerging tourist destination and Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park (SSENNP) is a program that is helping the country reach its tourism potential by targeting the spectacular Nyungwe National Park (NNP), focusing on inclusive ecotourism development for the benefit of communities surrounding the park and leveraging private sector investment in management, construction, and maintenance of new and existing park infrastructure. Dubbed Nyungwe Nziza, or “beautiful Nyungwe,” the project is helping to transform Nyungwe National Park into a viable ecotourism destination capable of generating employment and sustainable and equitable income for local communities and other stakeholders, thus providing economic incentives to conserve the park’s rich bio-diversity. The goal is a thriving economy in Nyungwe National Park with engaged communities and a private sector that benefit economically by protecting and leveraging their unique environment.
Below are the some of the good activities of promoting Eco tourism in Rwanda.
- Reduce threats to biodiversity, such as fire, poaching, and mining.
- Increase park visits and revenue, promote Nyungwe National Park as a brand that goes beyond tourism, and develop a core group of trained professionals to support health care in a region vulnerable to HIV and other public health threats.
- Develop market-driven products and marketing strategies to increase private sector investment in infrastructure and services.
- Cultivate joint ventures between local communities and the private sector to increase the availability of visitor accommodations and develop new attractions.
- Train local communities’ guides to integrate into existing and new value chains around niche products such as bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, and cultural activities.