Rwanda Hands Forest Reserve Management to African Parks in Bid to Attract Tourists

(Bloomberg) — Rwanda handed over management of a forest reserve in the southwest of the country to an African not-for-profit organization that’s taken over 19 national parks across the continent in a bid to draw more international tourists.

African Parks has agreed to improve wildlife conservation and expand tourism infrastructure in Nyungwe National Park, home to 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees and rare Hamlyn’s monkeys, according to a statement. It also has 300 species of birds and over 1,000 plant species.

It’s the second park the Johannesburg-based organization will manage in Rwanda, after Akagera National Park in the east, a wetland area where it’s reintroduced lions and rhinos since signing a first deal with the government 10 years ago.

Read more about the revival of Rwanda’s Akagera Park here

A catchment area feeding both the Congo Basin to the west and the Nile Basin to the east, Nyungwe provides 70% of Rwanda’s water, African Parks said in the statement. The not-for-profit manages national parks from Benin in West Africa to Mozambique in southern Africa.

African Parks’ funders include foundations connected to Warren Buffett and the Walton family, who together control more than $204 billion of wealth, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Rich list.

(Updates with birds and plants in second paragraph)

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