This weekend the interns and I took an incredible trip to Akagera National Park. This park covers over 1000 square kilometers in Rwanda’s Eastern Provence. The five of us took a 2 hour van-ride from Kigali to the park early on Saturday morning. We had an incredible guide, Cedric, who actually went to high school with one of the Zamura interns, Eric.
Cedric drove us through the entire park. We stood up in the van and looked out the roof for the entire 6 hour safari.
We saw so many incredible animals- giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, and many others. There are also incredibly brightly colored birds flying all around the park. Unfortunately we did not see lions or elephants, but all of the other animals made up for it!
I did some research on the park after the safari and learned that it was founded in 1934. Its size was reduced from 2500 square kilometers in 1997 to provide space for refugees returning to Rwanda after the genocide.
There is almost no poaching in Akagera. Ten percent of the money made by the park go towards conservation efforts in Rwanda, an attempt to teach Rwandans the importance of conservation and discourage them from poaching.
The two Rwandan interns at Zamura, Eric and Esdras, had never been to Akagera. They loved the safari and they said, “I didn’t realize how beautiful Rwanda is!” We all agreed that Akagera National Park was the most incredible activity we have done here this summer.