Rwanda’s Akagera National Park says it expects to break even in 2025, generating at least Rwf3 billion every year. The projection, the park’s management said, follows tangible signs of increased revenues that will enable the park management to balance its annual costs of operations and revenues. Just recently the park, which is also the largest in the country, introduced new products and also registered an increase in the big five- namely- elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, and buffaloes – and other vast varieties of wildlife. ALSO READ: Akagera park says 2022 their best year yet as safari industry rebounds In 2010, Rwanda and African Parks entered into a 20-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) forming the Akagera Management Company (AMC). The company is in charge of managing the park activities through biodiversity conservation, community development, and park revenue generation activities. With only seven years to the end of the management contract, which could be extended, the park’s net revenue from 2010 revenues has grown from $203,000 to $3.7 million in 2022. ALSO READ: Akagera Park records 25% revenue growth According to the park management, despite COVID-19’s toll on the safari industry during the pandemic, revenues started picking up in 2023 (with over $4.5 million expected this year), and projected revenues are expected to stay on the increase. As it stands, core operation costs (core opex) have increased from $1.5 million to $3 million in the same period, and they are expected to break even in 2025 according to the park’s financials which show projections of a drop in the opex to $3 million as the revenues shoot high. “All revenue generated from tourism goes into Akagera’s running costs, reducing reliance on donor funding and simultaneously making the park more financially self-sustaining,” the park management said. According to Jean-Paul Karinganire, the AMC Deputy Tourism and Marketing Manager, there is hope that the expenses will be equal to the revenues by 2024. “We shall start making profits by 2025 according to the plan,” Karinganire said. Karinganire attributed the development to the fact that offerings continue to increase at the wildlife haven. He pointed out that the park continues to diversify its revenue streams from enterprises such as fisheries, and other revenue streams like coffee and gift shops, safari boat rides, air balloon flights, and high-end eco-friendly campsites and lodges among others. For context, he said, tourists visiting the park have more than doubled from over 15,000 (2010) to 41,000 (2022) with locals making up 45 percent and this year visitors are expected to reach over 50,000. “If we keep these at the same momentum, there is a chance to break even,” Karinganire stated. This increase in park incomes and conservation tourism activities has overflown to communities and attracted new hospitality businesses (four hotels) to open outside the park which covers Kayonza, Gatsibo, and Nyagatare districts. Antonie Ahishakiye, the Manager of Akagera Transit Lodge which is two kilometers away from the park's main entrance says that the more tourists increase the more income comes in to sustain the business. “We opened two years ago and if there was no business here, we would have closed shop or moved out of the sector but the more visitors, the more income we earn,” Ahishakiye said. For Frank Muzungu, the Managing Director of Kigali Car Rentals and Tours, a local tour operating company, there has been an increased appetite for domestic tourism, which industry players are leveraging. With many players joining a well-streamlined sector and the investment that the government has put in, we have seen many tourists come into the country along with increased appetite for domestic tourism, the sector's future is bright,” he said in an interview.