In 2022, Akagera National Park had several months as the best-performing months in its history since African Parks took over management in 2010, and this has led to the best-performing year overall, with total revenue of $3.75 million – far exceeding projections for the year by 132%. READ ALSO: Rwanda launches air balloon rides in Akagera park Jean Paul Karinganire, Akagera National Park’s Assistant Tourism and Marketing Manager, told The New Times that the estimated revenue of 2022 was $1.9 million. READ ALSO: Akagera Park continues to attract more visitors The average spend per person was $107, he said, which again exceeded targets. The annual report of 2022 stated that Akagera Nationals Park received 34,537 paying visitors of whom 43% are Rwanda nationals, showing that the park enjoys excellent support from the country. Akagera National Park tourism revenue accrual after easing traveling restrictions as the Covid-19 pandemic situation was calm from March 2022, Karinganire said. READ ALSO: Akagera Park records 25% revenue growth “Overall the Covid-19 situation was calm from March which allowed travel at the normal rate as per before the pandemic and this increased the number of tourists. Diversity of income in the park including lodges, park leisure activities and fisheries along with concession fees,” he said. READ ALSO: Arrival of white rhinos boosts Rwanda tourism The number of visitors to the park continued to swell since African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization currently managing 22 national parks and protected areas in 12 African countries, took over its management in 2010. In Rwanda, African Parks also manages Nyungwe National Park. In February 2021, a 68 per cent decrease in visitors in Akagera National Park had a negative impact. Following lion and rhino re-introductions, Akagera officially became a “Big Five” park in 2017. It now boasts a thriving population of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos, as well as zebras, giraffes and hundreds of bird species. The wildlife population flourished with over 11,000 large mammals counted in a 2021 aerial survey, including 133 elephants (a 20% increase since the 2019), and nearly 4,000 buffalos. The lion population is more than 50 now. Pre-Covid-19, Akagera was 80% self-financing, and despite a reduction in visitors due to Covid-19, tourism contributed 47% towards the park’s operating costs in 2021. In 2022, tourism contributed 95% of the total park’s operating cost. In February 2022, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a $3.7 million (Rwf3.8bn) loan agreement with 3B Group of Hotels to support its construction of a 30-room mid-market safari camp in Akagera National Park. Since 2010 African Parks and the government of Rwanda agreed to jointly manage the Park - for an initial term of 20 years, with an option for renewal.