Nyungwe listed among global ‘must see’ parks for 2014

UK-based international travel magazine, National Geographic Traveller, has listed Nyungwe among the world’s top ‘must see’ park for 2014. The magazine says Nyungwe ”stands out among Africa’s intact mountain rain forests for its size and diversity”, reports BEN GASORE.
A yellow billed stork is one of the things that made Nyungwe NP shine. Rwanda is every birders’ dream with many endemic and rare species. The New Times / Net
A yellow billed stork is one of the things that made Nyungwe NP shine. Rwanda is every birders’ dream with many endemic and rare species. The New Times / Net

UK-based international travel magazine, National Geographic Traveller, has listed Nyungwe among the world’s top ‘must see’ park for 2014. The magazine says Nyungwe ”stands out among Africa’s intact mountain rain forests for its size and diversity”, reports BEN GASORE.

Nyungwe National Park has been ranked among the 2014 ‘must see’ places in the latest National Geographic Traveller magazine.

The other top parks are Northern Territory in Australia, New Orleans and Rocky Mountain National Park in the US, Puglia in Italy, Cordoba in Argentina, Cape Verde, Ranthambore National Park in India, Arbil in Iraq, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cathar Country in France, Sochi in Russia, John Muir Way in Scotland and Nahanni National Parkin Canada. Cacao Trail in Ecuador, Riga in Latvia, Liechtenstein in Europe, Guyana in South America, Alentejo in Portugal, Bolaven Plateau in Laos and Derawan Islands in Indonesia, which won the readers accolade, also made the list.

“Over the past few years we have had a number of writers from all over the world who have taken tours and praised Nyungwe National Park. I think this is what has led the park to be chosen among the ‘must see’ places of the New Year,” saidLouis Rugerinyange, the Nyungwe National Park chief park warden, yesterday.

She said the magazine has a wide audience, adding that including Nyungwe among the ‘must see’ places for 2014 means more tourists coming into Rwanda.

Accordinng to the publication Nyungwe, which was gazetted as a national park in 2005, is a site that exemplifies the “farsightedness of a government that is channelling aid money towards preserving the best of Rwanda’s natural beauty, while bringing in tourist dollars that benefit surrounding communities”.

Rugerinyange said the communities around benefit from the park through selling crafts in the cultural villages. The government also earns revenue from cultural tourism, which it is currently promoting.

“Nyungwe stands out among Africa’s intact mountain rain forests for its size and diversity,” the article quotes conservationist Bill Weber, who with his wife, Amy, pioneered the gorilla tourism project in Virunga National Park.

This is not the first time Nyungwe National Park is recognised for its rich bio-diversity. Last year, the park won the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Globe Award.

The rainforest national park is one of the world’s richest and most diverse eco-systems and home to a quarter of Africa’s primate species and to nearly 300 species of bird.

Tourism is Rwanda’s largest foreign exchange earner with $142.5m in revenues earned in the first semester of this year compared to $128.4m in the same period last year. The country received 664,729 visitors, up from 583,096 during the same period last year.

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