Nyungwe Nziza

Project Title:

Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda (SSENNP) or “Nyungwe Nziza” (Beautiful Nyungwe) Project

Topic of the Project: Ecotourism and Conservation

Implementing Organization: Development Alternatives Inc. DAI

Background:

As Rwanda is an emerging tourist destination, Nyungwe Nziza seeks to help the country reach its tourism potential. To do so, this project targets the spectacular and protected Nyungwe National Park (NNP), focusing on inclusive ecotourism development for the benefit of local communities surrounding the park, and leveraging private sector investment in the management, construction, and maintenance of new and existing park infrastructure.

Objectives:

Nyungwe Nziza project is working to transform NNP into a viable ecotourism destination, capable of generating employment and sustainable and equitable income for local communities and other stakeholders, thus providing economic incentives to conserve the rich biodiversity of the Park. Our ultimate goal is a thriving economy in NNP with engaged communities and a private sector that realize they can benefit economically by protecting and leveraging the unique environment in which they live and work.

In addition to establishing Nyungwe as one of Africa’s premier bird watching destinations, Nyungwe Nziza seeks to decrease threats to biodiversity, such as fire, poaching, and mining, by working with communities to develop alternative sources of income; increase NNP visits and revenue; develop NNP as a brand that goes beyond tourism products; and increase local household incomes.

What we are doing:

Our team is designing and implementing market-driven product development and marketing strategies to result in more private sector investment in infrastructure and services. The project is working on developing partnerships and joint ventures between local communities and the private sector to increase the availability of accommodation around the park, as well as new attractions. At the same time, local communities will be trained to integrate into existing and new value chains around niche products such as bird-watching, chimpanzee tracking, and cultural activities. Additionally, the project is targeted to improve policy and enabling environment for ecotourism development as well as building the capacity of the public and private sector towards sustainable ecotourism planning and management.

Expected Results:

In the end, the investment to increase the attractiveness of Nyungwe National Park as a unique tourist destination will:

- Diversify the local economy, create jobs, and increase family income, resulting in reduced poverty and reduced threats.

- Forge scalable and creative public-private partnerships to increase investment in and around the Park, resulting in a sustainable, market-driven ecotourism business plan for NNP.

- Improve the ecotourism enabling environment, resulting in sustainable ecotourism development at Nyungwe and beyond.

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