Akagera National Park in Eastern Province of Rwanda has a total population of 13,500 animals according to results from the fifth Aerial census conducted this year.
According to previous figures of the same aerial census, the park had only 12,000 animals roaming the vast natural park in 2017.
This park spans an area of 1,122 km² mostly made up of woodland, swamps, low mountains and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork. In the southern part of the park, vast Lake Ihema is home to hippos and crocodiles.
Park management says this territory to wild game hosts more than 12,000 mammals and 520 bird species.
With these magnificent attractions, the park has received more than 51,724 tourists visited the park in 2018 alone.
Rwanda has three national parks which according to Rwanda Development Board generate significant combined revenue worth $20 million.
Under the ongoing efforts for national sustainable and authentic ecotourism, Akagera Park has embarked on new luxury accommodation including one under Wilderness Safaris a Botswana-based tour operator.
Another high-end lodge called Magashi is established by African Parks in partnership with RDB- it is patched on the eastern side of the park giving a breathtaking view of Lake Rwanyakazinga.
Jes Gruner, Park Manager for Akagera National Park says the park has become almost 75% self-financing due to tourism, which also supports surrounding communities.
Eight years ago, Akagera Park had been infested with poachers but today an electric fence and conservation efforts have eliminated poaching. Rhinos, Lions were reintroduced after a 20-year absence from the park.
Rwanda was this month (November) ranked a top destination in Africa and fourth position globally among the preferred places to visit in 2020 according to TravelLemming.com a site dedicated to promoting emerging destinations across the world as a solution to over-tourism.