Tucked deep in the heart of Africa in southern Rwanda is Nyungwe National Park (NNP), one of Africa’s newest Parks and, at 1000 square kilometers, the largest protected mountain rainforest on the continent. The Park offers a rare and important habitat for many species, including 280 bird species, 13 primate species, 200 types of trees and over 140 species of orchids. To help protect this precious biodiversity and carefully develop it through ecotourism, the US Agency for International Development has been running a special project called the “Nyungwe Nziza” (Beautiful Nyungwe) Project (www.NyungwePark.com).
The Project is working to transform the Park and surrounding communities into a viable ecotourism destination, capable of generating employment and sustainable and equitable income for local communities and other stakeholders. Through ecotourism, the Park can provide economic incentives to conserve the rich biodiversity of the Park. The ultimate goal is a thriving economy in NNP with engaged communities and a private sector that realizes they can benefit economically by protecting and leveraging the unique environment in which they live and work.
Ecotourism without tourists, however, is not sustainable. So the Project is cooperating closely with the Rwanda Development Board to market and promote the experiences of the Park – from chimp tracking to orchid ogling to visiting East Africa’s only Canopy Walk. In about a month, the Project is bringing six veteran globetrotting travel journalists from the west coast of the US and Canada to Rwanda to experience Nyungwe firsthand and explore the forest and the rest of the country.
Pacsafe was excited to hear about the Nyungwe Nziza Project and the great progress that Rwanda has been making since the genocide of 19 years ago. Helping to tell the uplifting stories of Nyungwe and the country as a whole is very much in line with our company’s mission to use our technology and products to help travelers explore with confidence and peace of mind and contribute to the sustainability of the places they visit.
Pacsafe wants to help the journalists on the Nyungwe Nziza press trip – Bob Howells, Martha Burr, Matt Payne, Beatrice Broda, Percy Lipinski, and Rachel Weil – tell the story of Nyungwe and Rwanda as they begin their explorations at the end of April. So watch this space as we report on their experiences and share stories of chimp trekking and gorilla tracking, as well as the triumphs of Rwandans, with you.
Bob Howells (http://www.bobhowells.com)
Matt Payne (http://www.mattpaynewriter.com/)
Beatrice Broda (http://travelvideo.tv/)
Percy Lipinski (http://thetravelmediagroup.com/)