Rwanda—Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park (SSENNP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2010-2015

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Rwanda

Solutions: Environment and Energy

The project supported the Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) efforts to improve overall management of the National Park and helped local communities and the private sector engage in ecotourism activities and thereby gain tangible financial benefits from biodiversity conservation efforts in the area.

Sample Activities

  • Created 25,000 days-worth of paid employment for local population, working at cooperatives, renovating park infrastructure, and improving trails.
  • Supported five local cooperatives which helped to generate an 846 percent increase in income to target rural population over the life of the project.
  • Project activities contributed to a doubling of visitors to Nyungwe National Park over five years, with a 32 percent increase in visitors between 2013 and 2014 alone.
  • Implemented comprehensive marketing and public relations strategy, resulting in Nyungwe National Park winning awards from the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Society of American Travel Writers, as well as being one of only two African destinations named to the “Best Trips for 2014” list by National Geographic Traveler.
  • Built capacity of 1,456 trainees in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation (46 percent of whom were women) and provided training in tourism management to 1,015 people.
  • Used small grants to kick-start community ecotourism ventures and delivered training to groups on how to provide high-quality products and services to visitors (40 percent of trainees and 60 percent of grant beneficiaries were women).


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