(eTN) – The opening last week of Rwanda’s first “canopy walk” at the Nyungwe National Park has heralded in a period of intense work to create more infrastructure across the forest park, all aimed to attract a lot more visitors under the tourism diversification plan of the Rwanda Development Board–Tourism and Conservation.
The park was only officially started and created in 2005 to feature focused promotions and marketing activities from 2008 onwards, when plans became known that Dubai World was constructing the Nyungwe Forest Lodge, which opened earlier in the year and provides top-range accommodation for tourist visitors.
A new interpretation and information center for visitors is now also open and will allow tourists to learn more about the forest’s flora and fauna and appreciate efforts by Rwanda to maintain, and where necessary restore, the fragile ecosystems on which the country depends – as water towers and tourism attractions. As part of Rwanda’s diversification drive for the tourism industry, Nyungwe was a welcome addition to the range of attractions on offer for visitors, apart from tracking Mountain Gorillas, of course. Bird watchers are also a growing segment among visitors who come to see and hear a large number of birds, many of them endemic to Rwanda’s forests and lake shores.
Estimates given by the Rwanda Development Board–Tourism and Conservation are that visits to Nyungwe are likely to triple or quadruple over the coming two to three years from the present of about 4,500 visitors per annum, which would be a substantial boost for the locally-grown guides, the local economy, and the country at large.