– the very first World Natural Heritage Site for Rwanda – enormous importance for tourism
Frankfurt, 09. October 2023. With five new sites, the African continent has reached the symbolic milestone of 100 World Heritage sites on the UNESCO list. Rwanda is pleased about its first World Natural Heritage Site, the Nyungwe Rainforest National Park on the border with Burundi.
While the number of World Heritage sites on the African continent is gradually increasing, they make up only about 9 percent of the total world’s natural and cultural heritage sites.
With the aim of further increasing the number of African World Heritage sites, UNESCO has adopted a targeted strategy to provide African states with better support in the implementation of local nature conservation projects and the preparation for the nomination as World Heritage.
„Only a fraction of the global world heritage sites are in Africa,“ criticizes Hanna Kleber from Voice4Africa. Improvements must be made here, because the special protection status associated with the appointment is not only important for the preservation of nature and cultural property, but it also creates economic prospects for the local population through an increase in tourism.
Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe Nationalpark, Ruanda (c) Scott Ramsay / African Parks
Nyungwe National Park first World Natural Heritage Site in Rwanda
The recent inclusion of Nyungwe National Park in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites is an important step towards the long-term preservation of the important rainforest ecosystem and the promotion of sustainable development of neighboring communities through new income opportunities in nature and safari tourism.
The rainforest was declared a nature reserve in 1933 and a national park in 2005. The ecosystem feeds two of the largest rivers in the world, the Congo and the Nile, and makes an important contribution to Rwanda’s water supply. With an area of over 100,000 hectares, the Nyungwe National Park is the largest contiguous primeval forest area in the region.
The national park has a remarkable biodiversity and is home to more than a dozen primate species, including the endangered Eastern chimpanzees, as well as 322 bird species, 200 identified orchids and almost 300 butterfly species. Many species are endemic and cannot be found elsewhere in the world.
Sunbeams in Nyungwe National Park (c) Visit Rwanda
VOICE4AFRICA is an initiative of the KLEBER GROUP, a full-service PR agency with a special focus on tourism and many years of expertise in Africa. Together with African tour operators, the initiative promotes responsible tourism to Africa as a means of international understanding and a driver for sustainable development. Voice4Africa is the winner of the Corps Touristique Award for International Understanding 2023.
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Photos: RNyungwe Regenwald-Nationalpark in Ruanda (c) Marcus Westberg / African Parks