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South Africa Transfers 30 White Rhinos to Rwanda

South Africa Transfers 30 White Rhinos To Rwanda

On November 27th 2021, what many conservationists have described as a historic Rhino translocation was made where 30 white rhinos were flown from South Africa to Rwanda.

The 30 white rhinos were successfully flown and introduced to Akagera National Park, Eastern Rwanda. This is the largest ever single rhino translocation made, a move aimed at creating a new stronghold for these endangered mammals also listed as near threatened in the wild.

The 30 white rhinos (19 females and 11 males) each weighing 2 tons spent 40 hours before they made to their new home in Akagera National Park. The historic rhino translocation is primarily aimed at extending the white rhino home range and establish a secure new breeding stronghold in the Land of a Thousand Hills. The initiative in a long run will boast Rhino population growth in their natural habitat considering their current status.

The Rhino translocation will also assist boast Akagera National Park’s economic contribution in Rwanda while making sure that the conservation of natural landscapes brings long term benefits for surrounding local communities and Rwanda as a whole.

The acting chief tourism officer of Rwanda Development Board Ariella Kageruka described the Rhino translocation initiative as an opportunity for the country to substantially advance its rhino conservation role with Akagera National Park positioned to be the world’s significant black and white rhino sanctuary.

Where White Rhinos were Translocated

The 30 white rhinos were flown from andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve the South African based game reserve found in the Mun-Ya-Wana Conservancy. A total of 3400kms distance was covered from South Africa to Rwanda where Rhinos finally settled at Akagera National Park, the top Rwanda safari destination also famous for big five game viewing.

All the 30 white rhinos and others will be monitored daily by a dedicated team and a specialist veterinarian is available to oversee how these species cope with the new environment.

Akagera National Park, the only Savanna Park attracting nature lovers on Rwanda safaris to see the big five game and other wildlife was selected based on its safety and range of its intact landscapes.

The translocation exercise was funded by Howard G. Buffett and it was done through collaboration between African Parks, andBeyond and Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Efforts to restore endangered species such as rhinos, lions etc into Akagera National Park began long time. In 2017 and 2019, several black rhinos were re-introduced and in 2015, lions were also re-introduced.

In the 1970s, rhino population drastically declined due to poaching with white rhinos mainly hunted for their horns. In the 1990s, rhinos were believed to have got extinct with fewer than 100 of them only survived hence their classification by World Wild Life as near threatened.

White rhinos to Rwanda
A ranger with a white rhino in Rwanda and on right, rhinos being transported to Akagera

Akagera National Park

Located in Eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s largest National Park and also the only place where the big five live. The Park sits on 1122sq.kms of land area and it was founded in 1934 to serve as a habitat to important floral and faunal species that are interest for most Rwanda safari holidaymakers.

Akagera National Park derives its name from Kagera River and mainly featuring a distinct savanna landscape with bush, acacia and some patches of grassland, swampy lakes.

Wildlife of Akagera: A record of about 8000 large animals all thrive in the vast Akagera National Park making it an important wildlife safari destination in Africa. These include rhinos- white and black rhinos, leopards, bush elephants, the Masai giraffes, crocodiles, roan antelopes, impalas, hyenas, oribis, topis, hippos, lions, waterbucks, zebras, buffaloes and more.

Primates: Akagera’s diverse primate species include among others silver monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and blue monkeys.

Birds: A total of up to 520 bird species live in different habitats in Akagera National Park making it one of the top explored birding destinations in East Africa.

The birds not to miss sighting on Rwanda tour in Akagera National Park include shoebill storks, black headed weavers, Augur buzzards, giant kingfishers, African wattled plovers, African darter, squacco herons, Senegal lapwings, water thick knee, fan tailed widowbird, hamerkop, grey crowned crane, fish eagles, hadada ibis and more.

Tourist Activities of Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is amazingly one of the best places in Africa with a range of wilderness experiences for tourists to engage in.

While on Rwanda safaris in Akagera, the top activities to expect to take part include guided game drive, birding, nature walks/hiking, sport fishing, camping, boat cruise, community/cultural tours, helicopter tours and more.

Accommodation Facilities in Akagera National Park, Rwanda

  • Magashi Tented Lodge/Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp- Luxury
  • Akagera Game Lodge- Mid-range
  • Karenge Bush Camp/Dereva Hotel/Camping- Budget/Basic

Getting to Akagera for Rwanda wildlife safari

Akagera National Park is reachable within 2 and half hours’ drive in the Eastern side of Rwanda close to the border with Tanzania. The Southern gate is main entrance gate and exit gate is found in the North. By air, flights can also be planned for setting off from Kigali up to Akagera using Akagera Aviation services.