1st December 2020 – As part of a multi-phased conservation and tourism management programme for Rwanda’s Gishwati-Mukura National Park, the Forest of Hope Association (FHA) in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), today announced the opening of the Forest of Hope Guest House and Camp Site in the Gishwati sector of the park. Visitors staying at both the guest house and camp site have the opportunity to explore the Gishwati sector of the park for an immersive forest experience.
The Forest of Hope Guest House features two serviced double en-suite rooms for a maximum of four guests, offering a basic standard of accommodation, three wholesome meals a day and non-alcoholic beverages. The camp site offers unserviced facilities for a maximum of eight campers.
During their stay, adventurous guests can explore everything Gishwati Forest has to offer, including the chance to admire and monitor some of the world’s last remaining chimpanzees, and golden and mountain monkeys in their natural habitat; there is also excellent birding as well as authentic cultural and community exchanges.
Guests are also invited to visit the onsite indigenous tree nursery and to plant a tree as part of the park’s reforestation efforts.
With support from the West Chester University Foundation of Pennsylvania, FHA also operates the Gishwati Research Station to facilitate biodiversity research in the park.
Speaking at the opening, FHA Coordinator, Thierry Aimable Inzirayineza, said, “We look forward to welcoming our first guests to the Forest of Hope Guest House and Camp Site. We are collaborating with Wilderness Safaris in conservation and community development, focusing on chimpanzee monitoring and community education, and we look forward to sharing this work with visitors. The Forest of Hope Association is proud of the relationships we have built with community partners over the years, and our collective understanding of the importance of the protection and conservation of Gishwati has made this new ecotourism offering possible.”
“The Forest of Hope Guest House and Camp Site is another great addition to Rwanda’s lodging facilities that attract visitors from around the world, and offer world class tourism experiences,” adds Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board. “I thank the Forest of Hope Association and Wilderness Safaris for further reinforcing Rwanda’s pole position as a responsible and sustainable tourism destination that values and protects our natural heritage. I encourage everyone to visit the unique Gishwati-Mukura National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, for truly unforgettable primate trekking experiences and much more.”
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About the Rwanda Development Board:
- The Rwanda Development Board is a government agency responsible for leading the country’s transformation to a dynamic global hub for business, investment, tourism and innovation.
- Its mission is to fast track economic development in Rwanda by enabling private sector growth.
- For more information visit www.rdb.rw
About Wilderness Safaris:
- Since 1983, Wilderness Safaris has been dedicated to conserving and restoring Africa’s wilderness and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action.
- As Africa’s leading conservation tourism operator, Wilderness Safaris operates camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness areas across seven countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In this way it offers its guests private access to almost 2.3 million hectares of Africa’s most remote and pristine wildlife areas, while remaining fiercely committed to protecting our planet’s precious natural and cultural resources.
- Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to making a positive impact, and firmly believes that its single most important achievement to date is to have built a sustainable business model that does not compromise environmental principles and that provides jobs, training, skills, careers, adjusted horizons, hope and a realistic alternative to less sustainable development.
- Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important goals through its two non-profit partners, Children in the Wilderness and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, both of which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in Africa.
- Wilderness Safaris is part of Wilderness Holdings, a group of ecotourism companies that together use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies across the globe.
- For more information, visit www.wilderness-safaris.com
About the Forest of Hope Association:
- The Forest of Hope Association (FHA) is a registered Rwandan non-government organisation. It was created in 2012 by former employees of the Great Ape Trust/Gishwati Area Conservation Programme (GACP).
- The association’s long-term mission is to engage local communities in the conservation of protected areas through community forest protection, raising awareness about the importance of conserving protected areas and improving local livelihoods and reducing human-wildlife conflicts.
- Since 2012, FHA has worked on the conservation of Gishwati-Mukura National Park. The park’s forests, especially Gishwati Forest, were significantly degraded, reduced from its original size of 700 km² in the 1930s to 6 km² in 2002. Thanks to collaborative conservation efforts, Gishwati Forest has expanded to 15.7 km². With Mukura Forest, the park is now 44.2 km² in size.
- The park is home to a number of threatened species, including eastern chimpanzees, golden monkeys and mountain monkeys. Some 232 species of birds have been recorded at Gishwati, including 16 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift, and 163 bird species recorded at Mukura, with 14 endemic to the Albertine Rift.
- For more information, visit www.fharwanda.org