(RDB) today reassured tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to all parts of Rwanda
Serial no: RDB/COM/20121205
Kigali, 5 December 2012
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) today reassured tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to all parts of Rwanda. The situation in Eastern DRC has resulted in two isolated skirmishes on Rwandan territory which were rapidly contained and border security has been reinforced to prevent recurrence.
Clare Akamanzi, acting CEO of RDB, said that the Government of Rwanda guarantees peace and security in all tourist destinations across the country:
“We would like to reassure visitors that it is business as usual at all our tourism destinations. Travellers to Rwanda continue to enjoy the magnificent scenery, pleasant climate, rich culture and diverse wildlife in our national parks, including the rare mountain gorillas.”
Ms Akamanzi noted that tourism has been successful over the past years and continues to be Rwanda’s number one foreign exchange earner:
“While ecotourism remains the key attraction for visitors coming to the land of thousand hills, we are working to increase conference and events tourism, a goal that will be facilitated by newly registered hotel investments such as Marriott, Radisson Blu and most recently Sheraton.”
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Kigali, 5 December 2012 - The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) today reassured tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to all parts of Rwanda.Read more
RDB’s Rica Rwigamba pledges to reinforce legal framework to enhance Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, as new chair
The Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) Head of Tourism and Conservation, Rica Rwigamba, recently took over as new chairperson of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC).
GVTC also stands as a Mechanism for strategic, transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga Landscape in three counties namely; Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was set up to effectively conserve and manage the rare mountain gorillas and their habitat. The institutions that manage it include; the Rwanda Development Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Congolese Institute of Conservation and Nature-ICCN as they are the parc authorities in the different countries. A Technical Executive Secretariat has its headquarters in Kigali and ensures the running of activities of this collaboration.
The head of Tourism and Conservation in RDB, Rica Rwigamba takes over as GVTC Chairperson following the end of the term of her colleague, Dr. Wilungula of the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature (ICCN).
Rwigamba mentioned that she would work on law enforcement to ensure better management of the wildlife ecosystems in the region. “I will strengthen the achievements we have already registered. I will work towards having a legal mechanism like a treaty signed by all the countries to enhance collaboration,” she said.
“We can enhance tourism development in the Virunga area by diversifying our products as a region so that we increase length of stay in this very rich landscape that we share,” she added.
In 2012 alone, Rwanda received 28,483 visitors for gorilla trekking only. The Greater Virunga Landscape is estimated to have 880 Mountain Gorillas, which accounts for almost half of the total number of the primates in the world.
Note to the editor:
Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration is a Mechanism for strategic, transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga Landscape. Set up by ICCN, RDB and UWA with their partners in the region, it started with ranger collaboration to protect mountain gorillas in Mgahinga, Bwindi, Virunga and Volcanoes NPs in 1991. Later it has expanded in scope (tourism, community conservation and research and monitoring). The area also now extends to central and north Virunga (DRC), Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki NPs (Uganda). The Executive Secretariat sits from 2008 in Kigali to coordinate and link stakeholders on behalf of the Protected Area Authorities.
There couldn't be a more worthy Rwanda competition winner than Claire Mawdsley - winner of two nights at the luxury Nyungwe Forest Lodge (sponsored by the Shamwari Group), airfare for 2 people to Rwanda (sponsored by Turkish Airlines) and a day in Nyungwe Forest with a guide (sponsored by the RDB). This exciting competition was held at the Rwanda stand at the British Birdfair in Oakham in the UK in mid- August.
Claire correctly answered all the questions about Rwanda and was over the moon when it was announced she had won! She has travelled to Rwanda before and loved it - saying the people are so friendly and the country is incredibly beautiful. Claire is looking forward to experiencing the best of Rwanda with her flight on Turkish Airlines secured. She will also be staying at the luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge as part of her prize. Nyungwe Forest is known not only for its 26 Albertine Rift birding endemics, but also for its 13 primate species (25% of Africa's total) which will be a bonus for her too if she gets to see any of them.
When growing up, Claire always wanted to work with animals and to become another David Attenborough! Her last job in Australia was for Taronga Zoo - working in fundraising and volunteering as a zookeeper on a variety of different sections including Australian Fauna, Primates and Ungulates as well as Reptiles. She says she is a bit of an animal nerd.
Her current job as a Direct Marketing Manager for the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (RSPB), sees her raising money to help fund their work all over the UK and the world. She will be writing about her experiences in Rwanda in the RSPB Newsletter and will enthuse others with her visit. (The RSPB has 2,000 employees, 17,600 volunteers and more than 1 million members (including 150,000 youth members), making it the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe).
Claire loves to travel and takes every opportunity to see wildlife - especially endangered species. She has been lucky enough to see some fantastic animals as well as work with them in various sanctuaries and zoos.
One of her best experiences was volunteering at a private game reserve in South Africa, where she studied predator/prey relationships, vegetation destruction by elephants and animal behaviour to help the park manage its wild occupants better.
A very big thank you to the sponsors for providing the exciting competition prizes!
By Marje Hemp