Newly opened Wilderness Safaris’ Magashi Camp, is strongly rooted in a core purpose: To help contribute towards the conservation and sustainable operation of Rwanda’s last protected savannah ecosystem, and to drive sustainable ecotourism in the wildlife-rich Akagera National Park.
Launched in partnership with African Parks and the Rwanda Development Board, collectively called the Akagera Management Company (AMC), Magashi forms part of Wilderness Safaris’ objective to build sustainable conservation economies in Rwanda and further entrench its commitment to extending sustainable ecotourism in the region by offering an extended high-end ecotourism circuit that goes ‘beyond gorillas’.
“The launch of our second camp in Rwanda – the first being Bisate Lodge close to Volcanoes National Park – is an exciting venture for us, as it demonstrates the difference that responsible ecotourism can make to rural Rwandan people and biodiversity conservation in a different ecosystem.”commented Rob Baas, Wilderness Safaris Rwanda Operations Manager.
Our presence in the park enables us to assist AMC through a number of local initiatives such as the monitoring and study of endangered wildlife, training of future trackers, removal of alien invasive plant species and the support of post-graduate Rwanda conservation students, with the first research project due to begin in a couple of months”.Rob Baas
Magashi’s primary conservation focus is on threatened species like the rare shoebill stork, listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Wilderness Safaris will also provide monitoring support to Akagera’s black rhino reintroduction project, which will see a new supplementary population of the same subspecies being returned to the park from European zoos later this year. We will also continue to support AMC’s lion research through the sponsorship of satellite collars and regular monitoring.
Like all other Wilderness Safaris camps, Magashi is driven by the company’s 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. With barely any tourism background, one out of three employees of the camp staff were sourced directly from the neighbouring communities. The company intends to hire more local people as it trains and develops its current staff into senior positions, and has also been sourcing local products and handcrafted gifts through community projects.
“In addition to our commitment to conservation and community empowerment, Magashi will celebrate culture through our locally-inspired interior design, traditional food and cultural presentations. The camp also boasts a light footprint, is 100% solar powered and completely single-use plastic free. We have no doubt that by offering a life-changing experience that is strongly rooted in a core purpose, we will inspire positive action. We look forward to sharing the wonders of Akagera with our guests.”Rob Baas
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