Guests per Safari Vehicle
Ruzizi Tented Lodge is an eco-lodge located on the banks of Lake Ihema. Featuring nine tents that are set back from Ihema’s serene shores and hidden among swaying palms and fruiting fig trees. Each tent flanks a thatched reception and dining area, with wooden walkways that lead to a stunning deck that hangs over the lake. It contains a central fire pit and is the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee or post-dinner chatter.
Ruzizi only accommodates up to 20 guests making it an intimate retreat. Each tent boasts an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, a bathtub or outdoor shower, a dressing area, and a cozy queen bed (alternatively, guests can request two beds). All of Ruzizi’s tents enjoy shaded verandas containing campaign chairs, a tree-trunk table, and a hammock.
Ruzizi was designed to blend in with its surroundings to ensure guests connect with nature. During construction, trees and vegetation were left undisturbed where possible. Some natural elements have been incorporated into the structure, and many of Ruzizi’s decorations and furniture were hand-crafted by local artisans and cooperatives. The lodge is powered by solar energy and prides itself on being environmentally conscious.
Akagera is almost unrecognisable today compared to just 20 years ago when it was on the verge of being lost forever. While peace was finally restored in the 1990s after the 1994 Genocide, Akagera’s demise was just beginning. Refugees returning to Rwanda after the genocide were still battling for their own survival and turned to the forests for timber, wildlife for protein and the wild savannas for their livestock. Lions were hunted to local extinction, rhinos disappeared, and the park’s wildlife was displaced by tens of thousands of long-horned cattle. Biodiversity was practically lost, and with it so was employment and tourism. The park’s value was virtually diminished, which makes its story of revival even more remarkable.
In 2010, African Parks assumed management of Akagera in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), shifting the park's trajectory from one of oblivion to prosperity and hope. After years of preparation, through effective law enforcement and management, 2017 saw the historic return of 18 Eastern black rhinoceros after a 10-year absence, thanks to the support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. An additional five captive-bred black rhinos were translocated from Europe in June 2019, with the support of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), to augment the genetic diversity. Two new male lions were also translocated to Akagera in 2017 to enhance the genetic diversity of the growing pride, which has now tripled since their initial reintroduction in 2015. With poaching essentially halted, the park’s key wildlife populations have continued to rise. The park is generating more than US$2.5M in annual revenue, making it 90% self-financing driven by the tens of thousands of people, half of whom are nationals, coming to see its rebirth.
Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Kayonza District, Rwanda