Nyamasheke District, into which the Nyungwe Forest National Park and sections of the Congo Nile Trail fall, will embark on its own dedicated tourism promotion efforts with the launch of a district tourism development plan.

A regular source in Kigali has commented that such initiatives will boost and strengthen the promotional efforts of the Rwanda Development Board and of the Congo Nile Trail organization to highlight the immense tourism potential in the area along Lake Kivu and into the Nyungwe Forest National Park, attracting more visitors and hopefully also investments in tourism facilities. In spite of strong efforts Rwanda is globally still known as a gorilla tracking destination. But over the past years our country has diversified a lot and offers much more for visitors than just our famous gorillas. RDB has established birding trails outside the parks working hand in hand with communities. Gishwati Forest is well advancing its own development and could soon officially become our fourth national park after Volcanoes, Akagera and Nyungwe. And the Congo Nile Trail has opened the entire shoreline from Kamembe to Gisenyi.

RwandAir now flies daily to both destinations, making a visit to Lake Kivu very easy. There is a Serena Hotel in Gisenyi, there are other very nice places along the trail route and in Nyungwe we have the prize winning Nyungwe Forest Lodge and the canopy walk which is the one and only in East Africa. So this district of Nyamasheke now starting a tourism development plan and promoting itself is another good development the Kigali based stakeholder wrote while responding to a mail on the issue before continuing: If we can attract more quality investment, maybe another hotel group like Serena, to open a resort on one of the many islands, or along the beaches, or even at Gishwati like Dubai World did in Nyungwe, that would be a great boost for tourism. It would also create more jobs and offer visitors more reasons even than just the spectacular nature scenery which is there.

Information received from Rwanda indicates that the district has set aside an initial budget of 20 million Rwanda Francs to get the study and plan completed before then embarking on marketing itself as a prime tourism and investment destination within Rwanda

Compiled by Jackie
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