Rwanda –known as the land of a thousand hills, is one of the greenest places in the continent of Africa both literally and figuratively, with the plastic bag bans and intensive flora and fauna conservation and the rise to sustainable lodging, this country is changing the face of ecotourism in the continent of Africa in such a big way.

Introduction:
Rwanda –known as the land of a thousand hills, is one of the greenest places in the continent of Africa both literally and figuratively, with the plastic bag bans and intensive flora and fauna conservation and the rise to sustainable lodging, this country is changing the face of ecotourism in the continent of Africa in such a big way.
Biodiversity makes a substantial and direct contribution to the Rwandan economy through eco-tourism. Rwanda’s eco-tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, and has shown significant potential for future growth.
The streets of Kigali, the Capital City of Rwanda are pristine. No food wrapper or discarded plastic bottles, do litter the roads, rendering Kigali, the Cleanest City in Africa for the 6th year running.
Well known for their sustainable policies, the Government of Rwanda makes every effort to keep the country spotless, going as far as banning plastic bags and also implementing effective measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In terms of flora and fauna conservation efforts in Rwanda, there is the resurgence of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, population and introduction of lions and rhinos to the Akagera National Park. Reforestation efforts have led to the planting of over 15,000 indigenous trees nationwide.
As concerns accommodation, with the Rwandan tourism boom, the country is doing an excellent job in promoting environmental friendly lodgings both for budget and luxury travellers.
Overview of Tourism Investment Opportunities in Rwanda:
Tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings in Rwanda and was projected to grow at a rate of 25% every year from 2013- 2018. This has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The tourism sector is the biggest contributor to the national export strategy. In 2014 alone Rwandan tourism total revenues generated was estimates to about 305 Million USD. The Rwandan tourism sector has also attracted Foreign Direct Investments with major international brands setting shop in Rwanda, these include the Marriot, Radisson Blue, Park Inn by Radisson, Sheraton, Protea, Golden Tulip etc. The Nation of Rwanda is carving out its niche as a regional and international conference hub, with its new world -class conventional centre and an ever improving conference facilities. Rwanda promotes straight forward immigration procedures providing services like online visa applications, one tourist visa policy for the East African Community (EAC) and visa-at-gate policy for all Africans, citizens from the Commonwealth and La Francophonie. Rwanda can boost of an excellent and expanding transport network by air and land. The rapid growth of RwandAir (the National Carrier) in addition to other airlines serving Kigali such as KLM, Brussels Air, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Kenya Airways are evidence to the growth. There are diverse entertainment options and other opportunities opening the economy of Rwanda to the outside world.
Ecotourism Sites in Rwanda:
Rwanda Ecotourism sites have been established with the aim of protecting the flora and fauna in those areas including endangered species and preserving the environment for purpose of tourism.
Ecotourism sites in Rwanda and facilities is under the Ecological-Tourism
Rwanda’s main ecotourism attractions in wild life protected areas include;
ü  Trekking
ü  Mountain hiking
ü  Mountain gorilla tracking
ü  Game viewing
ü  Nature guided walks, primate walk, and forest walk
ü  Bird watching
ü  Mountaineering
ü  Caving
ü  Scenery viewing
Some Key Lessons in the Rwanda Ecotourism Sector:
National level policies and programs which promote eco-tourism are vital;Private sector engagement can bring funding, expertise and innovation to the tourism sector;Enhancing transboundary biodiversity management can support landscape level conservation;Revenue-sharing schemes, which fund socio-economic activities benefiting local communities living around the national parks, are vital for sustainable development; andTourism is a cross-cutting industry, capable of achieving several U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Africa Agenda 2063 are all contributing to biodiversity conservation, and by developing a green economy and stimulating trade.
The Role of TIES Rwanda:
The role of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) –Rwanda, is be to put together a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) towards strengthening sustainable ecotourism in Rwanda. Through the CAP Initiative, our goal is to collaborate with all stakeholders within the Ecotourism sector in Rwanda, to offer tourists the best of the Rwandan landscape, flora and fauna and protecting the biodiversity and total environment for the best interest of the governments at all levels, communities and the private sector.
Written by:
Ms Rosemary Olive Mbone Enie
Geologist/Environmentalist/Eco-communities Builder, Social Environmental Entrepreneur (SEE), Gender/Childhood Ambassador
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) Rwanda Head
African Brand Ambassador, OTHALO AS (www.othalo.com)
Kigali-Rwanda- East Africa
Tel/WhatsApp: +250 787249860
Email: camvisiontrust2020@gmail.com