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Seven lions have been introduced into Akagera National Park in Rwanda this week. In June, African Parks in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), released seven trans located lions into the park: five females and two males.
A waterbuck carcass was placed at the entrance of the boma quarantine gate to encourage the lions to step out into their new habitat when they were released. The females were the first the come out of the gate and looked around curiously, skeptical about their freedom after being quarantined. The more cautious males didn’t emerge until all the park and press vehicles had left.
All the lions were fitted with satellite collars to help track their movements. Researchers and park wardens are curious to see if the lions will remain together as a pride, or branch out on their own. Generous stake holders and donors will have the privilege of naming the lions.
The reintroduction of lions in Akagera National Park is a huge landmark for the park and will help tremendously with conservation efforts in Rwanda.
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.