KIGALI, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has signed a 25-year concession with a private company for the development of a conservation and tourism program in Gishwati-Mukura National Park in western Rwanda.
Imizi Ecotourism Development Ltd, a subsidiary of conservation organization Wilderness Safaris, will develop and operate an exclusive chimpanzee and primate trekking experience under the Wilderness Safaris brand, RDB said in a statement on Saturday.
As Rwanda's fourth national park, Gishwati-Mukura is made up of two separate forests -- Gishwati and Mukura -- forming a total of 34 square kilometers plus a buffer zone. It is home to a group of 20 chimpanzees which live alongside golden monkeys, L'Hoest's and blue monkeys.
The park is currently part of a landscape restoration program, where activities are due to begin in 2019, according to RDB's Visit Rwanda website.
The area was nearly depleted largely due to resettlement, illegal mining in the mineral-rich forest and livestock farming. The formalization of its national park status in 2015 aims to help redress the balance, to increase the number of trees to improve soil fertility, stabilize slopes and regulate stream flow.