Lion Guardians in Akagera National Park

Familiar sighting in unfamiliar setting: Guardian Kisimir uses radio telemetry to search for collared lions in Akagera National Park. Photo Credi: Sarah Hall/African Parks

Have you been wondering what Lion Guardians are doing in AkageraPark, Rwanda‬ – well now you need not wonder anymore…

As many of you may have heard, seven lions were recently reintroduced to Rwanda after two decades. This was dubbed a milestone achievement by Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks, in a statement. [Read more here]

Shortly after their reintroduction, we received a message from Jes Gruner (Akagera Park Manager), asking if we could help train & coach their rangers on how to safely monitor and protect the lions that have been translocated there. It seems after nearly twenty years without lions, the rangers are quite nervous about patrolling on foot and don’t feel comfortable identifying, following, & understanding lion tracks.

So now Stephanie, Eric and Kisimir are in Akagera National Park and we are excited to be using our skills to help protect these new lions. On Sunday 20th September, they conducted a site assessment to firm up the curriculum for the three week customised coaching that we will be providing and to assess how the lions react to human beings. Community Manager Eric Ole Kesoi shares his thoughts from the day:

Not long after we started tracking, we spotted a male lion approximately five years old and an older female lioness relaxing on the shores of the lake in Magashi. The lions were very much at ease with our cars and they seemed to have acclimatized to the area gracefully occupying their positions in the Akagera ecosystem.

Akagera lioness on the banks of Magashi Photo credit: Sarah Hall/African Parks
Akagera male lion resting Photo credit: Sarah Hall/African Parks

They watched as several crocodiles were feeding on a baby hippo inside the lake water. While we were out, we also managed to pick-up the signal of three other collared lions but unfortunately the terrain proved prohibitive to further tracking.

Eric and Kisimir showing the Akagera Park Rangers how to track. Photo Credit: Sarah Hall/African Parks
Eric and Kisimir showing the Akagera Park Rangers how to track. Photo Credit: Sarah Hall/African Parks

It was a great day and we managed to see many wildlife species in the most pristine National park in ‪#‎Rwanda‬ and I dare say East Africa.”

To learn more about the training and support we can provide – check out our brochure:…/Lion-Guardians-Tra…


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