The other parks nominated for this year’s award include Kalahari Game Reserve, in Botswana, Etosha National Park, in Namibia, Kruger National Park, in South Africa, Masai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya, Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania and Kidepo National Park, in Uganda.
The 2013 World Travel Awards comes after British Guild of Travel Writers awarded Nyungwe Nziza project top Globe Award in November 2012 at the Guild’s prestigious annual awards dinner that took place at the Savoy Hotel in London.
“Nyungwe Nziza” (Beautiful Nyungwe) Project was created to strengthen sustainable eco tourism in and around Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda with the support of USAID and DAI. The project is centred on ecotourism and biodiversity.
Located in the south-west of Rwanda Nyungwe National Park, through the Rwanda Development Board project was praised for harmonising tourism, wildlife, environmental and agrarian development in the country’s last surviving patches of primeval pre-Ice Age rainforests.
“Rwanda’s Nyungwe Nziza project also came first in the awards’ Wider World category where the two runners up were central Georgia’s Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, nominated by Peter Lynch, and San Antonio, Texas’s Morgan’s Wonderland, nominated by Mary Moore Mason,” Guild Chair, Roger Bray said, while presenting the award.
The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across sectors of the tourism industry.
The winners are voted for by individual travel professionals and consumers all over the world. According to the World Travel Awards website, last year’s winners were voted for by people from over 170 countries.
Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognize and celebrate individual and collective successes with each key geographical region.
All regional winners then compete head to head in a final round of voting to decide who walks away with the ultimate accolade in the travel and tourism industry.
The continental ceremony will take place in Nairobi on Oct. 16 while the grand final date has been tentatively set for Nov.30 in Doha, Qatar.
Over ten thousand years old, and described by Jonathan Kingdon as the continent’s answer to the Galapagos Islands, the montane forests of Nyungwe National Park, home to a quarter of Africa’s species of primate, and to nearly 300 species of bird, constitute one of the oldest and rarest high altitude habitats in central and eastern Africa.
Clare Akamanzi, the acting CEO of the RDB further noted that Nyungwe, in particular, has received a 44 percent increase of tourists, from 5,755 in 2010 to 8,274 in 2011.