Magashi, Rwanda

Wilderness Magashi Newsletter - March 2023

Camp news

Our Collective

Elie Dusengimana


The month of March at Wilderness Magashi was very exciting in all aspects. We started by welcoming and hosting the Wilderness Board members for a discussion of upcoming new projects. Three of our guides qualified after their FGASA assessments, and months of hard work. We welcome a new wet season this month with rain encouraging much-needed growth. Our guests were treated to some amazing sightings of herds of elephants and other species in front of their rooms.  Isaac Kalio, a senior guide from Zambia, has returned home to resume his work in the Kafue’s Busanga Plains after another four months of giving our Magashi team his wise experience, especially the guiding team.





This month was especially exciting with a leopard kill seen by one of our guides during the day. Leopards are opportunistic hunters and although usually more active at night, the opportunity to get a meal during the day was too good to pass up. Our guides were in a lucky situation to witness the kill at that moment.


Herds of elephant have also been found in the northern reaches of the park this month, with a few herds coming into camp and spending time around Magashi. An increase in giraffe activity suggests the concession may have some extra appeal for the herbivores with the greening of the trees.


The village weavers have also returned to the camp main area to nest. Some of our guests were lucky enough to see the endemic papyrus gonolek from a boat cruise on our private Lake Rwanyakazinga. It’s one of the many otherwise rare species one can look for while cruising within the papyrus wetlands.


Bird migrants have also started appearing with the change of season, and we have had some great sightings, including the beautiful whinchat.
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Magashi lion dynamics


Peace slowly seems to be coming back as M7 and M9 (the younger males looking to take over the area) seem to be on hold from coming onto the concession over the last month. Our Magashi lioness (the Amahoro female) has since made a comeback on the concession with her four cubs. Two of the cubs are confirmed to be female and if they survive could help their mother to restore the pride to a healthy number in the future.


In the last few weeks, Amahoro has spent a lot of time in the northern corner of the concession, where she was spotted feeding on a very large eland bull. For a single lioness to be able to take down such impressive prey is quite astonishing, and the bull provided enough food for her and her offspring for several days.


The resident older males, Ntwari and Ngangare who are the fathers of the cubs, completely lost touch with the Amahoro female for a few weeks. This can only be explained by them not being too vocal, for fear of their challengers making an appearance. They seem to have settled on the southern side of the concession. Our eyes are still peeled to see what happens next and fingers crossed that our healthy-looking cubs continue to grow and flourish.



Three new FGASA-qualified Guides


We are very proud to announce that our three trainee guides have now qualified for their FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) assessments. Former Wilderness Botswana guide trainer, Henry Parsons flew up from South Africa to assess the guides. As this certification is highly regarded in the industry, it adds much value to guests’ Wilderness Magashi guided experience. Rwanda currently has five FGASA-accredited guides, one of whom is the first FGASA-qualified female guide in Rwanda, and all are based at our very own Wilderness Magashi. An incredible achievement for Assiat, Venuste and Herman. We would like to congratulate them on this fantastic achievement.



Meet our newly qualified guides


Herman Nkusi started his guiding career as an Akagera community freelance guide. As his passion for photography and birding grew, seven years later, in 2022, he joined Wilderness Magashi. He is now a FGASA-qualified guide, which was his dream, and he looks forward to achieving more with the Wilderness family.


Assiat Ingabire formerly worked as a community freelance guide in Akagera for three years. She enjoys interacting with guests, interpreting the natural resources of Akagera National Park along with its conservation story and providing an excellent customer experience. Her ambition is to show the younger generation of female guides that high-level guiding for women is possible. She joined Wilderness Magashi as we are a conservation company that can help to achieve her dream. Now she is so proud to be the first female guide to obtain the FGASA certificate in Rwanda.


Venuste Ndungutse started his guiding career in May 2014 as a passionate nature lover and young community freelance field guide in Akagera national park. At the beginning of 2022, he joined Wilderness as a Junior Trainee Guide at Magashi camp. He dreamt of becoming an internationally qualified nature guide one day and finally his dreams came true in March 2023. He is very proud of achieving a FGASA qualification and very thankful to “my company, Wilderness" for making this happen.


Children in the Wilderness

Akayange Primary School has very active CITW Eco-Clubs running their activities each Wednesday afternoon. The club has 60 students who are disciplined and motivated to learn more about conservation, protecting their environment, and nature in general!

In March the installation of a CITW water filtration system started at the Rwabiharamba Secondary School. The installation was made possible by donations from Wilderness guests. The filtration system will ensure clean, safe and hygienic drinking water for all the 1,200 students and 35 teachers at the school! In the first weeks of April, the installation will be completed, meaning that at the start of the last term of the school year, the students can enjoy fresh drinking water.

This is truly a hidden gem, this certainly exceeded our expectations. We came to Rwanda for the gorillas but we are now leaving with so much more! Your greatest asset? Your people. Thank you for showing us the true meaning of happiness and humbleness. Feet on the ground, eyes on the sky! I am already planning my next Rwandan adventure.  


S & D – Mexico

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