Baboons in the mist

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The Independent Online
First Edition

AKAGERA, Rwanda (AP) - Visitors once called Hotel Akagera 'a little corner of paradise'. But these days, the Belgian and Rwandan staff have been replaced by a colony of Olive baboons.

The large, sometimes aggressive animals have taken full advantage of the civil chaos and tourist exodus by moving into the stunning, hilltop safari lodge with spectacular views of Lake Ihema and the savannah of one of Africa's great wildlife parks. They've checked into some of the 60 rooms and spend part of the day lounging around the swimming pool and poolside bar. The hotel is a surreal, tragic symbol of what Rwanda was.

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