Mountain gorillas are an endangered species found in very few parts of the world. In Africa the most renowned gorilla habitats are found in Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. Recent surveys show that the population of this endangered species keeps increasing. The population of mountain gorillas increased by 27% between 2003 and 2010.
Why is the population of a species that is known as “endangered” continuously increasing?
The population is increasing because the three countries are making enough money to manage the preservation of the mountain gorillas. The governments are making $500 for every gorilla permit sold. DRC charges $750 due to all the insecurity and uncertainty in the country. It is not just the permits that are bringing money; there are taxes from accommodation, transportation, and food.
During the peak season, and holiday season, gorilla permits are in high demand and the country can make up to $ 40,000 in a day.
All this revenue is very instrumental in preserving the species of the mountain gorillas and ensuring the growth of their population.
There are also doctors dedicated to gorilla research and medicine who take care of the animals in case of illness or injuries from fights or from poachers.
The governments and local communities are benefitting from the gorilla tours and gorilla trekking expeditions and that is why it is important to preserve the mountain gorilla and facilitate the increase in population.
How is the mountain gorilla population in Uganda?
The gorilla population is ever growing. There are about 10 habituated gorilla groups in Uganda. These are the ones that have been habituated to accommodate human presence. One of these groups is in Mgahinga gorilla national park, and the other ten are in Bwindi impenetrable forest in western Uganda.
How is Gorilla tourism beneficial to the communities of Uganda?
Uganda communities especially those in areas surrounding gorilla tourism spots have benefitted and are still benefitting from all the preservation efforts and the tourism the mountain gorillas bring.
First, a percentage of the revenue from the gorilla tracking permits is used to aid development in the local communities. There have been jobs created due to the rising popularity of the gorilla trekking safaris. There are more jobs in the parks and nearby lodges and guest houses, and the community camps. There also crafts markets where the locals sell arts and crafts and other African items to tourists in the area.
Local communities have realized that it is in their best interest to protect the gorilla population, and they do this quite diligently.
It is also good to remember that the revenues payment for permits and gorilla safaris goes to agood cause. dveloping the local communities and preserving the gorilla species.
What other activities do these gorilla habitatas offer to the tourist in Uganda?
Aside from gorilla trekking, Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park offer mountain biking expeditions, guided walks, bird watching, and a few other activities.
Book your safari to Uganda and make sure gorilla trekking is on your itinerary so that you can discover first hand why everyone is excited about mountain gorillas.