How Gorilla Safaris Benefit Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo? Visiting gorillas deep in Africa’s rain forests is one of the most popular African safari adventures. The popular movie “Gorillas in the Mist” featured Dian Fossey, an American primatologist who dedicated her life to protecting the lives of mountain gorillas within the Virunga mountainous region, which stretches to cover Virunga national park in Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
Tracking gorillas entails hiking into their native environment to see these fascinating creatures. This implies we are trespassing into the gorillas’ home environment while they go about their everyday routines, which ethically feels like invading someone’s personal space and privacy, which brings me back to the original question.
Does hiking critically endangered mountain gorillas in Africa’s dense rainforests genuinely preserve and promote the gorillas’ interests? To address this essential topic, we must look back at how far mountain gorilla safaris in Africa have progressed, and why mountain gorillas were classed as highly endangered creatures that, if not protected, would become extinct.
Threats to the survival of Gorillas in their natural habitats.
Even though wildlife hunting was outlawed in the Virunga region, nearby villages continued to kill gorillas since the legislation was not properly implemented and the officials in authority were readily paid. As a result, gorillas remained endangered.
Encroachment on natural Habitat
This is mostly due to human encroachment, which has converted park territory into agriculture land. Dian Fossey was extremely useful in revising the European Union project of planting pyre thrum farms on park territory, which resulted in the park land being reduced from 3,000 meters to 2,500 meters.
This causes significant harm to gorillas since they are killed in huge numbers, forcing them to escape to nearby woods and forsake their home.
Today, it is clear that gorilla tourism is the single most essential factor in the rapid increase in gorilla populations, as well as in raising awareness of the value of mountain gorillas’ existence around the world.
Because gorilla tourism has a good influence on the lives of mountain gorillas, but it is also highly threatening to their livelihood, strong procedures and laws must be put in place to reduce the possibility of human disease transmission.
Mountain gorillas are particularly susceptible to human illnesses such as influenza, TB, and diarrhoea, to which they have no protection and may readily pass from one to another. Mountain gorillas do not have the same level of immunity as humans.
How to protect Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Limiting the number of people by increasing the cost of a gorilla trekking permit. This implies that those who cannot afford it will not go, and those who can afford it will not go as frequently since they can afford to waste money so many times, which reduces the number of people.
Second, only a party of no more than eight individuals can visit a single gorilla group in order to avoid depleting the vulnerable animals. This implies that each day has a fixed limit of gorilla permits issued by the individual country tourist agencies.
Third, visitors are only permitted to spend one hour with the gorillas. This is a precautionary step to shield them from lengthy periods of human contact.
Also, if you have a contagious sickness, you are not permitted to go gorilla trekking, and your gorilla permit money is totally reimbursed when you report to the various park offices.
Another vital method to safeguard gorillas is to preserve a distance of 5 to 7 meters from them; if a gorilla gets close, you should move back carefully. Visitors are not permitted to interact with the gorillas, How Gorilla Safaris Benefit Gorilla Conservation
Deployment of veterinary physicians in mountain gorilla forests by different governments, in addition to bigger non-governmental groups such as Gorilla Doctors, which treat the endangered species in cases of illness or wounds.
Encroachment on Gorilla habitat is mostly handled by the profit-sharing plan. The governments of Rwanda and Uganda have put in place a community benefit plan in which a percentage of the cash earned by gorilla tourism is returned to the people surrounding the gorilla forest. Because their livelihood is dependent on gorilla tourism, this intern has developed a feeling of ownership in the preservation and protection of mountain gorillas.
Insecurity and Conflicts – In Rwanda and Uganda, peace and security are prioritized, and efforts are made to ensure security across the country. Tourism police are stationed around gorilla habitats to defend all park limits.
Finally, gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo help to conserve and safeguard critically endangered gorilla species. This is where cash is generated to support gorilla protection efforts such as purchasing medicine and medical equipment, paying gorilla physicians, and policing adjacent villages, all of which benefit the gorillas’ survival and population growth in the long run.
As a result, by purchasing a gorilla permit or gorilla pass, you are directly contributing to mountain gorilla conservation efforts. As a result, when you embark on your gorilla journey, take responsibility and follow all of the Don’ts of gorilla tracking. If you are unwell, do not go gorilla trekking with gorillas.