GORILLA TREKKING, THE SURVIVAL HOPE FOR MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
Gorilla Trekking, the Survival Hope for Endangered Mountain Gorillas
Gorilla trekking is the major survival hope for the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. And if it was not for gorilla tourism, mountain gorillas probably would be unknown to the world and be having no wildlife importance. The relationship between human beings and mountain gorillas are the visitation tours the former pay to the later. And these gorilla safaris attach importance to the endangered primates found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
People from all over the world visit the three countries in order to trek gorillas considered being in a likelihood of extinction if conservation efforts are not made. Gorilla tourism is what prompts countries where these primates live to pay special attention to their existence and safety.
To visit gorillas, one must have a gorilla permit solely issued by the park authorities of the respective governments. A gorilla permit in Uganda is at USD 600 and is only issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is the sole provider of Rwanda gorilla permits (USD 1500) for trekking gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. The same case applies to Congo where a permit is at USD 400.
In Uganda for instance, there are 17 habituated gorilla groups available for trekking. Each gorilla family is allocated 8 persons for the trekking adventure. Mathematically, you can tell how much money a country makes every day from gorilla tourism. Those earnings partly go to government and to the communities around the parks to support their livelihood. The benefit that go to the populations around the gorilla parks motivate locals to look at the primates as their good neighbors that need protection. At the gorilla parks, there are rangers and guides who also earn from guiding visitors to see the gorillas. Do not forget that there are lodges and porters who also supports visitors on the ground. The benefits from gorilla trekking extend widely to a chain of beneficiaries.
In the recent past, threats to mountain gorillas included poaching and need for farmland. Locals cared much about extending their farmlands by encroaching on the parkland as well as killing the gorillas that stray to their gardens. Today such threats are minimal as people were taught to love and protect the gorillas.
In a nutshell, the more gorilla trekking is embraced in countries where gorillas live, the more conservation efforts are inserted to their survival. Of recent, the gorilla parks have welcomed baby gorillas, which is good news. The surge in gorilla numbers has also seen their addition of more gorilla families in Uganda to the current 17 groups in number.
So, the more gorilla trekking is done, the more mountain gorillas are protected and conserved for present and future generations.