How does gorilla trekking benefit conservation efforts? – How gorilla tourism supports conservation

Mountain gorilla trekking is a popular wildlife safari activity – it entails trekking and hiking through the impenetrable forest of Africa to search for endangered mountain gorillas. An encounter with a gorilla family is one of the most transformative experiences in Africa as you will observe these massive creatures in their natural habitat as they go by their day. Mountain gorillas share up to 97% DNA with humans and you will feel a sense of familiarity after you encounter them in the forest – you will watch the young ones play, mothers grooming their babies, the rest of the family feeding, and the giant silverback keeping watch of the entire family. Although gorilla trekking in Africa unfolds with excitement and anticipation, many travelers are always concerned about the sustainability and ethics of the activity. Many visitors ask How does gorilla trekking benefit conservation efforts? How does gorilla tourism support conservation? Among other questions.

How does gorilla trekking benefit conservation efforts? Mountain gorilla trekking plays an important role in the conservation of both gorillas and their habitat. Trekking mountain gorillas has several benefits to gorillas, local communities and the governments. The incomes generated through the gorilla trekking permits are reinvested in gorilla conservation, and some are remitted to community projects. If you are wondering how gorilla trekking supports conservation? This article discuses the importance of gorilla trekking or how it contributes to conservation, its impact on the local communities, and ethical gorilla trekking practices.


Facts about mountain gorilla trekking – Evolution of gorilla trekking

The plight of mountain gorillas was brought to the international community in the 1960s when American primatologist Dian Fossey decided to study gorillas in East Africa, pioneering conservation efforts of this endangered primate species. In the 1960s, only 240 mountain gorillas lived in the wild however her dedicated conservation efforts brought the plight of these primates to the attention of the international community.

In the 1990s, Uganda responded to the crisis by creating two National parks in the southwestern part of the country where the gorilla population lived. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that of today has the highest gorilla population was created and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which lies in near the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda also responded by creating the now-famous Volcanoes National Park so as to conserve the endangered population of mountain gorillas.

Over the years, the gorilla habituation process was initiated on a number of gorilla families. The Gorilla habituation process is the process of slowly introducing mountain gorillas to the presence of humans. The habituation process usually takes years for gorillas to become fully accustomed to human presence. This allowed the visitor to encounter mountain gorillas in the wild thus the evolution of mountain gorilla trekking safaris/Gorilla trekking tours.

The gorilla population has been increasing in the past decades with up to 1000 individuals living across Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R Congo. The gorilla population as of today is much higher than the 250 gorillas in the 1960s, thanks to different stakeholder who have dedicated their efforts to gorilla conservation through various approaches.

Many travelers today from all over the world travel to Africa to see these gentle primates and much revenue is generated by different governments. The revenues generated through selling gorilla trekking permits have enabled to facilitate a number of conservation efforts such as monitoring gorillas, enforcing antipoaching policies, and conserving the gorilla habitat.

How does gorilla trekking benefit conservation efforts?

  • Avails Financial Support
  • Local Community Involvement
  • Creates Conservation Awareness
  • Promotes Habitat Protection
  • Facilitated Research and Monitoring of Gorilla
  • Enables Political and Legal Support

How does gorilla trekking benefit wildlife? – Benefits of mountain gorilla trekking to wildlife

Promote Habitat Protection

If you are planning a gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is important know that mountain gorilla trekking is ethical and equally has several benefits to wildlife conservation and habitat protection. When you purchase a gorilla trekking permit which is issued by the bodies responsible for gorilla protection is various countries with gorillas, you are actually indirectly contributing to gorilla habitat protection and conservation. Some of the revenue generated from gorilla permit sales is usually invested in gorilla habitat protection. There are various approaches applied to protect the gorilla habitat such as restoration of deforested areas and relocating of individuals that have encroached the gorilla habitat. By purchasing gorilla permits, you are actually supporting gorilla habitat preservation and protection.

Facilitated Research and Monitoring of Gorillas

The survival of mountain gorillas in the wild is largely dependent on the dedicated research and monitoring of these creatures. From the pioneer researchers like Dian Fossey, there have been various measures derived basing on research results for example, it required research to be able to establish things like the minimum gorilla trekking age, the health precautions and to habituate gorillas.

Some of the funds generated from gorilla trekking are usually reinvested in research and monitoring of mountain gorillas. the research is meant to ensure the well-being of mountain gorillas and preservation of their natural habitat.

How does gorilla trekking benefit local communities? 

Supports Community projects

Gorilla Trekking supports local communities through supporting local community projects. Some of the money collected from gorilla trekking permit sales is remitted back to community development projects. There are a number of community projects that have been developed using this funding thus improving the living conditions of the local people. Monies collected from gorilla trekking are used to develop infrastructure, hospitals, and schools among other within the communities living near the park.

Local Community Involvement in Conservation

Trekking to see mountain gorillas increases community involvement in mountain gorilla trekking. Largely of the population of people who conduct mountain gorilla trekking such as guides, trackers, and potters are local people within the neighboring communities. By going on gorilla trekking safaris, you support them by creating jobs and thus increasing their involvement in mountain gorilla conservation.

This has in the past years helped to reduce human -wildlife conflicts as the locals have really recognized the benefits of conserving these endangered mountain gorillas. Increased community participation in gorilla conservation also helps to reduce illegal activities like poaching of the gorillas thus promoting their conservation.


How can I support gorilla conservation during my trekking tour? 

Follow the set rules and guidelines for trekking mountain gorillas

Support local communities by purchasing their produce or souvenirs

Donate or Volunteer to reputable conservation options

Spread awareness about gorilla conservation

Choose Sustainable Practices during safari

Choose a reputable tour operator like Acacia Safaris Limited

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