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How Your Safari Protects Africa’s 900 Remaining Mountain Gorillas

By David Tett | Apr 25

Bushtracks' Founder & Owner is a sixth-generation Southern African, born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, later earning a Bachelor of Science degree in DNA technology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He founded Bushtracks Expeditions in 1989 and has been traveling extensively throughout Africa for more than 45 years. Combining his interest in ecosystems and the varied ecology of Africa with photographic safaris, he develops educational programs that include traditional cultures and wildlife. He is keenly interested in how nature tourism affects rural African communities and has worked with several projects that successfully integrate communities, the environment, and wildlife viewing.

Gorilla-Safari-Clouds-Mountain-Gorilla-Uganda

Mountain gorillas are still under threat. Even though the mountain gorilla population in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is growing, the species remains endangered. Poaching, habitat loss, and human–wildlife conflict threaten to halt the progress of this species.

 

African Wildlife Foundation's Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

uganda-clouds-mountain-gorilla-lodge-rwanda-outside-1Gorilla lodge makes tourism a win–win. Officially opened in the spring of 2008, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is located just outside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The lodge idea was introduced in 2002, when the Uganda Wildlife Authority, along with the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), sought to address human–gorilla conflict in the region.

What resulted was a high-end lodge based on gorilla tourism, co-owned by a private operating partner and the local communities—represented by the Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF). This unique partnership was facilitated by IGCP and AWF. 

 clouds-mountain-gorilla-lodge-rwanda-breakfastA percentage of each tourist’s bednight fee goes directly into the NCCDF general fund, which is then distributed to the community through various projects.

A few of these projects include vegetable farming, livestock management, community walks, basket weaving, and wood carving cooperatives. Today Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge benefits more than 30,000 people across 23 villages surrounding the southern boundaries of the national park.

Get started saving mountain gorillas by building a safari with Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.

Topics: Gorilla Trekking Safari, African Wildlife Foundation, African Wildlife Conservation

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