With just over 1000 gorillas in the wild, gorilla conservation is more important than ever. We share around 98% of our DNA with gorillas, but we still have a long way to go to protect them. The good news is that you can participate in responsible tourism to help them.
There is nothing like seeing a gorilla in the wild on gorilla tours. It is one of the ultimate wildlife experiences to see this majestic animal in its natural habitat, especially as we share so much genetic code with them.
However, it is important to find providers that practice responsible tourism when looking at gorilla tours. These gorilla tourism providers help protect gorillas in various ways. Read on to learn how your next trip can support these gorilla conservation efforts.
Responsible tourism focuses on ensuring tourism is more sustainable. It aims to:
It aims to enhance locations and support the local communities. It focuses on ensuring the local people’s well-being is considered, and they can help with conservation efforts. Responsible tourism also focuses on experiences that connect tourists with the local culture.
There are a variety of reasons why gorillas are now an endangered species. The main reasons are:
Plus, because gorillas share a lot of human genetic code, they are also susceptible to many human diseases. Exposure can be devastating as they do not have immunity against these diseases.
Gorillas also help protect the biodiversity of where they live. But for many years, they were no controls over hunting or the destruction of the forests they call home.
Gorilla conservation is vital to help protect gorillas from extinction and protect gorilla habitats, which are also home to other animals. ‘Extreme conservation‘ has helped slowly bring back gorilla numbers and reduce their endangered rating from critical to endangered. One aspect of gorilla conservation is responsible tourism.
Many people want to see gorillas in the wild, so tourism is essential to support gorilla conservation efforts. Responsible tourism is helping gorilla conservation in different ways. So your next trip can safeguard gorillas and help enhance conservation efforts.
Responsible tourism helps support best practices when visiting the gorillas. There are visitation rules to follow. For example, you visit their natural habitat without luring them to a new location.
There are distance guidelines and ways to act around the gorillas to show you are not a threat. You get to see the gorillas where they thrive at a safe distance without disturbing them or causing any harm.
Other practices include reducing the risk of spreading infection. This includes wearing face masks and washing your hands thoroughly before trekking to see them.
Responsible tourism also takes measures to re-invest in the communities around the gorilla habitats. This supports the local economy and helps enable everyone to be involved in gorilla conservation. For example, responsible tourism focuses on employment for local people and investing some of the tourism fees back into the community.
Gorilla conservation organizations such as the International Gorilla Conservation Program promote empowerment and training for gorilla park employees, such as in the Virunga region. It also takes action to help find alternative sources of income for communities that support gorilla conservation efforts.
Responsible tourism helps reduce the conflict between humans and wildlife. For example, re-investing in the community allows for projects such as water tanks to be built. This means the community does not need to pass through gorilla habitats frequently.
Responsible tourism also supports efforts to track gorillas and protect individual families. It provides recommendations and lobbies for actions that help protect gorilla habitats.
This means gorillas are not forced to move into agricultural areas or unprotected spaces where they are at risk of harm. You also see gorillas in their own environment and respectfully interact with them.
There is a high chance you will take your camera on gorilla tours. Responsible tourism also uses social media in different ways.
For example, you can share photos to promote gorilla conservation. And you can recommend tour providers that have sustainable practices.
This helps encourage more people to take steps to protect gorilla habitats. This could be by going on a sustainable tour or supporting a gorilla conservation organization.
There are also different online campaigns that raise awareness of responsible tourism. You can even pledge to observe tourism rules.
Responsible tourism ensures the local people and tourists are aware of gorilla conservation. It provides access to local people so they can feel empowered and help protect gorilla habitats in the best way.
It also is culturally sensitive. Responsible tourism ensures education efforts are focused on uplifting and empowering communities. It also helps tourists understand the land they are visiting, the culture, and the local issues.
It means gorilla conservation:
Responsible tourism also provides education to tourists. It means you can return home with a greater understanding of gorilla conservation and the steps people can take to help. You can also share your experience with loved ones to help.
Responsible tourism continues to grow in popularity around the world. You can see this impact yourself on gorilla tours. Now you can practice responsible tourism and help with gorilla conservation efforts.
Oasis Safaris offers bespoke Uganda safaris and tour holidays. We are committed to responsibly sharing the beauty of Uganda. One of our trips is gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Visit the beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The trek lasts for around 4 to 8 hours and is a life-changing experience. Do not hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more.