As Published in Africageographic Blog
There are less than 900 individual mountain gorillas left in the wild. Yes you read that correctly, less than 900 left in the whole world. If you have been to a zoo or safari park and think you may have seen one, sadly you are wrong, the species you have seen is the western lowland gorilla. No mountain gorillas are held in captivity.
Mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Mountains and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Most people go to Rwanda to see them in the Virunga volcanos, however I decided to make the trip to Uganda, which has many other national parks I wished to visit along with Bwindi. The name is a bit frightening to be honest; impenetrable forest does not sound too inviting, yet this was our destination and we were incredibly excited about it.
Having learnt how few gorillas there are left, I understood why it was so costly to visit them – US$ 500 per person for one hour with the gorillas. But being very interested in conservation, I was desperate to learn how these beautiful animals were being helped and what had caused such horrifyingly low numbers.
Upon reaching the impenetrable forest – on some questionable roads that even our Land cruisers had a tough time negotiating – I became bitterly disappointed with the landscape set out in front of me. Don't get me wrong it was scenically beautiful, but where was the forest?
Uganda Wildlife Authority known for conservation as its core mandate has proved a force to reckon with on the sports front by participating in the 2013 inter forces tournament where they scooped thirteen trophies in different events and disciplines.
African Explorer and Anthropologist Julian Monroe Fisher, in conjunction with The Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities, The Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Ministry of Wildlife, Conservation & Tourism for South Sudan, the descendants of the Victorian explorer Sir Samuel White Baker, RailRiders Adventure Clothing and Costa Del Mar Sunglasses has announced plans to establish The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail.
Key states along the illegal ivory value chain have committed to urgent measures to halt the illegal trade and secure elephant populations across Africa. The agreement was reached at the African Elephant Summit convened by the government of Botswana and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
The leadership of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom whose three districts of Buliisa, Kiryandongo and Masindi border Murchison Falls National Park, has committed to supporting Uganda Wildlife Authority in the conservation of wildlife which will in turn boost tourism.
All roads led to Packwach through Murchison Falls National Park as thousands thronged Owiny Primary school to get the best vantage point for viewing the hybrid eclipse on November 3rd,2013.
Ministers responsible for Tourism from the East African Community (EAC) Partner States and the EAC Secretariat on Wednesday hosted an EAC Joint Event to promote the region as a Single Tourist Destination at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2013 in London.
Uganda's Prime minister and head of government business Mr. Amama Mbabazi on November 9th 2013 led a high powered delegation of eminent citizens to visit Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park where he sighted the much sought after tree climbing lions.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) using Game spy digital cameras around the Ayago water falls area on the Victoria Nile has shown big populations of wildlife in the southern sector of the Murchison Falls National Park than previously believed.
The visit to our national parks in November, by eminent citizens including Uganda's Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi (Ishasha Sector), minister for youth Ronald Kibuule (Queen Elizabeth) and the king of Bunyoro His Royal Highness Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1 among others, was not only a gesture of growing interest from domestic tourists but also a vote of confidence in our conservation strategies.
The emergence of Tourism promotion groups like Kinkiizi Tourism Club, the Kigezi Tourism Cluster, Busoga Tourism Initiative etcetera is another testimony of how ready the communities are, to tap into the sprawling growing tourism sector.
The hybrid eclipse was a serious boost to tourism attracting thousands of guests to enjoy the products and services in the national parks enroute to Packwach in Nebbi district where the President was the chief viewer.
Murchison Falls National Park stands to benefit from two new trails if the planned Bunyoro trail comes into force while the great- great sons of the 19th century Victorian explorer Sir Samuel Baker plan to plant markers along their ancestor's trail up to atop Murchison Falls, to be known as the Baker's Trail.
Our new specialized game viewing vehicles are up and running in Kidepo and Murchison Falls National Parks and can be hired for either night or game drive or both.
Have an eventful month of December as we together conserve for Generations.