There Are Only 880 Mountain Gorillas Left on our Planet.
The dense forests of the Virunga Mountains spanning Rwanda and Uganda protect the last mountain gorillas left on earth. Recent census figures put this population at 880. This is an increase over the last census. Some of the increase is due to improved counting techniques, but there are healthy populations of juveniles and infants in every gorilla family.
We see two reasons for this success. First, the governments of Uganda and Rwanda have invested in gorilla tourism. That means more resources and human power devoted to conservation and tourism. Deeper Africa believes that economics are the best driver of wildlife conservation. In Uganda tourism contributes about 5% of the countries GDP. Tourism revenues in Rwanda make up 11.8% of GDP. Tourism generates more foreign exchange than coffee in Rwanda. Your travel matters. In our opinion, it speaks the loudest to government officials. Uganda and Rwanda have noticed and they are paying attention.
Second and equally important, is the role of Gorilla Doctors. Gorilla Doctors provides veterinary treatment to gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Parc’ Nationales des Volcans. Vets, rangers from Uganda and Rwanda, guides, and other wildlife conservationists monitor the health of each gorilla. They intervene in emergency situations, observe daily interactions, and note health problems as they develop. Triage is done on site, with great fanfare to distract distraught family members.
We have the beginnings of a conservation success story.
The video above gives you a glimpse into the wonder of gorilla trekking.
If your preference is chimpanzees, then Uganda and Tanzania offer you excellent rewards: close encounters with chimps and the opportunity to sit quietly and observe chimpanzee family life as it unfolds around you. Gombe Stream or Mahale in Tanzania and Kibale Forest or Chambura Gorge in Uganda offer excellent viewing.
Gorilla and Chimpanzee Safaris - Suggested Itineraries