In 2022, we are reaching out to request your assistance for vital projects that Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports near our lodges in Uganda and Rwanda. Support is especially critical at the moment, when so many of our communities have seen their livelihoods affected by Covid-19.
Our new partnership with Empowers Africa as our fiscal sponsor provides a simple way for contributions from US residents to be tax-deductible.
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), established in 2009, is a non-profit organisation that connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to the neighbouring communities and conservation activities. The VSPT receives funding through Volcanoes Safaris, which contributes $50 per night from each guest staying at a Volcanoes lodge, as well as private donations by our guests and others.
The VSPT aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict. As part of their stay at Volcanoes Lodges, guests get an opportunity to visit VSPT projects and to share the lives of the local communities.
Bwindi Bar, near Bwindi Lodge, provides training in hospitality to local disadvantaged youths. In 2016 Bwindi Bar received recognition for its community training program as the winner of the PURE Community Engagement Award!
The Gahinga Batwa Village, a permanent village for one of the oldest surviving indigenous people in the Central African Forest, the Mount Gahinga Batwa Community, was officially opened in May 2018 in Gahinga, Uganda.
The Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism Project was launched in February 2019. VS and VSPT have been working to safeguard the gorge ecosystem for over 10 years, and today are the largest single stakeholder in the gorge ecosystem after the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
To celebrate our 25th anniversary we hosted a retreat at Mount Gahinga Lodge in November with twenty-five conservation partners on ‘The Albertine Rift Ecosystems and Great Apes: Conservation Challenges 2022 to 2050′.
It reflected on the successes and challenges of the last 25 years of working in the region and discussed collaborative action needed to take to safeguard the great apes and their tiny ‘island’ ecosystems going forward to 2050. The Albertine Rift Conservation and Tourism group was set up to coordinate ongoing action.
The VSPT is a registered charity in Uganda (37536).
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.