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We are delighted to announce that census data released today by the Uganda Wildlife Authority has revealed that the number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda has risen from the 2006 estimate of 302 to a minimum of 400 in 2011! This now brings the total world population of mountain gorillas up to a minimum of 880, when the 480 from the Virungas are added.
David Greer, WWF African Great Ape Programme Manager, said that 'Mountain gorillas are the only great ape experiencing a population increase. This is largely due to intensive conservation efforts and successful community engagement.'
Thanks to the number of gorilla families that have been habituated for tourism, income for the conservation of this endangered species has increased dramatically. Funds from the sale of permits to track the gorillas are ploughed back into their conservation as well as local community projects that will in turn promote their welfare.
Over the past fifteen years Volcanoes has been at the forefront of mountain gorilla tourism and we are the only safari company to have signed the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes. We believe that long-term partnerships between ecotourism companies, local communities, conservation bodies, governments and donors are essential to the survival of the great apes. We continue to work towards improving tourism infrastructure, training local people in hospitality and guiding to ensure the increase in skills and income amongst members of local communities and ensure they earn a stake in gorilla tourism.
Contact us for more information on our gorilla safaris.
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.