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The evening was hosted by Born Free, an international wildlife and conservation charity focused on wild animal welfare and compassionate conservation.
The diverse panel of experts discussed why trophy hunting is one of the most contentious forms of wild animal exploitation. Some proponents argue it generates important revenue and employment, as well as supporting conservation, but the panellists were given the opportunity to explain and explore the viable alternatives.
Praveen spoke about the success and challenges facing Volcanoes Safaris as it navigates the path of reviving ecotourism in post-conflict Uganda and Rwanda, empowering local communities and promoting conservation of great apes.
Praveen said: “If wildlife and wilderness has no economic value, there is no incentive for governments to keep these areas. Conservation has to be part of the economic mainstream of a country, it has to pay. Unless we change the paradigm of these protected parks, and unless they support the communities... I don't think these parks will survive.”
Some of the key takeaways from the event include:
Interested to learn more? Click Here to watch the full recording of the Beyond Trophy Hunting discussion.
Photo credit: Born Free
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.