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Tree Nursery and Community Outreach Project Sponsored by Mvule Trust.

The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) in partnership with Mvule Trust is constructing a tree nursery and conservation outreach program in Kyambura. The VSPT will host and supervise the project while Mvule Trust will fund it.

Tree seedlings.
Tree seedlings.

Kyambura is one of many densely populated communities neighboring Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwest Uganda. Communities in this area have depleted most of their natural resources included trees, wetlands and clean waterways. This is mainly because the local people are not well educated about the value of the resources that they have.

Preparing the nursery.
Preparing the nursery.

Trees have an ecological and environmental value: they control the climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind as well as providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife. "One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people," according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The tree nursery and conservation outreach project aims to establish a large nursery of 400,000 indigenous trees in Kyambura on VSPT land adjacent to the National Park. The young trees will be handed out to community members living along Queen Elizabeth National Park and also planted in the VSPT 100 acre restoration area along the Kyambura Gorge.

Preparing the nursery.
Preparing the nursery.

The forestry team will lead education programs at local primary schools so that children learn the importance of trees to their environment and how to plant and care for them from a very early age.

With enough education, outreach and promotion our goal is to produce 400,000 seedlings in 2014 and make the project self-sustaining through tree sales by the end of July 2015.

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To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 years are allowed to go gorilla tracking. For guests booking a stay at Virunga Lodge, please note that the minimum age limit for children at Virunga Lodge is 12 years.

Safari Activities

Chimpanzee Tracking

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.