Benefits of gorilla tourism to the local communities in Bwindi.

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is where half population of the remaining mountain gorillas in the whole world are found. Bwindi is a tropical rain forest which is fertile and the community would encroach the forest to create space for living and agriculture yet the biggest threat to mountain golliras, Uganda’s treasured tourist attraction is poaching and deforestation. The government of Uganda through wild life authority had to evict some of the occupants like the Batwa pygmy known as the first forest people who lived there for years to conserve the misty impenetrable forest park. Bwindi forest was declared a National Park in 1991 and a world heritage site in 1994 since then the number of tourists has increased from 1300 to 2000 currently. Bwindi has benefited the local community in the following ways;

Employment opportunities for local community around the park, when the government took over the forest in 1991, they employed the local community as park rangers, tour guides, porters to the park, gorilla doctors. This increased their income in their community and were able to provide for their basic needs and able to pay school fees for their families. Most of these employees were ex poachers and this helps to create awareness in the community to conserve the forest as well as mountain gorillas.

Infrastructure development like hospitals, roads were put up after reserving the forest as a home to the endangered mountain gorillas and other tourist attractions, infrastructure development came hand in hand, lodges are set up ranging from budget to luxury accomodations,hospitals like Bwindi community hospital. This kind of infrastructural development was never there before the forest was conserved.

Community development like craft shops lodges have been opened up in Bwindi impenetrable park due to gorilla tourism, Camp sites such as Buhoma, Nkurigo, Rushaga, and Ruhija in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a testimony that gorilla tourism has increased community earnings and development.
Revenue sharing as one of motivating the local community in conserving the forest and feel ownership of the park the Uganda wildlife Authority along with other conservation organizations established initiates through revenue sharing schemes where 20 % of the gorilla permits fees go to communities currently a gorilla permit in Uganda is 600$ per person.

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