Are there Ecotourism principles that have been applied in Bwindi forest park?
Are there Ecotourism principles that have been applied in Bwindi forest park? Where gorilla trekking takes place in East Africa, the wildlife conservation agencies in all countries that share the gorilla such as Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo,basing on the Dian Fossey’s research and the world wildlife fund (WWF) have decided to launch stringent rules and regulations limiting tourists contact with mountain gorillas as a conservation strategy.
The human activities such as poaching, encroachment on food and habitat as well as and diseases transmitted by humans that threatened these endangered species motivated these wildlife conservation agencies to put up strict rules and regulations after it was realized that such human activities had drastically reduced the number of gorillas up to less than 500 individuals.
The fact that tourism is a very fragile industry, gorilla tourism is not exceptional. With more travelers who are interested in gorilla tourism especially gorilla trekking increasing, this activity has become vigorously restrictive with different ecotourism rules and regulations to counteract the possible negative impacts of tourists.
For example in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to conserve mountain gorilla / encourage ecotourism principles, numbers of travelers visiting each habituated gorilla family per day have been controlled as well as movements within gorilla parks to reduce trampling by tourists which have maintained the veracity of forests like Bwindi where gorilla family groups are on the rise raise.
Further more on ecotourism, Bwindi travelers are noted that only 8 of them can visit the gorilla family for one hour per day while maintaining a distance of seven meters away. As a health precaution, travelers must turn their heads back or use a handkerchief when sneezing in order not to spread diseases to gorillas.
Further, the use of flash camera photography is not allowed as this may change the behavior of tourists. It is important to note that when with mountain gorillas, tourists are not advisable to eat, drink or smoking. Human waste must be buried 30 centimetres deep underground in addition to the fact that gorillas are habituated and accustomed to people; tourists must not use threatening body language while seeing gorillas.
To make the gorilla habitat stable travelers within the park are requested not to pluck any leaf on vegetation, to make campfires or litter and doing off trailing/off tracking litter or do off tracking. This helps the park to remain in its natural state, attractive as well as reducing wildlife disturbance especially that done by human beings.
Also, the existence of gorilla tourism revenue source in the delicate Afro montane rain forests of Bwindi ensures that these vital habitats are protected, thus protecting gorillas at the same time enabling forests to play their ecological roles like water catchment and providing natural resources to local communities.
Remarkably, among the people benefiting from revenues has significantly reduced poaching, encroachment through illegal timber cutting and collection of medicinal herbs and this is due to awareness and alternate employment. The more the local communities share from tourism revenues, the more they are likely to protect gorillas.
Therefore, the support of local communities living around gorilla national parks by governments and conservation organizations has largely increased the ecotourism / protection of gorilla habitats and conservation of mountain gorillas a reason why tourists are encouraged to support local tourism ventures. Tourists who trek gorillas can also do other activities as a way of raising funds for general conservation of gorillas and other wildlife. Gorilla national parks offer African jungle and wilderness experiences.
Due to ecotourism in Bwindi to save mountain gorillas and their habitats, tourism infrastructures such as lodges, hotels, and bandas are built-in away that that does not harm the environment while providing services to tourists as well as a local community. Mostly these facilities are constructed using grass, wood, and stones which are nature-friendly materials. The use of solar, biogas and recycling of wastes such as metals, plastics, and papers are encouraged to create fewer wastes in and around the gorilla habitats.
In conclusion, ecotourism is one of the ways how endangered mountain gorillas can be conserved. In Bwindi Impenetrable National park ecotourism principles are observed to protect the natural environment from degradation.
It is important to note that ecotourism conservation involves different stakeholders of the local community are among and without the local community then ecotourism practices are likely to fail. As Africa adventure vacations, our travelers are first briefly of the above principles before even the trip to the home of gorillas to observe and protect the integrity of the destination