Tourist Trekking continues to be the main financing source for Mountain Gorilla Conservation. In the protected areas; the impenetrable forests in Uganda, Rwanda, and The Democratic Republic of Congo, trekking is managed through a permits system meant to limit the number of tourists getting in proximity to the Gorillas. The increased demand for funding towards mountain Gorilla conservation has led to an increase in the number of permits made available annually by habituating more families. If not well managed this increase could cause social disturbance and stress to the gorillas, increase the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases, and attenuate conservation efforts. This poses a challenge around how to create sustainable sources of non-trekking revenues to fund mountain gorilla conservation activities
My Gorilla Family
The Naturalist a Ugandan conservation company has launched the Home of the Gorillas Initiative, which seeks to commercialize activities to generate non-trekking revenues towards Gorilla conservation. Working in Uganda that is also home to more than 50% of the world’s remaining mountain Gorillas, The Naturalist is leveraging technology to enable global community engagement with the gorillas, thereby achieving alternative channels to fund gorilla conservation.