Challenges with gorilla tourism in Uganda
Gorilla tourism has so many advantages to the Uganda as a country and to the nationals as well but it has got very many challenges as well.
Before Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was conserved as a national park to pave way for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, the land was a home for the Batwa people. The people were chased out of the forest without providing them with land to resettle. Up to now majority of them have failed to settle down and the government has also failed to help them out. Because of this, the Batwa community remains one of the most threatened ethnic group in Uganda and to them, Uganda gorilla safaris came with so many disadvantages on their side.
However, many None Governmental Organizations have come up to support the Batwa community inform of building for them homes, hospitals, schools and many of them are now going to school.
It is expensive and costly to habituate gorillas in the park so that they get used to humans. It takes 2-3 years for researchers to habituate a given gorilla family. Once this is done, mock visits are conducted before tourists are allowed to visit these gorillas. Once researchers are completely sure that the family is ready, they will open up that particular family for Uganda gorilla tracking tour in the park.
Another disadvantage of gorilla trekking in Uganda to mountain gorillas is that the more the number of times people interact with mountain gorillas, the more the chances of spreading diseases to them. In most cases, a distance of 7 meters is supposed to be maintained but my experience with the gorillas showed that, for them, they do not know this and they can easily come closer to human beings. Due to the fact that they are used to human beings, they tend to leave the forest and come to community land ending up by destroying crops and plantations. This also put them in danger since the local people can easily harm them.