At Kofi Travel Safaris, we recognize the importance of sustainable tourism and are committed to preserving local communities, their culture, and the environment. When it comes to exploration of Uganda’s breathtaking sights, following sustainable principles can reduce the damage to natural resources and the Earth’s environment. Our responsible gorilla tourism has contributed to the survival of endangered mountain gorilla species while also helping nearby communities.
Learning how to hike sustainably in Uganda is easy with our helpful tips! By bringing along a reusable water bottle, using energy-saving travel apps, carrying out all trash, and supporting local businesses, your journey through Uganda can be an enriching and respectful experience for the environment and surrounding communities. Follow our advice to ensure that your next trip to Uganda is a successful and sustainable one!
1. Follow the Instructions of Your Guide
It is important to follow the instruction of your guide when trekking to visit gorillas. Our guides are knowledgeable of the terrain and landscape you will be navigating through, as well as the behaviours of the apes. By listening to their advice, you can make sure your experience is safe and enjoyable. Additionally, your guide will help you traverse challenging and potentially dangerous areas.
In order to have a sustainable and positive experience, it is essential to be prepared. Taking into account the possible weather and terrain conditions allows you to bring the right supplies and clothing. Doing this decreases the need for additional resources.
2. Respect Plants and Wildlife
Visiting the gorillas of Uganda is a wonderful but unique experience that must be handled with respect for both wildlife and the environment. Before trekking, listen closely to the park warden’s summary of the park rules and heed their advice diligently. When in the presence of the gorilla group, stay calm and respect their space. Do not approach them without invitation and if one approaches you, obey the guide’s instructions and keep your eyes down. You are entering their homes and should thus take the opportunity to observe their natural behaviour and social bonds, keeping a respectful distance. Be mindful to not pick any vegetation while in the park as it can lead to habitat degradation and instead document the experience with pictures, but make sure to keep the flash off as it can make the gorillas uncomfortable.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
Exploring the lush jungles of Uganda is an incredible decision! Before going, plan ahead and bring only the essentials. Make your journey more sustainable and earth-friendly by carrying a reusable water bottle instead of single-use plastics that will produce pollution during their life cycle. Also, take the amount of snacks and water you need, in order to minimize waste that would need to be brought with you.
If nature calls while on your excursion, make sure to bury your waste at least 30 cm below the surface. This will keep the environment clean by reducing pollution of nearby water sources, as well as prevent the spread of diseases to the animals living in the jungle.
4. Stay Home If You Feel Sick
If you are considering a gorilla trekking experience, make sure you are feeling well before your trip. Gorillas have weak immune systems and are easily susceptible to illnesses that humans carry. Passing on a contagious disease to a gorilla group can have a devastating and irreversible impact on the park’s population and the species in general.
Even if you are in good health, remember to wear a face mask when close to the gorillas to protect them from sickness. This will also help keep trekkers and staff safe. Staying home if you’re feeling unwell is essential for the safety and well-being of the entire gorillas species.
5. Support Local Businesses and Respect the Culture of Local Communities
One of the most overlooked aspects of going on a sustainable hiking trip is to support local businesses and respect the culture of local communities. Nkuringo Safaris allows tourists to do just that by helping sustain local communities close to conservation areas with alternative livelihoods. Twenty percent of the money raised from gorilla permit fees goes towards developing infrastructure and alternative livelihoods in the local area.
We also aim to reduce carbon emissions in our offices, trips and destinations to provide an eco-friendly experience. Additionally, we strive to reduce water and energy waste in our facilities to maximise sustainability. Supporting local economies and initiatives goes a long way in not just environmental conservation, but also preserving the culture of a place.
By booking a gorilla trek with Kofi Travel Safaris, you can ensure a more sustainable trip and contribute towards helping endangered mountain gorilla populations. It is essential to prepare for the trip ahead and learn more about the cultures of nearby regions before arriving. That way, we can conserve cultural beliefs that are vital to small communities.