Responsible Tourism - Empowering Communities Through Travel
At Gorilla , we are unrelenting in our sensitivity to the context of our operations. Ever wondered where that shilling, dollar, pound or euro ends-up when you spend it at a destination? Used wisely, such resources can have a huge positive impact on vulnerable communities and the future of the world’s natural heritage.
For communities in and around Uganda’s protected areas, well planned tourism can create employment and improve livelihoods, providing local people with an incentive to protect the ecosystems on which they and the tourism activities depend.
Gorilla is highly conscious of the necessity to protect the nature and to ensure that local communities benefit from the proceeds from tourism. By offering different cultural experiences, our services go beyond meeting the expectations of our clients to embracing community participation and support to native livelihoods.
We hire local guides for our safaris and encourage our clients to buy crafts locally made by particularly women and youth. The guiding aspect of our safaris and tours is also heavily slanted towards community participation. For instance, forest walks in gorilla highlands are guided by the Batwa Pygmies, a minority ethnic group in south-western Uganda. This engagement provides insights into their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle while providing their families with income to survive in today’s fast-changing world.
A visit to the Manyatta (communal homesteads) of the Karimojong pastoralists in Kotido near Kidepo Valley National Park illuminates synergies between humanitarian and the government to provide medical services in this arid and underdeveloped part in far-away North Eastern Uganda. By so doing, we contribute multi-agency interventions to improve the well-being of such communities as we co-opt them to participate in nature conservation.
ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION & COMMUNITY OUT-REACH
As a supporter of sustainable tourism, Gorilla collaborates with UCOTA Uganda Community Tourism Association, UCOTA, to improve other aspects of livelihoods in the communities. Gorilla offers tourists the opportunity to visit sites of our several projects as part our safari itineraries. Our company is involved in a school project to provide learning materials to children of Wampa Primary School, in Namutumba, a rural school for poor communities in Eastern Uganda.
Gorilla also endorses ALL sensitization efforts against environmental degradation. We encourage our clients to use bio-degradable materials and to avoid littering. We support efforts to fight illicit trade in wild animal parts and work with partners to sensitise stakeholders about recommended sound levels and other actions to ensure that animal habitats are not breached.
We cherish responsible and law-abiding clients who are sensitive to inclusiveness, gender equity and respect for cultural diversity. We are equally relentless in our zeal to deliver safari and tour services that exhibit these values at all times.
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