Responsible tourism: Mountain gorilla safari in Rwanda
We and our local agents are passionate about environmentally sound travel. With that in mind, we have chosen only eco-friendly, locally owned lodges for use throughout this tour. Our local agents uphold the policies set by the Government of Rwanda to limit the number of tourists visiting the gorilla families each day, and guests are required to meet health requirements put in place to protect the gorillas from diseases and illnesses that can be passed between human and ape. A percentage of your gorilla permit fee goes toward assisting the local community to set up schools, improve roads and set up businesses, helping to foster improved relationships between farmers and gorillas who can cause occasional damage to crops, and encouraging the local people to protect the delicate habitat of the mountain gorillas. A visit to Dian Fossey’s grave and projects provides an insight into the life and purpose of one of the world’s most recognised primatologists without whose efforts there would perhaps be no mountain gorillas left today.
Both we and our local agents are committed to ensuring that our tours benefit the local communities that we visit. Eighty per cent of the people that are employed in the running of your trip, are from the local communities, providing employment opportunities and putting money back into the local economies. This also enhances your trip, as it gives you the opportunity to interact with local people and learn about their culture, food, lifestyles and social or environmental challenges. As part of the tour, guests are offered the chance to interact particularly with the local Rwandese who live along the Congo-Nile trail as you walk through the villages, coffee plantations and fishing villages. By bringing tourists to the area, the local people are encouraged to preserve their heritage and culture, which, like many other traditional ways of life, can struggle to stay alive in today’s globalised world with all of the pressures of providing for their families.