A taste of volunteering trip - what's it all about
This type of trip is ideal for people who are unable to take very long periods off work but who are interested in volunteering to work with communities in need, or in wildlife conservation. These shorter trips combine volunteering with an opportunity to see the main sights in destinations.
Responsible tourism: Mountain gorilla project in Uganda
Fostering gorilla relations with local people focuses mainly on communities surrounding the Mgahinga and Bwindi National parks, which combined, are home to over five habituated groups of gorillas and many other species. Whilst undertaking gorilla treks to experience the animals in their natural habitat, volunteers are led by local experts and follow IUCN guidelines surrounding gorilla tourism. This includes such as wearing face masks in order to protect the gorillas from illness.
The work carried out by the project staff and volunteers is essential in bridging the gap between the mountain gorilla and the local communities who live alongside them. By doing so, it is ensured that the futures of both the gorilla groups and indigenous people are bright and harmonious.
Through this project, volunteers work alongside the project staff to raise local awareness of gorilla conservation. This is achieved through educational talks, daily interaction with locals, and involvement with the community initiatives that this expedition supports and funds. One of the most remarkable of these is the Kisoro Demonstration School for blind and deaf children. This school provides a safe learning environment for blind and deaf children in the area, who may not otherwise have access to an effective education.
The work achieved through this project is essential in improving the lives and futures of the local community, and ensuring that indigenous people are able to live more sustainably, in harmony with the natural habitat.