• New family member
    New family member

Gorilla Baby Boom as Uganda opens borders to International Tourists

Posted by Ostine on Sat September 26, 2020 in Sustainable Tourism.

The President of Uganda on 20th September 2020 announced the opening of Entebbe International Airport and land borders. This came after a period of six months since tourism was put at a standstill due to COVID-19 pandemic that forced these tough but necessary precautions on everybody. A few days later, on the 25th of September, Hon. Tom Butime, the Minister for Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities officially relaunched primate tourism in Uganda. You can now visit to trek the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzee and other wildlife in Uganda!

The closure of tourism to protect people from COVID-19  evidently did not stop the conservation of Uganda's nature and wildlife which includes the endangered Mountain Gorillas. In fact, the animals have taken off time to reproduce and enjoy there habitats without the human visitors who stare at them. In Bwindi Impenetrable forest, the baby boom has noticed 5 new babies in just six weeks with the newest baby being in the Mucunguzi family born on 4th of September 2020 from adult female Ndinkahe. Other families that have registered new babies include the Rusheruga family from female Ruterana and Kibande totalling to 2 babies in the group. The newest family to be opened to tourism back in 2019 (Muyambi group), with 6 members also registered the birth of a new baby from an un named mother that joined the group from the "wild". The year has also seen the births of babies from families like the Katwe group, Nkuringo family, Busigye family, Mukiza family, Oruzoogo family bringing the total of babies in the year to 14.

The birth of new mountain gorillas is testimony to Uganda's successful conservation efforts. With an aim of increasing the gorilla's population despite the covid19 interruptions, there has also been a general increase in the wildlife populations in Uganda.Of course challenges are there, especially without the revenue contribution of visitors but Uganda's government is determined to conserve for generations! 

You may be wondering whether it is safe to visit Uganda leave alone watching the wildlife. Truth is no place on the earth is 100% safe but efforts that governments make define the differences. Uganda has made strong gains on the COVID-19 war front, with fatalities less than 100 since the virus first reached the country in march 2020. To further ensure that visitors are safe, standard operating procedures have been developed, and are being enforced for everyone who meets and serves visitors. As for the Mountain Gorillas, there have always been standard operating procedures, and these have been strengthened to protect the animals, which by their nature, have no health facilities to attend! It is now a requirement that anyone entering the country must have tested negative for COVID-19 with test results from the country of origin and not more than 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure. As for visiting the wild animals, you may need to visit https://www.ugandawildlife.org/covid-19-sops for the full list of SOPs.These are designed to protect you, the staff and animals! 

Overall, the parks and wildlife have been kept safe and are looking more pristine than ever. They truly await tourists intending to travel to Uganda to enjoy the beauty, the wild spaces and get out of the stress caused by the lockdowns all over the world.