Gorillas & Rwandans Are Dependent On Each Other

The beloved mountain gorillas of Rwanda are slowly becoming revived.  Their population has been reduced significantly due to war, poaching, and habitat loss. However the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda has recently seen a rise in their gorilla population, due to conscious conservation efforts.

Although the country lacks no shortage of things to see and do, mountain gorillas are in fact the most popular tourist attraction in Rwanda. There are many luxurious lodges that are built around the concept of gorillas. The gorillas have also caused more tourism companies, boutiques and restaurants to open thanks to the increase in tourism. This has made a great deal of international recognition for Rwanda.

Rwanda has now aimed to stop gorilla habitat loss, as well as deforestation.  There are around 800 of these gorillas remaining in the world, with approximately half of them located in the Virunga mountain range, shared by Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.

One of the main threats to the survival of these gorillas is the loss of habitat. Rwanda has been making great efforts to maintain the size of the park and to protect the gorilla population.

Since 1994, Rwanda has seen more peace, political stability and far less human threats to their precious mountain gorillas.  Gorillas share an entire 98% of the DNA with human. What this also means though is that they have weak immune systems when interacting with humans. Rwanda does everything possible to stop diseases and viruses spreading.

Tourists are not allowed to hike to the gorillas if they are sick, and cannot stand closer than 30 feet next to them. Gorilla doctors are always on duty, and tourists are only allowed to observe the gorillas for one hour.

In 2017, the government increased the price of trekking permits from US $750 to $1500.  It was mostly due to raise money for conservation efforts as well to raise funds for the surrounding communities.

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