On the 16 December 2019, Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities and the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration revealed that the number of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the 340 square-kilometre transboundary protected forest have increased to 459 from an estimated 400 in 2011. When you visit mountain gorillas in the wild, you’re not only contributing to their survival as creatures of the woods, but to those living on its periphery.
The aptly-named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to over half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas and is a popular trekking destination to see them. You’ll need waterproof boots, long trousers, socks pulled up over the hems to prevent those pesky biting ants from getting in and a gorilla permit to visit them. In a bid to attract visitors back to Uganda, the permit fee costs just $400 instead of the usual $700 (valid until the end of March 2021). If you have the means and can travel responsibly, there’s never been a more affordable time to tick off this bucket-list experience.
Also read: Discover Africa’s last old-growth forests, the earth’s second green lung