Uganda has just announced some good news. A new family of mountain gorillas is ready for interaction with tourists, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) here and here “There is a new group of 13 members that has been habituated,” UWA spokeswoman Lillian Nsubuga said.
Ugandan wildlife experts have been habituating the family, headed by a silverback named Nduhura, since October 2006 and now the endangered primates draw foreign visitors to Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest at a cost of 500 US dollars per visit. Mountain gorilla tourism is one of the cornerstones of Uganda’s tourism industry. Uganda is home to 350 mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population, and the population in Uganda is stable and possibly even increasing.
Uganda’s mountain gorillas are restricted to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, 13 hours from the capital Kampala. Bwindi the the only forest in Africa in which chimpanzees and mountain gorillas occur together. National Geographic also highlight the importance of this population in a new article here. The gorilla population is not contiguous with the Virunga population which is found in DR Congo and Rwanda. Some scientists think that the Bwindi population may in fact be a separate subspecies.