For a long time, East African tourism and wildlife has been threatened bringing in a high need for responsible tourism. This is to foster wildlife conservation for future generations and restore wildlife ecosystems.
The Need For Wildlife Conservation
The tourism industry in East Africa has gone through several fazes of wildlife destruction over the years. They started from civil wars where a number of wildlife was destroyed leading to extinction of some animals. With human population increase, there has also been continuous encroachment on the wildlife habitats to create land for settlement.
Poaching of wild animals by some native tribes and trophy hunters has been a big threats to East Africa’s wildlife. The poachers and trophy hunters don’t mind about wildlife conservation thus undermining the efforts of responsible tourism.
East Africa's Wildlife Conservation Journey
After Several wildlife conservation efforts and sensitization, responsible tourism is taking shape and some endangered wildlife species population is increasing. Some wildlife species had gone extinct though they are being reintroduced to their initial habitats and conserved for the future.
Mountain gorillas are primate species that had been greatly affected negatively by civil war and poaching. The mountain gorilla population then had declined to only about 200 in the late 1980’s. Because of mountain gorilla conservation programs, their population has increased steadily to 1063 as per the recently concluded gorilla census.
In wildlife conservation, carrying capacity is crucial and now they limit tourists going for wildlife activities especially primate tracking. Mass tourism has lost popularity as people are now focused on Ecotourism that has less impact to the environment.
People who were staying in game reserves were resettled outside such areas and activities like poaching are punishable by law. In Uganda, offtrack driving in game parks is fined as they seek to conserve even the smallest wildlife species.
While visiting East Africa, bear in mind the concept of responsible tourism and wildlife conservation for better ecosystem balance.