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Gorilla tourism helps Uganda become top travel destination
16 November 2011

Uganda, home to around half of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the wild, has been named as the world's number one travel destination for 2012 by Lonely Planet.

 

Basing their decision on 'topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor', the publisher's team of writers, bloggers, tweeters and travel industry representatives placed the East African nation ahead of the likes of Jordan, Denmark and Cuba in its annual rankings. In particular, Lonely Planet praised Uganda's natural attractions, noting that wildlife has been "returning with a vengeance" since the days of Idi Amin, when big game was hunted to the brink of extinction. 

 

Commenting on the news, the Gorilla Organization's programme manager in Uganda Sam Nsingwire says that his country offers tourists everything, from "snow capped mountains to lush plains and the deepest lakes".

 

"Uganda's wildlife is amazing, with the country home to mountain gorillas, numerous birds and reptiles and large mammals such as elephants, giraffes, lions and leopards," he says.

 

As well as placing Uganda firmly on the world travel map, Lonely Planet's endorsement could also spell good news for communities living alongside the gorilla habitat, including the indigenous Batwa people who welcome tourists visiting the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

 

"Revenue from gorilla tourism supports a range of community projects and gives people the chance to make money supplying food, selling crafts and offering guide services to visitors," Sam adds.

 

Just last month, the latest mountain gorilla census to be carried out in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was concluded, with the results due to be published in the summer of 2012.

 

for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org