Want to go sailing on Lake Victoria, discover the scenic route to Murchison Falls, or dance the night away in Kampala, but haven't a clue who to call for advice? You’re in luck, because there’s a new smartphone application (app) to help you figure out how to do all of this yourself, and more. With support from USAID, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and the partnership with the Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda’s first ever travel guide app, the Pearl Guide, was developed.
It is my personal belief that conservation in today’s world cannot happen without the aid of the communities who live side-by-side with the animals who we are trying to save. This philosophy is one of the (many) reasons I was drawn to AWF: they also believe in helping the people to help the animals.
From Kenya's savannah grasslands to the land of a million hills in Uganda, our bus rattles along rough roads taking us to our first destination – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We are high in the mountains and though our journey is just beginning, I've arrived at what is to be one of the highlights of my trip.
Fifteen years ago, ranger-based monitoring (or RBM for short) was initiated as a tool in the conservation of mountain gorillas. Whether patrolling the park for law enforcement or tracking mountain gorillas for health assessments or to facilitate visits by tourists or researchers, data is being collected and recorded on data sheets. Every day. That's over 5,000 days of valuable data collected.
One, two, and now three mountain gorilla groups in Virunga National Park have been found and all members accounted for.