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Africa Safari Blog

Gorilla Permit Pricing to Increase During High Season

Thursday, 5 August 2010 06:43 by BillGiven

Photo of a Young Rwanda Gorilla
Young gorilla in Rwanda.
©Bill Given

Uganda is about to raise the price of their gorilla trekking permits from $500 to $750 per person per trek during the high season of June through October and Rwanda is considering doing the same.

The gorillas are the key tourism draw for both countries and for protection of the gorillas it is necessary to limit treks to just 8 tourists per day to visit each habituated gorilla group. This means there is a very limited supply of visits to gorillas (about 100 tourists a day across both countries have the privilege) and thus expensive permits are the result. As it is one of those rare evocative experiences that could be properly characterized as priceless and the revenue is essential to the ongoing conservation of the 700 or so remaining mountain gorillas - paying the high permit costs are well worth it but as its wise to have a minimum of two treks the high cost will cause many to consider their safari choices carefully.

Giving Back to Africa

Tuesday, 7 October 2008 13:17 by BillGiven

While animals and wild areas are often the draw to visit Africa virtually everyone is touched by the people.  This often results in people asking me how they can give something back to the wonderful people of Africa.  Today I'm going to highlight two very special projects that show how different chartable involvement can be.

Network 4 Africa

I had the pleasure of being involved during the early formation of Network 4 Africa.  The focus of early work has been in Rwanda but successes there will now be applied in Uganda and the Darfur region.  What I love about this organization is the emphasis on providing skills and support logistics for people, primarily widows and orphans from the genocide, that allows them to create their own self-sufficient and sustainable future.  Please read the latest newsletter to see the many ways that Network 4 Africa is deeply involved on the ground at the community level and the great success this approach is producing.

Construction of the Ntarama Community Centre and Clinic, it is now completed and includes a computer center with 20 laptops. 


International Medical Corps: "Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children" -- An Online Vote Can Make a Difference! 

It seems like starving children is a major issue that will never go away.  Typically my personal preference is to try and identify small charitable organizations that are working from the ground up like Network 4 Africa that are building a foundation rather than providing subsistence aid.  However, the International Medical Corps now has a technology breakthrough to address this long running problem and that deserves attention.

New ready-to-use food (RUF) comes pre-packaged in individual servings, is stable in hot climates, does not need to be mixed with water (thus avoiding contamination) and even tastes good.  RUF is cost-effective and generally children will fully recover from malnutrition within a month, this cure has a greater than 90% success rate.  This could be a huge breakthrough in treating starving children.

Currently this project is one of 5 finalists for a $1.5 million dollar cash prize from American Express.  Having those funds would allow for a wide scale demonstration of how effective use of RUF is to treat malnutrition and best of all that money can save many children’s lives.  Vote Now!