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Why Use a Porter for Gorilla trekking
Why Use a Porter for Gorilla trekking – Support Local community based Tourism – Support the poor families of the Porter – Give them a reason to continuously Conserve the Mountain Gorillas and other wildlife living close to them.
Why Use a porter for gorilla trekking? is one question that we often get asked during gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda. On our recent trip to Bwindi in Uganda, we were able to meet some of the local porters and find out what being hired by a tourist to carry their bags means to them.
The success of conservation anywhere in the world is largely tied into the ability that any species or eco system has to support the communities that are local to it, the reality of this is more often than not based in terms of economics. When initially asked at the briefing if you may need a porter to carry your bag – it makes non sense at all and the Question That comes to your mind is “why would i need a porter?”; my bag is not heavy, in fact I’ve carried far heavier for further distances than we are likely to cover during the gorilla trekking today. However, after meeting the local porters you begin understand and also to see the value of the service they will offer and it’s potential positive impact on your gorilla trekking experience.
Its common that when you arrive at your start point for the trek, you may notice the presence of upto eight porters waiting for a potential clients. These people usually have walked close to 6kms up a steep hill to reach your starting point of the trek hoping that can secure a day’s work carrying bags and generally assisting tourists back and forth the gorilla trekking trails.
The Cost of a local porter is US$20 for a whole days trekking service – we think this is not going to cripple your bank account given the benefit it can provide to your trekking experience to see the mountain gorillas.
To put things into perspective, most of the people who work as porters are those that live closest to the mountain gorillas. When they are not working as porters they are working in the fields raising crops but earning very little money. If we were to consider that a year’s health insurance at the local Bwindi Community Hospital can cost as little £2.50 it starts to make sense exactly how far this days work can go and what it can mean for someone to secure this, making their long walk up the hill worth the time and effort. Each porter will typically only get to work as a guide once a month, managed fairly on a rotational basis by the local porter committees.
For us as ambassadors of conservation in in the tourism industry, we recommend you take a local porter for – it makes your trip significantly more enjoyable, freeing you up to manoeuvre more comfortably through the often thick vegetation. Your porter remains with you throughout the trek and will help you cross the trickier parts of the trails and are on hand to get anything from your bag that you may need.
We hope this post about – Why Use a Porter for Gorilla Trekking has been helpful. If you would like more information about gorillas, view our comprehensive guide to Gorilla trekking Safaris which contains in-depth information and advice to help you prepare for one of the most memorable wildlife encounters in Africa.