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Volcanoes Safaris: A 25-Year Journey in Pioneering Gorilla and Chimpanzee Ecotourism

Volcanoes Safaris: A 25-Year Journey in Pioneering Gorilla and Chimpanzee Ecotourism

For a quarter of a century, Volcanoes Safaris has led the way in rejuvenating gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism in the stunning landscapes of Uganda and Rwanda. Founded in 1997 by Praveen Moman, the company has been a driving force in transforming the way travelers experience the Great Lakes Region of Africa. With a commitment to culture, history, and hospitality, Volcanoes Safaris has become synonymous with sustainable luxury travel.

A Trailblazing Legacy

Volcanoes Safaris’ journey began in 1997 with the vision of Praveen Moman. Since then, the company has evolved from simple camps to luxurious lodges, each step reflecting a deep-rooted commitment to conservation and community empowerment. Today, Volcanoes Safaris is hailed as the leader in gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism across the region.

Rooted in History

The legacy of Volcanoes Safaris is intertwined with a rich family history. Praveen’s great-uncle, Churanji Lal Phakey, set foot in Uganda in 1927, where he established a unique connection with the land and its wildlife. This spirit was carried forward when Praveen himself pitched a tent in Mgahinga National Park in 1997. This marked the inception of Mount Gahinga Lodge and Volcanoes Safaris, setting the stage for a transformative journey.

Building Foundations

Over the years, Volcanoes Safaris has laid down crucial foundations. From opening a simple camp at Bwindi Gorilla National Park in 1999 to initiating gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda in 2000, the company’s commitment to eco-tourism took firm root. The years 2003 to 2004 witnessed the remarkable Volcanoes BLCF Partnership Project, playing a key role in revitalizing gorilla tourism in Rwanda post-genocide. In 2004, the iconic Virunga Lodge emerged, a testament to Volcanoes Safaris’ dedication.

Empowering Communities

Volcanoes Safaris extends its influence beyond lodges and landscapes. In 2009, the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) was established, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating self-sustaining projects that enhance the lives of local communities while promoting great ape conservation. The VSPT has been a catalyst for change, including projects like The Gahinga Batwa Village and the Kyambura Gorge Ecotourism Project, both focused on community development and conservation.

Forging Partnerships

Collaboration has been a hallmark of Volcanoes Safaris’ journey. In 2021, the partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute Uganda underscored their commitment to the preservation of chimpanzee populations. This collaboration reinforces community-led conservation and ecotourism development, contributing to the wellbeing of both wildlife and local communities.

A Continuing Legacy

As Volcanoes Safaris celebrates 25 years, its dedication remains unwavering. The partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund for the Ellen DeGeneres Campus in Rwanda demonstrates their commitment to ensuring the protection of wild gorillas for generations to come.

Looking Ahead

The future beckons with exciting prospects. The announcement of a new lodge near Kibale Forest in Uganda, focused on chimpanzee trekking, reaffirms Volcanoes Safaris’ commitment to sustainable tourism. This new endeavor promises not only luxurious accommodations but also an avenue to promote conservation and community development.

In conclusion, Volcanoes Safaris has redefined luxury travel through its commitment to gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism. For 25 years, the company’s journey has been characterized by innovation, community empowerment, and environmental conservation. As they build for the future, the legacy of Volcanoes Safaris continues to inspire responsible travelers and sets the standard for luxury in harmony with nature.

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