Renowned primatologist and anthropologist, Dr Jane Goodall, believes that chimpanzees provide Uganda the opportunity to unlock tourism fortunes in a way not imagined before, adding that chimpanzee tourism could earn the country as much in tourism revenue as gorilla trekking.
The last study done in Uganda (2002) revealed that there were 5 000 chimpanzees in the country, and successful, sensitive chimpanzee tourism “begins with preserving the wild chimpanzees’ environment”, says Goodall.
Dr Peter Apell, Programmes Director of the Jane Goodall Institute in Lubowa, Wakiso District, concurs, saying that the major threat to the survival of the chimpanzees in the country is the encroachment of the primate natural habitat. “This is by way of destroying the forest which is the natural environment of the chimpanzees. The biggest challenge is the destruction of the environment. Once the chimpanzees’ natural habitat is destroyed as a result of human activities, they end up in the communities. And here they either injure or get injured.”