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  • Aaron Millar

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda with World-Leading Conservationist Praveen Moman


Seeing mountain gorillas in the wild is one of the rarest and most inspiring wildlife experiences on the planet. There is an immediate bond, a sense of connection. When you look a mountain gorilla in the eye, you see yourself reflected back. Follow Praveen Moman, one of the world's leading conservationists, into the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda in search of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Through our journey, we learn about Praveen's work to protect this last stand of one of the world's most incredible creatures. Far from being the King Kong monsters we once feared, mountain gorillas, we discover, are gentle, benign and incredibly intelligent. Seeing them up close is one of the world's greatest wildlife adventures. But that's not all. Praveen also takes us to the Kyambura Gorge, in Uganda, in search of a lost troop of Chimpanzees who have become isolated due to deforestation and human expansion into the area. Like the gorillas, we share an existential bond with these primates and Praveen is leading an effort to help safeguard their future. This is more than just a wildlife adventure. Over the last 20 years Praveen has pioneered a new style of community-led conservation that puts the needs of indigenous people first. In doing so, he has shown how communities can benefit from the conservation of their lands while at the same time helping to rebuild one of the world's most war-torn regions. This is a positive and uplifting story about the power of hope to change the world. Highlights include: - Trekking in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda in search of the critically endangered mountain gorilla - Hearing what it feels like to sit quietly among the troop, as babies come curiously up to explore, and the 400lb male silverback brushes past - Learning about the history, science and conservation of these incredible primates, including the story of Diane Fossey one of the first champions of their cause - Walking into the Kyambura Gorge as the lost troop of Chimpanzees comes down from the canopy and surrounds you on all sides - Being inspired by Praveen's story, a refugee of Uganda who returned to his beloved homeland to help rebuild one of the most war-torn regions on the planet - Finding out about his visionary model of community-led conservation, a system which has since been adopted around the world  BOOK THIS TRIP: Praveen's conservation efforts are funded by eco-tourism. His company, Volcanoes Safaris, has four lodges - three in Uganda and one in Rwanda - that specialise in taking guests on primate safaris. They are widely recognised as the best, and most sustainable, way to see these incredible animals in the wild, as well as find out more about the local communities that surround them. I've written about them for years and highly recommend them. For more information, please visit: https://volcanoessafaris.com  For other eco-tourism adventure ideas related to the show, please visit the individual episode pages at http://www.Armchair-Explorer.com   SUPPORT COMMUNITY CONSERVATION: If you can't make the trip, but want to find out more about how you can help Praveen's conservation efforts, please visit his non-profit the Volcanoes Safari Partnership Trust: https://volcanoessafaris.com/community/ To find out more about the Kyambura Gorge Ecotourism Project and how you can help to protect this lost troop of chimpanzees, please visit: https://volcanoessafaris.com/kyambura-community-projects/  SUPPORT GORILLA CONSERVATION: Diane Fossey's Gorilla Fund is the largest and longest running organisation dedicated solely to the conservation of mountain gorillas: https://gorillafund.org MORE ABOUT PRAVEEN: https://volcanoessafaris.com/all-people/praveen-moman/ Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PWqFTr7DHg  MORE ABOUT THE SHOW:  http://www.Armchair-Explorer.com

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