Elephants are noted to be among the African Big five and are among the notable Species of Wildlife that attract a range of world travelers to plan safaris to Africa including the safaris to Uganda.
However, the cases of elephant loss have been on the rise on the
African continent including Uganda with issues like poaching claiming a
considerable number of these species. For examples in the year 2012
alone, a total of 35,000 elephants were killed on the continent.
Uganda, there are two elephant categories namely the Forest Elephant and
the Savannah Elephants distinguished by the size of their body, the
body structure and the color of the fur. The forest elephants are
brownish in colour with small and elongated bodies to enable them
traverse the forests while the savannah elephants feature large bodies
as they move freely in their natural habitats as always explored on safaris in Uganda.
The savannah elephants are common in Kidepo Valley National Park,
Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park while
forest elephants are common in Kibale National Park and Semliki National
Park. However, these two species can at times be found in the similar
locality even cross breeding with one another.
The aspect of Safari
tourism being capitalised on to promote the elephant survival is a good
proactive measure to the elephant conservation. The Uganda Safari
packages designed to incorporate the destinations where the elephants
are viewed from, first of all, give the travellers including the
domestic and International an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of
the species and the same opportunity to the locals to realise the
significance of the species
Safari Tourism is beneficial to all. The
National Governments gain from the revenues collected from the sale of
Visas, the taxes from lodges, transport suppliers among other related
units, the local communities where these protected areas are located are
able to benefit from the Revenue sharing scheme, market for their
produce sold to the accommodation units and art and craft, employment
priority in the running of those protected areas, the entire national
population gains from the multiplier effect and increased job base while
the travelers themselves have their travel lifetime dreams fulfilled.
With all of the stakeholders benefiting from it, the efforts will be
combined to ensure that this precious species thrive an extra day.
Conservation is a combined effort. This explains why the Participatory
approach has had a considerable effect than other traditional
conservation methods. The international wildlife traffickers have at
times disguised as travellers on safari in Uganda
and have thus utilised the opportunity to identify gaps and utilized
them effectively. The people around these elephant habitats are at times
used to poach and gather ivory to be given something in return while
the park Authorities have at times relaxed to enforce the protection of
such species as a result of poor facilitation in terms of finances and
machinery. Therefore bringing all these people on board to appreciate
the continuity of elephants and their potential as regards the safari tourism and its likely benefits would be a strategic move to ensure the elephant’s continuity.
Uganda still feature a count of 5,000 elephant population according to
the Wildlife Conservation Society and thus boosting the safari tourism
would base on this to build a sustainable number.