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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > April-June 2018 (82) > Primates & people

Primates & people

Sue Watt explores the role of women in Uganda, sharing the stories of three inspiring trailblazers working to help the communities living alongside the gorillas of Bwindi

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-western Uganda is renowned for being home to half the world’s population of majestic mountain gorillas, attracting thousands of visitors every year and millions of dollars in tourist revenue. But the region is also home to communities still living in poverty despite that tourism influx. On a recent visit, I wanted to explore Bwindi beyond the gorillas and met three inspiring ladies working to improve the lives of local people. Women, in particular, have a raw deal here, bearing the burden of bringing up the family, tending the fields and putting food on the table. They’ve had little opportunity to empower themselves through education or earning an income in these traditional, male-dominated cultures. But, thanks to projects such as these, times are changing: women are slowly but surely finding their voice.

Lydia Nandudu

Nkuringo Youth Initiative Foundation

Lydia is the proud owner of Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge in the south of the park: for two years running, it’s won the Travel Awards’ accolade of Uganda’s Leading Safari Lodge. A savvy businesswoman and qualified social worker, her passion is to help women and young people help themselves, empowering them through tourism to improve their lives.

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