Uganda’s silverback gets silver
Uganda’s Silverback Gets Silver : Uganda’s silverback and athletic champion Joshua Cheptegei won himself and the nation a silver medal at the Tokyo games in Japan. Joshua Cheptegei won the silver medal in the men’s 10000m race at the on-going Olympics games in Tokyo Japan.
The 5000m and 10000m record holder came in at 27:43:63 behind Ethiopia’s Seleman Barega who came in at 27:43.22. Cheptegei was followed by another Ugandan athlete Jacob Kiplimo who came in third.
As the games continue we expect to see more of Joshua Cheptegei’s greatness on the track together with other Ugandans that are representing the country in the Tokyo games. The Tokyo Olympics were originally supposed to take place last year but couldn’t happen because of the covid-19 pandemic. They were then postponed to this year.
Joshua Cheptegei Uganda’s silverback is the current Tourism ambassador for Uganda who is using his platform to market Uganda to the world. Going into the Olympics the silverback was hoping for gold but fell short by a few seconds, nonetheless we are grateful for the silver medal.
Silverback is a name that was given to Cheptegei to symbolize his greatness and resilience for the sport. A silverback is a dominant male mountain gorilla that leads a family of gorillas with females and their infants; mountain gorilla families normally have about 5 to 20 members.
Mountain gorillas are huge apes found in mountainous forest areas, they also share about 95% of their DNA with humans. These primates are greatly endangered as their population without conservation efforts was nearly extinct. But they are also endangered because humans encroach on their habitats and poach them for meat or traditional rituals. They are also affected by diseases and other disasters they encounter in their life time.
Because Uganda is home to almost half the world mountain gorilla population, mountain gorilla trekking activities are the most sought after activities in the country. The country before the covid-19 pandemic used to receive over 1000 guests visiting the mountain gorillas in their habitats. But since the covid-19 pandemic the numbers of mountain gorilla tourists has quite reduced though not as alarming as you would think.
Mountain gorillas in Uganda are found in the south western part of the country in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National park. Mgahinga is part of the virunga area that cuts across Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo which are also homes to these endangered apes.
Bwindi National Park is home to over 400 mountain gorillas that account for almost half of the world mountain gorilla population. The mountain gorillas in the park are spread across the four sectors that make up this park. These sectors are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
Mountain gorilla trekking is done all year round in Uganda in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park. A mountain gorilla trekking experience is usually done by a group of 8 people that trek the mountainous forest in search of the mountain gorillas. When these primates are located people spend an hour in their presence observing them, studying them and enjoying their presence and after they exit the forest.
The mountain gorilla trekking experience takes about 5 to 7 hours, depending on how far the gorilla family your trekking is from your starting point. The experience currently costs USD 700 and every person interested in the experience is advised to book their trekking permits at least a month or more in advance.
In this covid-19 era, persons wishing to have the mountain gorilla trekking experience are also required to have tested negative for the coronavirus at least 72 hours prior to their trekking experience. This is to continue the conservation of the mountain gorillas as they can easily catch diseases from humans.