Praveen Moman

Founder of Volcanoes Safaris

"We have to balance what we do for the communities, because if they're not going to benefit from the gorillas from the forest, they have no reason to support it."

- Grew up in Uganda, where the family was part of the pioneering Asian community that was central to opening up East Africa

Became a political and policy adviser in the EU and British Government, including working in the European Parliament

- Founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997, which has been at the forefront of reviving gorilla tourism in Uganda and Rwanda

In 2000, Volcanoes Safaris became the first international safari company to take clients to Rwanda and helped kick-start gorilla tourism after the genocide

In 2005 the company became a charter signatory to the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Saving the Great Apes, the only safari company to do so

- in 2009, Praveen established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organisation that aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes

- Now there's four luxury lodges near the great ape parks – Virunga, Mount Gahinga, Bwindi and Kyambura. They're sensitive to local culture and aesthetics, the post-conflict context and the need to use resources responsibly

- In March 2017, the Dian Fossey Map Room was opened at Virunga Lodge. It pays tribute to the unique contribution of Dian Fossey and other conservationists

- Local people have been trained and empowered
to run and manage the lodges; Volcanoes Safaris employs over a hundred staff in Rwanda and Uganda. Empowering local staff at all levels of management is a key aspect of Volcanoes’ philosophy and is exceptional among leading lodge companies. Staff from the region – Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, and Burundi benefit from Volcanoes’ extensive training programmes and manage guest experiences from beginning to end. 50% staff are female and two of the lodge managers are women.