Socio- economic effects of wildlife conservation and tourism in buffer zones of Kibale National Park: A case study of Bigodi sub county Kamwenge District
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The study was about the Socio- economic effects of wildlife conservation and tourism in buffer zones of Kibale national park; its objectives were; to find out the challenges faced in wildlife conservation, to identify the possible solutions to the challenges of wildlife conservation. The study employed a descriptive case study research design. A sample size of 50 respondents was selected out of a population of 59. Stratified and random samplings were employed. Questionnaires and interview guides were the main tools for data collection. The data collected through questionnaires were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and that from the interview was analyzed using the qualitative method. Findings of the study reveal that poaching is the main challenge faced in wildlife conservation and tourism. More so, the results of the study revealed that local communities should be actively involved in the decision-making of conservation so as to solve the challenges faced in wildlife conservation and tourism. The study concluded that tourism plays a great role in improving the quality of life around Kibale national park. Most people have got employment opportunities in the tourism business and are able to earn a living. Hotels and good hospitals have been constructed in the area as a result of tourism. The government also earns foreign exchange which is used to construct good roads and provide social amenities to the people around the park. The recommendations from the study were that the management of Kibale national park should make sure that the local people are considered first when carrying out conservation and other tourist-related activities. The government should invest part of the money got from tourism in the areas surrounding the park through constructing supporting infrastructure like roads.