Shellia is a student at the African Leadership University in Rwanda, who is completing an internship with Singita, working in their Community and Conservation Programme at the newly launched Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.
Ecotourism plays a vital role in supporting conservation efforts throughout Africa. Singita has three pillars to its conservation vision; biodiversity, sustainability, and community. As an intern, Sheilla is involved in various aspects of each of these pillars.
Growing up Sheilla always felt drawn towards protecting the environment. This passion and dedication led her to pursue a career in conservation, where she is able to contribute towards conservation efforts, work with local communities to share her knowledge, and facilitate guest experiences that highlight the important role ecotourism plays in conservation.
Volcanoes National Park is an incredible part of Rwanda’s natural heritage, comprised of kilometers of dense rainforest and encompassing 5 of Rwanda’s volcanoes, and is home to one third of the word’s remaining Mountain Gorillas.
Mountain Gorillas are critically endangered and are at great risk of extinction partly due to the rapid rate at which their natural habitat is disappearing. Singita’s Community and Conservation Programme is committed to restoring gorilla habitat through their reforestation project, a community-based conservation initiative, which aims to regenerate and restore the Volcanoes National Park rainforest to what it was years before, in order to save Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla’s.
Sheilla helps to collect and analyse data pertaining to the distribution and movements of Mountain Gorillas and the growth and distribution of vegetation for the reforestation project. Another important aspect of her role as an intern with Singita is to engage with guests and facilitate conservation based guest experiences, like planting a tree or visiting the on-site Akarabo Nursery.
I want to be a role model for every female out there, young or old, thinking they can’t be in the conservation field.
- Sheilla Munsabe
Sheilla’s passion and enthusiasm for protecting and conserving our natural world really shines through and has made her role model for women and young girls in her community, helping to create a space within the conservation field for other women.
Watch our short film to learn more about Sheilla and the role ecotourism plays in conservation initiatives.
Learn more about Singita’s reforestation project and how you can get involved to support gorilla conservation here -