Gorilla Highlands

Original Title: 
Gorilla Highlands
Miha Logar / Studio Edirisa


Gorilla Highlands is an interactive electronic book about southwestern Uganda developed by Studio Edirisa using Apple’s free iBooks Author software.People’s heritage and traditional knowledge are seen as vital ingredients for meaningful development and not solely as a tourist attraction. The landscape and people are presented through text, videos, an extensive audio phrasebook in two local languages, interactive illustrations, photo galleries and maps. The material collected for the in-depth companion is unique in its comprehensiveness and has become an essential reference source for the Ugandan public. For the visitor the book provides unparalleled and regularly updated information that opens up seldom visited places. Special attention is given to making the region accessible through detailed public transport listings and road information. A full range of accommodation to suit different budgets is provided. The ebook is part of a Studio Edirisa initiative that aims at an economic and cultural transformation of southwestern Uganda through cultural tourism, multimedia products, branding and promotion. Based on Gorilla Highlands, Studio Edirisa produced a series of weekly radio shows for Ugandan youth interested in tourism employment; they were broadcast on Voice of Kigezi on ten Saturdays between October and December 2012. A network of Gorilla Highlands Trails is being developed, with a 5-day cultural trek between Kabale Town, Kisoro Town and Bwindi National Park as the central product. A free Gorilla Highlands paper booklet was published in August. Gorilla Highlands will work on Mac computers as well, once Apple releases their new operating system (by the end of 2013). Expansion to other platforms is planned for 2014.

Jury Evaluation: 

Stunning, colourful, localised, imageful, interactive, in-depth are some of the character of the Gorilla Highlands iPad magazine or dedicated book that is developed to let the world know about the flora, fauna and cultural and rich habitat of a region of Uganda. The whole effort is that of grassroots level by expert volunteers all over the world and a small dedicated local team with limited resources. Studio Edirisa, the publisher, is a multimedia social enterprise that believes that Ugandans have to appreciate their culture and history for the country to truly prosper. Gorilla Highlands also promote economic development through cultural tourism. Gorilla Highland is an adequate example of e-content and creativity in the framework of WSIS which encourages digital inclusion and connects global audience to local content.