Recently Rwanda gorilla permits were doubled by the government of Rwanda under the Rwanda development board. This was with effect 6th may 2017 with an exception of those that had booked already. The main reason given to this drastic raise was to ‘’ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance visitors’ experience since gorilla trekking is a highly unique Experience,’’ Said by Clare Akamanzi the RDB Chief Executive. She then added that fees would also generate more revenues for communities living around the Volcanoes National Park that will fund development projects and empower them economically.
This brought about both positive and negative reactions from the tourism stake holders like the Rwanda safari guides association and Rwanda tours and travel Association all accusing the RDB for not consulting stake holders before the decision was made. Others arguing how the doubling of gorilla permits will adversely affect the Rwanda tourism industry leading to low numbers of tourists turn up in Rwanda hence affecting government revenues. Gorilla trekking safaris are in only three countries in the world i.e. Uganda, Rwanda and Congo and this is an experience of a life time.
Uganda’s take on Rwanda’s permit increase
With Congo’s instability it is most likely for Uganda to benefit from this since the Uganda tourism board came out openly reminding the tourists that their gorilla permits are still $600 and there are no plans of increasing this rate soon. Uganda being a country with ¾ of the world’s mountain gorillas will be an easy switch for tourists. Now the decision is left in the hands of the tourist who will either choose to pay $1500 to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda, do it in Congo or pay $600 for a Uganda gorilla trek
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