Kigali, 6 May 2017 – The Rwanda Development Board today announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500 for all vnew permits issued from today.
A new exclusive package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas was also introduced at US$ 15,000, and will receive exclusive personalized tour guide services. How this will work in practice is unclear.
Tourists who visit other national parks (Nyungwe and Akagera) for a minimum of three days, in addition to gorilla trekking will receive a discount of 30%.
The rate hike coincides with the opening of some very expensive, high end lodges in Volcanoes and Akegera National Parks in line with Rwanda’s high-end tourism strategy, the price increase aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park.
Also last week 15 black rhino were introduced into Akegera, a savanna type game reserve on Rwanda’s Eastern border with Tanzania making Akagera the first “Big Five” reserve in Rwanda.
Most visitors to Rwanda at present visit the gorillas and then move on the neighbouring Tanzania and Kenya for a general safari. The new moves appear to be an attempt to keep tourists in the country for longer and spending more mone, following the Botswana model of low impact buy aciclovir tablets online uk high value tourim.
We imagine that guests on a tight budget who wish to see the mountain gorillas will now choose to do so in Uganda, where, at present the cost of a permit remains at US$600. The effect of this is likely to make it difficult for the many low cost lodges and hotels in Rwanda that have sprung up to cater for gorilla tourism to attract their traditional backpacker and overlander tourists on which they have relied in the past.
The new tariff will enable the tourism revenue sharing rate for communities adjacent to the park, to be increased from 5% to 10%, which will quadruple the absolute revenues received by communities. Over the last 12 years, more than 400 community projects have been completed including hospitals, schools, business development centers and water supply systems to facilitate access to clean water. These projects directly benefit the people living around the parks.
Ms. Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer at Rwanda Development Board said:
“Gorilla trekking is a highly unique experience. We have raised the price of permits in order to ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance visitors’ experience. We also want to make sure that the communities living near the park area receive a bigger share of tourism revenues to fund development projects and empower them economically.”
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