Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gorilla Trekking Price increased in Rwanda

Silver back Mountain Gorilla.
The price of gorilla permits in Rwanda has been increased from 500 USD to 750 USD, a 50% increase! The decision to increase the price was reached by Rwanda Development Board as announced on Friday last week and will take full effect from 1st June as a measure to conserve Rwanda’s mountain gorilla environment and the park’s biodiversity however, the news have not been welcomed by some tour operators in Rwanda claiming the permit price has been hiked, something that might affect their clients and reduce the number of tourists to Rwanda since gorilla trekking is the major tourist activity in the country! A gorilla permit allows one access to the mountain gorillas and an opportunity to view them for only one hour so whether as to pay such a price is reasonable leaves a lot to be desired!

Apart from the mountain gorillas in Parc De volcanoes, Rwanda tourism offers wildlife tours in Akagera national park among other park activities like a boat cruise on Lake Ihema inside the park, chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest national park, and is home to golden monkeys and numerous bird species. You can also visit the genocide memorials, do karisimbi hiking, and visit Dian Fossey’s grave, Kigali city tour among others. However, most of the safari activities in Rwanda can be put together in one single itinerary!

That said, travelers and tour operators are waiting to see whether Uganda & DRC will also increase their gorilla trekking costs or take it as an advantage to market gorilla tourism. Gorilla trekking is such an adventure that involves long walking hours and trekking through thick vegetation and bearing some challenges at times including heavy rains until you reach the particular gorilla family you are supposed to visit. Uganda has the largest number of these primates, with 12 gorilla groups in Bwindi however, many say Rwanda gorillas are easier to find and offer better chances of photography and filming!

Have you been on gorilla tours to Uganda or Rwanda recently or before? Have you done any of the mentioned activities before? Have you visited both gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda? What’s your take?

As if that was not enough, in may 2017, Rwanda doubled the Gorilla trekking price from $750 to a staggering $1,500 for a single gorilla permit in Rwanda! This left many in a shock but luxury tourists and celebrities are still flocking Rwanda for its mountain gorilla trekking.