The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has set the new price for gorilla permits from $600 to $700 plus other safari activities. UWA whose headquarters are based in Kampala is an organ that is mandated by laws of Uganda to sustainably manage all the national parks. The fees for gorilla permits were hiked by $100 for both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The two parks account for the 21 gorilla groups that have been designated for tourism and research purposes.
In 2017 when the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) hiked the prices for gorilla permits from $750 to $1500, Uganda still maintained the old price of US$600. However, following a high demand for the Uganda gorilla permits, UWA has decided to revise its rates so that gorilla tourism can be sustainably managed. The new rates for gorilla permits will be effective from 1st July, 2020 and this means, you can still secure your gorilla permit at $600 per person per trek for bookings before July 1st.
The move to hike the prices comes after assessing the 2017 RDB decision to increase prices for gorilla permits for all visitors on gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Different conservationists expressed their opinions urging UWA to do increase on conservation tariffs but UWA still issued mountain gorilla permits at $600 per trekker. However, after a consultative meeting with Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and other stakeholders, the decision was reached that fees for gorilla permits be revised.
As per the newly set prices for gorilla permits, trekkers on gorilla safari in Uganda will need $700 to obtain gorilla permit-for all foreign non-residents; $600 for all foreign residents while East African residents will still be issued gorilla permits at UGX 250000 per person. For visitors who are interested in mountain gorilla filming, you will need $4200 for a team of 5. Even when the rates for gorilla permits have been increased, Uganda still remains a pocket friendly gorilla destination.
Reasons why UWA hiked gorilla permit prices
The increment on prices for gorilla permits comes due to need to earn more revenue so as to help fund conservation efforts to save the lives of mountain gorillas in the wild that today account for not more than 1004 on earth and only exist in the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These large apes have low reproductive rate and if not well protected, they can easily get extinct in the wild. They were listed under IUCN red list as the critically endangered species before their status currently changed to most endangered species. This is attributed to tireless efforts to protect gorillas and their habitat, research and monitoring, set safety measures and gorilla doctors a good reason for the increment of Uganda gorilla trekking permits.
It should be noted that part of the money earned from sale of gorilla permits is invested in various conservation initiatives, paying park rangers, trackers, tourism police, mountain gorilla doctors and others.
Benefits that accrue from the new gorilla tariffs
The newly set price for gorilla permits still make Uganda an affordable destination for you to trek a group of mountain gorillas unlike Rwanda where you need $1500 to trek to view these magnificent creatures. The increment on the price for gorilla permits is of great advantage as this will help support local communities adjacent Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park. 20% of the revenue collection from Uganda gorilla permits goes back to local communities as revenue sharing scheme.
Getting a gorilla permit in Uganda
There are only two options that you can obtain gorilla trekking permits in Uganda; first, you can get in touch with our reservation team or reservation at UWA.
When to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda are perfectly done during the dry months of the year; June, July, August, September and December, January, February. But you can embark on gorilla trip in Uganda at anytime of the year as the rainy season which is usually a low season comes with its own advantage. The wet season in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park occurs from March, April, May and October, November and these months, there is plenty of forage for mountain gorillas to feed on.
This article was sourced from ABC Africa News