The Rwanda Development Board announced on Saturday May 6th, an increase of the price to Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500. RDB also introduces a new package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas, the price is fixed at US$ 15,000, while exclusive personalized tour guide services are incorporated.
However, the announcement says, the price increase will not affect tourists who had already purchased their tickets before it.
So far, RGB reserves discount for tourists visiting other national parks (Nyungwe and Akagera) for a minimum of three days, after gorilla trekking, and on conference.
Visiting Nyungwe and Akagera park after Volcanoes National Park, the discount is 30%, while pre or post conference dates to see gorillas will be eligible for a 15% discount.
The price increase aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the park. With the new tariff, the tourism revenue sharing rate, will increase from 5% to 10%. Over the last 12 years, more than 400 community projects have been completed to benefit people 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.”
New, high-end lodges are opening in Musanze and plans are underway to improve visitors’ experience at Kinigi.
Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only around 880 remaining in the world. Of those in in the Virunga Massif, Rwanda accounts for 62% of the gorilla population.
Currently, Rwanda has 20 gorilla families habituated for tourism, they were 9 in 2010, according to research. This rise in numbers, resulted from stringent conservation measures.
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Jean Baptiste Karegeya
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