The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500 for all guests/visitors effective immediately. A new exclusive package for visitors/tourists who desire to book an entire family of gorillas was also introduced at US$ 15,000, and will receive exclusive personalized tour guide services.
This increase in price will not affect visitors/tourists who had already purchased their tickets/Gorilla permits at the time of this announcement or official communication.
Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer at R.D.B said: “Gorilla trekking is a highly unique experience. We have increased the price of Gorilla permits in a bid to ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance on visitors’ experience. In addition 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.”
Tourists who visit other Rwanda national parks such as Nyungwe and Akagera for not less than three days, in addition to gorilla trekking will receive a discount of 30%. Similarly, conference tourists, who stay pre or post conference dates to see gorillas will be eligible for a 15% discount.
In procession with the country’s high-end tourism strategy, the price increment aims at strengthening conservation efforts and contributes more to the development of neighbouring communities living around the precious Volcanoes National Park.
The new tariff comes along with the tourism revenue sharing rate for communities adjacent to the park to increase from 5% to 10%, which will quadruple the total revenues received by communities. Over the last 12 years, more than 400 local community projects have been completed including hospitals, schools, business development centres and water supply systems to facilitate access to clean water. These projects directly benefit the people living around this mountain Gorilla parks.
New, luxury or high-end visitor lodges are opening in the area of Musanze and plans are ongoing to improve visitors’ experience at Kinigi as a tourist destination, including renovation of the information centre to equip it with modern offices and tourism services such as conservation sensitisation, children’s learning space and hostels as well as digital facilities.
Mountain gorilla species are an endangered with only around 880 remaining in the whole world. Of those in the Virunga Massif, Rwanda accounts for a big share of 62% gorilla population. Strict conservation measures have significantly contributed to a rise in gorilla population numbers. There are currently 20 families habituated for tourism and research in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park, up from just 9 family groups in 2010.