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Gorilla trekking permits price increase


The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has confirmed plans to increase the current gorilla permit rates by 50 percent with effect from 1st June 2012.

trek to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda with oasis overlandThe Chief Executive of RDB, John Gara explained that the increase coincides with significant growth of the gorilla population as well as increasing demand for gorilla tourism.  “This means that there is a need to continue channelling all our efforts in conservation in order to protect their environment”.

Many believe that Rwanda’s gorilla conservation efforts have realised significant achievements.  Currently, there are ten gorilla groups which have been habituated to accommodate up to eight tourists each per day, a number that has almost doubled over the last five years.

The new prices will not affect full payments and bookings for trekking dates between now and 1st June 2012.  So if you can travel to visit the gorillas before June you will save yourself about £160 (US$250).

Five percent of the permit price goes towards the communities surrounding the national parks. A significant amount also goes to conservation which includes the game wardens and guides that protect the Gorillas and their environment.

Currently Oasis Overland are charging £375 for a Gorilla permit which includes a fee to our local agent, plus international bank charges, and this will have to rise to around £535 for each permit. Oasis Overland along with other adventure tour operators are concerned that such a large increase in cost will have a negative impact on Rwanda’s tourist industry at a time when most of the world is affected by economic downturn.

One outcome is that Rwanda’s tourist industry may become more elitist as it will attract more well-off clients. This could be argued as a good thing for Rwanda however, the upmarket tourist tends to stay in upmarket hotels.  This will ignore the backpacker traveller who usually stays longer in a country and whose travel dollar tends to go directly into the local economy via smaller restaurants and small locally owned hostels.

Oasis Overland’s local agent in Rwanda purchases Gorilla Permits on our behalf for those wishing to trek to see Mountain Gorillas on our overland trips.  He has told us that all the local Tourism Companies are annoyed that they were not consulted about the massive price rise and they are currently holding discussions with the RDB to see if these price rises can be reduced or introduced in stages.

You can trek to see Mountain Gorillas on our Gorillas & Gameparks, Apes and Lakes and Grand Adventurer overland trips.

Find out more about purchasing permits and trekking to see Mountain Gorillas on our Trip Add Ons page

Posted in Africa.

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