Will Uganda Increase Her Gorilla Permits
Will Uganda Increase Her Gorilla Permits

Rwanda having declared her new gorilla permit price from 750usd to 1500usd, the question in mind is whether Uganda will correspondingly increase her gorilla permit price. Rwanda’s permit price has been increased from $750 (Shs2.7m) to $1,500 (Shs5.4m) with immediate effect whereas Uganda gorillas permit remains at 600usd.

All people intending to take part in Rwanda gorilla trekking are to pay 1500usd irrespective of their nationality except those who had bought or deposited on the permit before the announcement of the new price.

The whole world is now wondering in neighboring Uganda, a home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas will similarly increase the cost of her gorilla permit to a raised cost.  News from the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) assures the public that there is no any plan for an upward review of Uganda’s gorilla permits prices in reaction to Rwanda’s action. This means that a gorilla permit in Uganda is and will still be sold at 600usd, as it has been which is quite cheaper compared to Rwanda’s current 1500usd.

Uganda should therefore take advantage of the situation in Rwanda and improve her tourism industry in terms of marketing with great hopes that Rwanda’s new gorilla price will likely drive tourism business to Uganda.  More still, all stakeholders in Uganda tourism are to conduct an in-depth evaluation so as to take an informed action plan to benefit indirectly from Rwanda’s action. Its been realized that Uganda has always waited for Rwanda’s action making Rwanda smarter in setting long term goals thus providing tourists with better package.

Though with cheaper gorilla permit price, travelling to Uganda’s Bwindi forest national park costs approximately 550usd which when added to 600usd becomes expensive. On the other hand, volcanoes national park in Rwanda is just 2hrs drive from Kigali, which makes tour in Rwanda actually easy and cheap in a long run.  This indicates that even when Uganda has been selling permit at a relatively low cost, sales still favor Rwanda more than Uganda.

More still, airline (Rwanda air) helps to connect travelers to all tourism sites in Rwanda. This is not a case in Uganda, which means that travelling to Uganda’s 3 national parks is difficult hence discouraging travelers especially those with limited time.  Rwanda air also helps travelers to connect with other major destinations such as United Kingdom. Also, the lack of good public relations and promotion has continued to disfavor Uganda’s tourism in the international market. Uganda should therefore value the power of public relations if it’s to have leverage over other countries in the region.

Additionally, lack of good public relations and promotion has continued to disfavor Uganda’s tourism in the international market. Uganda should therefore value the power of public relations if it’s to have leverage over other countries in the region.  The good thing in Uganda is that gorilla trekking is done in two destinations of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in south western Uganda. This is Uganda’s added advantage over Rwanda where gorilla trekking is only done in the volcanoes national park.

However, Rwanda’s new gorilla permit price is considered a long-term focus aimed at benefiting local communities near and around volcanoes national park. Local communities are expected to share a bigger percentage of tourism revenues for funding the development projects and empower them economically.  More still, it’s an opportunity for Uganda to tap into Rwanda’s market as well as promoting sustainability of conservation initiatives as well as enhancing visitor experiences.

Conclusively therefore, Uganda is a very good alternative destination to choose for gorilla safaris while visiting Africa. To skip the long drive from Entebbe international airport to Bwindi forest national park, visitors can always start and end in Kigali, with just 3 hours drive from Kigali to Bwindi and back.