Africa: Reality Check? Rwanda Slashes Gorrilla trekking Fees for the second time in 3 years to lure more Tourists

Gorilla trekking

As part of effort by the Rwandan government to make the country a more attractive destination for tourists that was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Rwanda Development Board RDB) has announced a dramatic reduction in the cost of gorilla trekking permits. According to Breaking Travel News, the permit fees for gorilla trekking are now reduced from $1500 to $500 for foreign residents.

Gorilla permits for Africans outside the East African community will now cost $500 while gorilla trekking permits for East Africans will cost $200 per person. This is expected to boost Rwanda’s tourism sector and make gorilla trekking more accessible to a wider range of tourists. The reduction in gorilla permit fees is also expected to benefit local communities living close to the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. By making gorilla trekking more affordable, the government hopes to increase the number of visitors to the country and boost the income of local communities who have traditionally benefited from gorilla tourism in Rwanda.

The move is also likely to have a positive impact on Rwanda’s endangered mountain gorilla population. By increasing the number of visitors, the government hopes to raise awareness of the plight of the mountain gorillas and generate more funds to protect them. Close to a decade ago, mountain gorillas were among the critically endangered wildlife species but due gorilla trekking, more awareness has been created to support the conservation efforts of the mountain gorillas.

READ: Tourism: Rwanda Development Board set for Gorilla Naming Ceremony Kwita Izina, 2 years after virtual ceremonies

The money that comes through the gorilla trekking permits has also immensely contributed to the change of mindset among the local communities. Today, mountain gorillas are some of the most valued wildlife species in Rwanda. Poaching is no longer so much a threat as it used to be simply because of the mindset change courtesy of gorilla tourism in Rwanda.

It could be recalled that in 2020, Rwanda slashed gorilla permits by between 60 percent and 80 percent as the government tried to revive the tourism sector adversely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park was charged at $500 for foreign nationals, while Rwandan citizens and foreign residents were to pay $200, down from $1,400. The decision was agreed after tourism activities were restored by President Paul Kagame, after more than three months of inactivity due to the coronavirus lockdown. And before then in May 2017, the Rwanda Development Board had announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500 for all visitors. The price increase was aimed to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park.

But with this new offer, gorilla trekking will be more accessible to people within the East African community as well as Africans and foreign residents within the continent.

Terms and Conditions for the New Rwanda Gorilla Permits Discount Offer
• All promotional gorilla trekking permits for the period between June and September (Commonly known as the peak season) must be purchased at least a month in advance before the desired gorilla trekking date.
• A passport is required to identify your citizenry when purchasing the gorilla trekking permits.
• Foreign residents are required to present their work permits on top of their passports when purchasing the gorilla trekking permits.
• The discount offer is not available for the tourists that fall under the category of foreign none residents. These are people whose citizenry is outside the African continent and they do not have a work permit for Rwanda.

How to book your discounted Rwanda gorilla trekking permit
• Choose your preferred gorilla trekking date (must be at least 5 weeks away from your present date)
• Contact a tour operator with your preferred gorilla trekking date and the easiness of the trekking terrain you prefer. Alternatively, you can contact Rwanda development board
• Share your passport details with the tour operator
• Share your work permit in case you are a foreign resident
• Send the gorilla trekking permit money to the shared account details
• Receive a permit confirmation from the tour operator via mail

Overall, Rwanda’s decision to reduce gorilla permit fees is expected to have a positive impact on the country’s tourism sector and its mountain gorilla population. With the hope of more tourists visiting the country and more funds generated to protect the endangered species, the government’s move seems to be well thought through.

 

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