Uganda’s Gorilla trekking permit prices will remain unchanged for a minimum of 12 months, help ChimpReports has learnt.
The development was confirmed by the Gessa Symplicious, seek the Public Relations Officer for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a body charged with Management of all National Parks in the country.
“UWA hasn’t felt the need to review the Gorilla permits and we don’t intend to change the tariffs soon,” Symplicious told ChimpReports on Tuesday evening.
Uganda is among the three countries in the whole world that are home to the severely endangered mountain gorillas including Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Uganda, Gorillas can be tracked in the South Western District of Kisoro in Mgahinga National Park.
Last week, Rwanda announced an increase in the prices of their gorilla permits from USD 750 to USD 1500. The increase took effect on Sunday May 7th.
Rwanda Development Board officials however indicated that the price increase would not affect tourists who had already purchased their tickets at the time of the announcement.
They further said that the increment aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park.
In a May 9th letter the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) cautioned UWA not to blindly follow suit and increase tracking permits without sound ground.
“The decision by our neighbours to insurmountably increase the price of Gorilla permit is based on farfetched research backed by facts and steered by their country’s tourism strategy,” read part of the letter.
“We would like to urge Government of Uganda not to blindly follow suit by imposing a sudden rise in the current price of the gorilla permit,” the letter further reads.
The price of Uganda’s gorilla tracking permit is currently at USD 600 for foreigners and Shs250,000 for east Africans.
Symplicious said the prices will not be changed until the start of the new financial year when all pricing is reviewed.
He however was quick to mention that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the prices will change unless particular factors require so.
“We won’t hike our tariffs because some has hiked theirs. We do the pricing at the start of a financial year. We will consult with stakeholders in the tourism sector and if there is any reason for the change in prices, we’ll communicate that,” he said.
Asked about the letter by the Tour operators Association, Symplicious said he had not seen it; adding that their decision was not influenced by AUTO as they do their reviews annually.