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Uganda pledges no increase to gorilla permit costs

Uganda tourism officials have vowed not to increase the cost of gorilla permits after neighbour Rwanda doubled the fee from $750 to $1,500

Uganda’s current permit charge of $600 will remain at the same rate for 12 months, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have promised.

The permit fee in Rwanda applies to everyone, including nationals while Uganda offers a discount for its own citizens.

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UWA Executive Director Dr. Andrew Seguya

Andrew Seguya, executive director of UWA said: “Gorillas are one of the world’s most valuable natural resources and their conservation is at the forefront of all of UWA’s decisions. Allowing global travellers the opportunity to fulfil lifelong dreams to see these animals is key to their conservation."

Tim Henshall, who represents Uganda tourism in the UK, added: “We don’t want to become elitist and allow only a wealthy and highly select few the opportunity to relive that famous David Attenborough moment.

Having international tourists staying at a variety of grade hotels and lodges means that locally-owned businesses will benefit”.

The move was welcomed by adventure operator Acacia Africa which said the decision would enable Uganda to continue investing in its gorilla conservation at the benefit of tourists.

Arno Delport, sales and marketing manager said: “The recent increases in gorilla permits by the Rwandan government will inevitably have a knock on effect on tourism in Uganda where the cost of a permit is now substantially less.

“The percentage of revenue obtained by the use of the gorilla permits contributes to the primates’ survival, the recent baby boom giving hope to conservationists and exciting travellers looking to book this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.

“We feel obliged to our tourism partners worldwide to keep prices stable.”

Stephen Asiimwe, chief executive at UTB added: “Uganda is committed to protecting our natural resources as well as welcoming tourists to view our amazing wildlife.”

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