After the price of a close encounter with mountain Gorillas doubled overnight ,adventure specialists are warning that business will shift across the boarder to Uganda .
A statement issued in the Rwandan capital ,Kigali said that ‘’ The Rwanda Development Board today announced the increase in the price of Gorilla permits from USD 750 to USD 1500 for all visitors effective April 2017 .
Clare Akamanzi , the Board’s chief executive said ‘gorilla tracking is a highly unique experience .we have raised the price of permits to ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance visitors experience .
Paul Goldstein , a leading adventure guide and wildlife photographer ,said ‘’ I first saw the gorillas 25 years ago .it left an indelible impression and I still maintain it as one of the best encounters you can have in the world .
The price rise will not apply to existing permit holders ,but is being levied on all new bookings .Mr Akamanzi said ‘’ we also want to make sure that the communities living near the park receive a bigger share of tourism revenues to fund development projects and empower them economically . previously the communities received $ 37.50 for each tourist .that has risen to $ 150 .but Rwandan citizens ,who previously paid only $ 36 for a permit ,will now have to pay the $ 1500 fee.
On Facebook ,the Uganda tourist board responded by saying :’’ remember ,our gorilla tracking permits still go for $ 600 ,and this would guarantee you can experience like you have never had anywhere before ‘’.A spokes man for the Uganda Wildlife Authority said ‘’ Allowing global travelers the opportunity to fulfill life long dreams to see these animals is key to their conservation .
The Rwanda Development Board ,which is committed to a high end tourism strategy has also launched an ‘’ exclusive package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas .’’the price for $ 15,000.