19 May 2011

Uganda Wildlife Authority lowers gorilla tracking fees

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has lowered gorilla permits during "low season" for local and foreign tourists visiting their National Parks to see the famous mountain gorilla.
Foreign tourists will now pay USD$350(75) instead of USD$500(25) during the month of October, November, March, April & May.

High Season: USD$525 / AUD$500 /NZD$765 / GBP£350 / EUR€400 / CAD$515 / ZAR4040
Low Season: USD$375 / AUD$360 /NZD$545 / GBP£250 / EUR€285 / CAD$370 / ZAR2885

Through lowering the fees the Uganda Wildlife Authority is targeting to increase the sale of the permits from an average of 70% to 100% during low tourism seasons.

About 64 gorilla permits are available for sale daily and the viewing of the mountain gorillas is restricted to 6-8 people per day per family. The number of daily permits will be raised to 80 per day as soon as two new families of the primates are set to join six others late this year in Bwindi Forest. The animals, in a group of 10-15, are currently undergoing habituation to adapt to human presence in the forest.
The total world population of mountain gorillas is currently 786 individuals (Dec 2010). Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is believed to be home to at least 302 mountain gorillas, while another 480 mountain gorillas were counted in in the Virunga Massif, which includes three contiguous national parks: Parc National des Virunga in the DR Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The remaining four (orphaned) mountain gorillas are in a sanctuary in DR Congo.

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