The Uganda Government has confirmed that it will maintain the fee for mountain gorilla trekking and promises there will be no price increase in Uganda.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has announced that tracking charges will be maintained during the peak season and discounted in low season.
In Uganda, sustainable gorilla tourism is a major contributor to the protection of these endangered animals. Revenues from gorilla permits help to preserve their habitat and 20% of park revenue goes to local communities around the national parks in addition to tourism creating jobs.
“The mountain gorilla population in Uganda has been steadily increasing to about 550 individuals since the 1980s. This shows that our model for gorilla tourism works and both conservation and locals benefit. We, therefore, have no reason to change anything or increase fees,” explains Dr Andrew Seguya, Executive Director of UWA.
Between September 2016 and January 2017 alone, there was a real baby boom with a total of five new-born mountain gorillas. This gives hope to conservationists as IUCN lists the mountain gorilla as critically endangered.
“Once you have looked into the eyes of a mountain gorilla, you understand how important it is to protect these primates. It is important, that not only a wealthy minority can get the chance to experience these animals in their natural environment, but everyone who wants to contribute to their conservation. Besides, we feel obliged to our tourism partners worldwide to keep prices stable,” said Stephen Asiimwe, CEO of Uganda Tourism Board.
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