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Uganda to benefit from gorilla tracking permit hike in Rwanda

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Tourism and travel experts have said the increase in gorilla-tracking fees announced by Rwanda will benefit the tourism industry in Uganda.

Early this week the Rwanda Development Board announced the doubling of the price of a tracking permit, from US750 to US$1500.

Gorilla tracking is one of Rwanda’s biggest foreign exchange earners but the experts say that with Uganda maintaining the permit at US$600, tourists are likely to opt for the northern neighbour. “No doubt hundreds of primate operators are hastily re-arranging their itineraries to switch countries,” Paul Goldstein, a leading adventure guide and wildlife photographer, was quoted as saying.

Further, the experts say that the move by RDB will also affect local tourism, seeing as it is that a permit for indigenous Rwandans that has been going for US$36 has also been raised to US$1500.

And, in a bid to tap into the lucrative gorilla tracking the Uganda Tourism Board quickly reminded intending trekkers that the Ugandan permit was still priced at US$600.

“Remember; our gorilla tracking permits still go for $600, and this would guarantee you an experience like you have never had anywhere before,” the UTB wrote on its Facebook page.

The habituated gorilla is the most famed primate after man and currently there exist about only 800, found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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