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Monday,July 06,2020 21:19 PM

Uganda hikes gorilla tracking fees

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th March 2007 03:00 AM

GORILLA tracking is to earn the Uganda Wildlife Authority more money. Foreign tourist permits will be selling at $500 up from $375 beginning July 1.

GORILLA tracking is to earn the Uganda Wildlife Authority more money. Foreign tourist permits will be selling at $500 up from $375 beginning July 1.

By Gerald Tenywa

GORILLA tracking is to earn the Uganda Wildlife Authority more money. Foreign tourist permits will be selling at $500 up from $375 beginning July 1.

The authority’s public relations manager, Lillian Nsubuga, said the rates for resident foreigners in Uganda and east Africa have been increased from $355 to $475. Ugandans will pay sh150,000 instead of sh100,000.

The rates come as a result of harmony created in the East African countries where the remaining endangered Mountain Gorillas live in Rwanda and DR Congo.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park habours more than half of the remaining gorillas estimated at 760.

The rest of the gorilla population occupy the Virungas that cover DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park).

Nsubuga said the wildlife authority plans to habituate Ruhija and Rushaga to open them up for tourism.

Habituation is a delicate process through which primates such as gorillas get used to human beings but retain their wild character.

“It is a process to prepare them to accept human presence and we are beginning this within the next six months,’’ she said.

At the moment, four places in Bwindi namely Mubare, Rushegura and Habinyaja at Buhoma and Nkuringo are used for gorilla tourism.

Gorilla tourism started in the early 1990s and earns the Uganda Wildlife Authority up to 7% of its revenue, part of which is used to fund parks that have less tourism activities.

Nsubuga said while the animals create revenue that partly sustains conservation activities, UWA is also mindful of the health of the gorillas.

She said less than 30% of the gorillas in Bwindi’s estimated 30 groups have been habituated as opposed to Rwanda and the DR Congo that have habituated more than 70 percent of their population.

Uganda hikes gorilla tracking fees

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