Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has unveiled the new conservation tariffs including increasing the cost tourist experiences such as gorilla and chimp trekking. The conservation tariff effective 1 July 2024 to June 2026 has been approved by the Board of Trustees.
Gorilla trekking permit cost has been increased from $700 to $800 per person for foreign non-residents (FNR). Foreign residents (FR) tariffs have been increased from $600 to $700. tariffs for Africa residents have been increased from $400 to $500 per person. East African citizens who wish to track gorillas will pay UGX 300,000 per person.
The gorilla habituation experience too has increased to $1,500 for FNR, $1,000 for FR and Africans and 750,000 Ugx for East African citizens. The new cost of Uganda gorilla permits is to be paid by those intending to track gorillas after 1 July 2024. Those who have already made deposits on the permits based on the old rates will not need to top up any amount.
Mountain gorillas and gorilla tourism in Uganda
Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda take place in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Bwindi alone is famous for being home to over 460 mountain gorillas which is almost half of the global population of these subspecies. Mgahinga is part of the Virunga massif, where 604 mountain gorillas live. Even though their population is increasing, gorillas are endangered species due to habitat loss, infectious diseases, and human-wildlife conflicts.
Revenues generated from the sale of gorilla permits has long provided a crucial source of funds for conserving the primates. However, there’s a growing concern to effectively engage communities adjacent to the protected areas in conservation programs and tourism activities. In light of such challenges, UWA reviewed its conservation tariff to reliably increase funds for wildlife and community conservation. Gorilla safaris offer an opportunity to visit the primates in their natural habitat and also support the good cause through village walks. Primate trekking also includes game drives and boat trips in search of buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, and hippos.
Other conservation tariffs increased by UWA
The cost of chimpanzee tracking and habituation for Kibale National Park and Kyambura Gorge has also been increased among other activities including game drives, bird watching, nature walks, camping, and volcano climbing in Mgahinga.
Kibale forest national park chimpanzee tracking permit cost is $250 for FNR, $200 FR, and 180,000 Ugx for East African citizens. Chimpanzee habituation experience permit cost is $300, $250 for FR, and 250,000 Ugx for East African citizens. Tracking chimps in Kyambura gorge will cost $100 for FNR, $80 for foreign residents, and 50,000 Ugx for East African citizens.
Experiential lion tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park will cost $200 for FNR, $150 for FR, and 200,000 Ugx for East Africans.
Volcano climbing in Mgahinga gorilla national park cost $100 for FNR, $80 for FR, and 50,000 Ugx for East African citizens, and 5,00 Ugx for Ugandan students.
The cost of birding and day nature walks in Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, and Kidepo valley national parks are $25 per person for FNR, $20 for FR, and 20,000 Ugx for East African citizens. The same activity will cost $40 for FNR, $30 for FR, and 30,000 Ugx for East African citizens in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Semulki, Rwenzori Mountains, and Mount Elgon national parks.
Cycling in Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks will cost $30 for FNR, $25 for FR, and 30,000Ugx for East African citizens.
Night guided nature walks in Kibale forest cost increased to $50 for FNR, $30 for FR, and 20,000 Ugx for East African citizens.
Note that these are not the only items that have been revised for change. There are several activities whose prices have been adjusted. UWA will update them in the forthcoming Conservation Tariff July 2024 – June 2026. According to the UWA Executive director, “the primary objective of this change is to ensure that our pricing structure remains not only fair and competitive but also reflective of the current market dynamics.” and the diverse perspectives and insights shared during our consultation sessions.”