Uganda Wildlife Authority should think of promoting gorilla trekking and gorilla tourism by reducing the high mountain gorilla filming fees. It should be noted that one of the most expensive activity to undertake in as far as wildlife filming in Uganda is concerned is mountain gorilla filming. Interviews conducted by Encounter Africa safaris indicate that many tourists who ended up booking safaris to Uganda did not actually know Uganda as a country but did so because they were looking for an affordable and safe destination for gorilla trekking. However much we emphasize the beauty of Uganda as the pearl of Africa or gifted by nature, the truth of the mind is that Uganda is yet unknown to the outside country and a lot has to be done through public relations and promoting it as a great tourism destination. That notwithstanding, gorilla trekking and the presence of mountain gorillas has brought Uganda to the world map and with this Uganda should take advantage by creating more awareness and promotional materials.
High mountain gorilla filming fees in Uganda
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority tariffs for 2018-19, mountain gorilla filming fees for Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park is USD4300.00 per hour for a maximum number of eight crew members. On top of this, each crew member is supposed to pay for his/her gorilla permit which costs USD700.00 per person for one hour. On top of the high mountain gorilla filming fees, Uganda Wildlife Authority charges 5% of the total as monitoring fees. Outside Uganda Wildlife Authority requirements, Television and production companies have to pay Uganda Media council for accreditation as well as equipment temporary importation. This makes the whole process of filming mountain gorillas is for one hour very expensive. Imagine what the cost would be if one wanted to film mountain gorillas for three to four hours.
The high mountain gorilla filming fees in Uganda has hindered many television and production companies to film and photograph Uganda mountain gorillas. This also implies that professional documentaries about mountain gorillas and Uganda tourism has been for the big companies like National Geographic, BBC among others. If at all these high mountain gorilla filming fees for Bwindi Impenetrable can be reduced, chances are that many production companies will end up coming to film and create documentaries about Uganda mountain gorillas as well as Uganda as a tourism destination. This will in turn expose Uganda to the outside world leading to more tourist inflow.
Of course if you asked anyone from Uganda Wildlife Authority, the only reason, he/she will present to defend the high mountain gorilla filming fees is that they are trying to protect these mountain gorillas from being exposed and disturbed by human beings since there endangered. While this is true, Uganda wildlife Authority still charges 5% as monitoring fees to mitigate these impacts and also while protecting these endangered great apes, promoting gorilla tourism through gorilla filming and reducing on the high mountain gorilla filming fees should be looked into as it is limiting/stopping many television and production companies to produce films and documentaries that could end up promoting Uganda as a great tourism destination.