PLEASE NOTE THAT RWANDA HAS RE-OPEN GORILLA TREKKING TOURISM AND COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS WILL RESUME EFFECTIVE 1ST AUGUST 2020. BOOK YOUR POST LOCKDOWN RWANDA SAFARI WITH US. DETAILS HERE Tourism is currently one of the most affected sectors due to COVID-19 and registered many challenges since its outbreak. The tourism business is now under total lockdown in different countries that have heard cases and Rwanda Suspends Gorilla trekking activity. Rwanda has so far registered 70 cases as of 29th March 2020 as communicated by ministry of health. COVID-19 Outbreak has been declared by World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health emergency of International concern and it is considered a global Pandemic.
Rwanda is one of the key tourism destinations in East African region and it has grown through the years and attracted more travelers. Gorilla tourism in Volcanoes National park is the leading adventure and Rwanda has earned more over the past years. Gorilla trekking is a life time experience of seeing the endangered gorillas in their natural environment and half of the population of the remaining gorillas is found in East Africa.
Volcanoes National Park is also known as Parc Des Vulcan’s in French and Pariki Yigihugu yibirungu in Kinyarwanda (Local language). It is a habitat to the endangered primates that include the Mountain Gorillas and golden Monkeys, there also many species of birds, Monkeys, trees, forest hogs, bushbucks among others in the forest. The park is located in North-western Rwanda and is part of the Virunga Conservation Are including five extinct volcanoes; Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Karisimbi and Mountain Bisoke
The mountain gorillas are the prime attraction in volcanoes national park with gorilla trekking happening throughout the year. Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves visiting the habituated endangered mountain gorillas in their natural environment, as you view the way they feed, move, rest and live in harmony. The chances of seeing the mountain gorillas are 99% as you are guided by trackers, guides and park rangers. The trek starts every day in Kinigi at 7:00am with briefing on guidelines to follow while on the trek, even though the gorillas have 99% DNA as the humans, they still remain wild and you are advised to follow the dos and don’ts from the guides. The gorilla trek can take 30 minutes to more hours depending on the movement and location of the gorillas in the forest. Booking a gorilla trek to volcanoes National Park is a life time experience to complete your bucket list, Encounter Africa safaris will help you book and tailor a gorilla trek tour that is affordable and memorable.
Due to the of break and spread of COVID-19, while it is still unknown wild animals can still contract COVID-19, Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden Monkeys as known to be susceptible to infection with human respiratory pathogens. Temporarily Rwanda Suspends Gorilla trekking in three national parks in Rwanda was communicated on 20th march 2020 by Rwanda development board after Rwanda registering some cases of this Pandemic. The national parks include; Volcanoes National Park, Gishwati-Mukura National Park and Nyungwe forest National Park, these parks harbor the endangered primates in the country. The lifting of this suspension will be communicated later and as of today it is still unknown, contact Encounter Africa safaris for updates on Tourism about Corona virus Pandemic in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and D R Congo.
Many visitors book and secure their travel packages and gorilla permits to volcanoes national park in advance on different dates throughout the year. COVID-19 has led to trip cancellations on dates that were already booked, Fear of travel, Suspension of both in-bound and out-bound flights by different countries leading to restricted travel and many others. All this shouldn’t trouble you as there is an opportunity for you to reschedule your permits and travel plan.
Rwanda development board under the current global environment has revised cancellation and Postponement rules for tourists to reschedule your travel plans and gorilla permits that were already booked as below;
This offer, unless otherwise modified is available for six months from date signed 9th March 2019 of this announcement. Visit to Volcanoes National Park, other named national parks or tourism attractions following such permit modifications, must be conducted once and within two years from 9th March 2020.
Rwanda depends on tourism as it contributes 25% as to the Economy as of 2019. Gorilla trekking is one of the major cash cows of the Rwanda’s tourism industry, contributing about 90 percent of the revenues from Rwanda national parks. A public notice will be issued to lift the suspension and gorilla tourism will start again and as Encounter Africa safaris will keep you updated.
Tourism is uniquely placed to lead future recovery and all hopes alive for adventure after this. Our sector will drive economic growth that will help whole communities and countries to recover from this global Pandemic. Yes for now you ca still book your gorilla trip for next year as countries are working hard to contain the COVID-19.
As we are working from home, booking of gorilla permits is done online as effectively maintained by Rwanda development board. But for now, we must be patient and stand ready as it will end soon. By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow. And travelling tomorrow will support jobs, celebrate culture and promote international friendship and understanding and achieve our bucket list life time experiences.
Since the outbreak of COVID 19, Rwanda and the tourism industry has faced challenges leading to economic decline and worry among the stakeholders. Gorilla tourism in Rwanda was suspended as one of control measures of the spread of the virus and the following are the challenges;
The contribution of gorilla activities to the country’s revenue has been remarkable as tourism supports Rwanda’s economy in many ways. Due to travel ban put by different nations, flight restrictions and suspension of gorilla trekking activity in Rwanda, Many gorilla permits have not been purchased for the last on month, meaning the whole tourism travel chain has been affected. Zero tourism business has happened in the last weeks since the country is under a lock down.
In –bound and out- bound flight cancellations and total grounding of flights by air companies has restricted travel into Rwanda. No nationals are allowed to enter Rwanda and all boarders closed for neighboring countries as affected gorilla tourism. Visitors from Uganda and D R Congo visit volcanoes National Park and easily access it from the different entry boarder points. Also fear of travel due to COVID- 19 has affected gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Many workers in the tourism sector have been laid off since tourism business is at a standstill. Park guides, Driver guides, Park Wardens, Workers in the accommodation facilities, workers in the tourism companies and many others have been laid off as no business is coming in. The multiplier effect of tourism is crucial this time as there are many dependents. We hope the COVID-19 will soon be contained and people get relieved and get back to work to sustain their families and communities.
Personal responsibility is the most important step that people can take to protect themselves and others. We advise our visitors to familiarize themselves with the basic prevention practices that apply in daily life (WHO advice for public). These include:
Encounter Africa safaris is following the guidelines and safety measures issued by Rwanda development board, Ministry of health in Rwanda, United Nations World Tourism Organization and World health organization. Our team is working from home to control spread of COVID-19 and you can contact us on email [email protected] and also www.gorilla-tracking-uganda.com for updates on COVID-19. We advise our travelers to postpone/reschedule their travel plan and gorilla permits to future dates as per the new rules issued for gorilla tourism to thrill in Volcanoes national Park, review more information about our service on Safari Booking and Tripdvisor. Stay home and stay safe, lets plan the future travel now.
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