For anyone looking to seeing mountain gorillas has to book a gorilla permit for Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo. Because of insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many tourist are now looking at tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park as well as Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Before any decision is made, many factors come into play as clients start comparing experiences and costs involved before making up their mind as to whether they will track gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. For those sensitive about costs of a gorilla tracking safari, the one question that will most likely arise is that why are Rwanda gorilla permits expensive or why are Uganda gorilla permits cheaper than Rwanda? Just for starters, a gorilla permit in Rwanda costs USD750.00 while in Uganda it costs USD700.00 in high season and USD350.00 in low season. Uganda Wildlife Authority has however decided to offer off season gorilla permits for April, May and November 2016 at USD450.00 meaning it price will be up by USD100.00. This however still leaves the price of Rwanda gorilla permits much more expensive compared to Uganda.
Why are Uganda gorilla permits cheaper than Rwanda.
There several reasons why Uganda gorilla permits are cheaper than Rwanda and we will try as much as possible to explain. Rwanda has a competitive edge of Uganda when it comes to gorilla tracking and as such they can decide to up the price of their gorilla permits without affecting their sales. When you look at the drive time/time spent from Kigali Capital to Volcanoes National Park and you compare it with that from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it becomes clear that one would rather pay highly for a gorilla permit in Rwanda and travel for a short distance (2-3 hours) from Kigali to Volcanoes than 9-10 hours from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Having realised this competitive advantage, the government of Uganda through UWA then decided to lower the price of gorilla permits in order to attract those client who prefer paying less and are willing to travel long distances from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Another reason why Uganda gorilla permits are cheaper that Rwanda is that Uganda invests less in marketing than Rwanda. The fact that Rwanda puts much emphasis on marketing, it is then possible to increase their gorilla permit price without affecting their numbers. In order to tap from gorilla tracking business, Uganda decided to lower the price hence making them cheaper.
There other reasons advance to explain why Uganda gorilla permits are cheaper and these include arguments that Rwanda gorilla trekking experience is much better than that of Uganda, that Rwanda has few tourists attractions compared to Uganda and as such she has to capitalize on income from gorilla trekking but most of these are still open for discussion.