Wildlife Authority Reduces Gorilla Rates
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New Vision (Kampala)
January 29, 2002
Posted to the web January 29, 2002
UGANDA Wildlife Authority (UWA), has revised its tariffs downwards in a bid to promote tourism in East Africa. UWA falls under the Ministry of Tourism, trade and Industry, headed by Prof. Edward Rugumayo.
Lilly Ajarova, the UWA Tourism Development Manager told The New Vision over the weekend, they have introduced East African resident rates.
The permit for gorilla tracking has been reduced from $275 to $210 in Bwindi National Park and in Mughinga, the permit is at $180 down from $220 per person. Students in East Africa with valid identity cards, will also have charges reduced for the various services offered by UWA.
"We did not have this before. There were only special rates for foreign nationals resident in Uganda," Ajarova said. "The special offer has been extended to foreign resident nationals in East Africa to encourage regional tourism," she added.
Ajarova said UWA is working in line with the push for more East African regional co-operation. "We want to increase visitors and increase the proceeds," she said adding that Uganda, which has attractions like the Mountain Gorillas, could attract tourists from East Africa.
There will also be discounts for visitors who stay longer and those who visit the national park again. "We will charge the normal rate for the first day and then reduce subsequently. The longer one stays, the bigger the discount," Ajarova said.
She said the national parks and game reserves are run by concessionaires, but the UWA charges entry fees, the lounge ride, dormitory accommodation and gorilla tracking.
"We need the funds to maintain the facilities and pay wages to the staff," she said.
Ajarova said 20% of the revenue from the services provided by UWA, is given to communities in the vicinity of the park to build facilities such as schools and health clinics.
She said the previous UWA tariffs were approved in November 1998, and the present ones were made after consultations with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), and the ministry.