In a strategic move to revitalize the tourism industry, the Rwandan government has implemented a noteworthy reduction in gorilla trekking permit fees at the Volcanoes National Park, effective from January 1 to December 31 this year. However, this reduction is not for tourists visiting to other countries.

There are been some confusion with some outlets reporting this reduction is across the board, however, Africa Beat can confirm that the reduction is for local Rwandans and foreign residents living in on the African continent. This means, Australians travelling to Rwanda will still pay the USD1500 trekking permit fee.

This decision is poised to have a transformative impact on tourism in East Africa, positioning Rwanda as an even more appealing destination for travellers seeking unforgettable bucket-list experiences at a more affordable cost.

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has cited the ongoing recovery of the tourism sector, which faced severe setbacks due to global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as the primary motivation behind the fee reduction. According to the RDB, the gorilla permit fees have undergone a substantial decrease, now standing at USD$500 for foreign residents, a significant drop from the previous USD$1500. For local visitors, the fee has been reduced to USD$200.

For Rwandans and East African nationals, obtaining a permit requires presenting a national ID, valid passport, and birth certificate. Foreign residents and African citizens in Rwanda or any other African country are required to furnish a passport, diplomatic card, or a minimum four-month consecutive visa.

To further enhance accessibility, the RDB has introduced promotional permits available from June to October. These must be purchased 72 hours in advance of the trekking date and cater to various categories, including nationals, foreign residents, East Africans, and Africans.

The commitment of the RDB to foster the growth of the tourism industry is evident, as recent data indicates a substantial boost in revenue. During the first half of 2023, the tourism sector generated an impressive US$247 million (Rwf290 billion), marking a remarkable 56% increase compared to the same period in 2022 when revenue stood at US$158 million. This positive trend underscores Rwanda’s resilience and determination to rebound from the challenges posed by global crises, further solidifying its position as a leading tourist destination in East Africa.

Travel enthusiasts can now seize the opportunity to embark on an extraordinary gorilla trekking adventure in the heart of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park at a more accessible cost.

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