Effective today, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) increased price of Gorilla Permits to $1,500 for all visitors, nationals inclusive.

Previously, the tariffs were $750 per person for non-nationals,  $375 for foreign residents and only Rwf 30,000 for Rwandan citizens.

The country’s investments body added a new exclusive package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas was also introduced at $15,000, and will receive exclusive personalized tour guide services.

According to RDB, the new price increase will not affect tourists who had already purchased their tickets at the time of this announcement.

Meanwhile, tourists who visit other national parks; Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National Park for a minimum of three days, in addition to gorilla trekking will receive a discount of 30%.

Similarly, conference tourists, who stay pre or post conference dates to see gorillas will be eligible for a 15% discount.

The price increase aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park, RDB said in a communiqué.

The new gorilla visits tariff is good news for the community around the parks.

According to RDB, tourism revenue sharing rate for communities adjacent to the park will also increase from current 5% to 10%, which will increase absolute revenues received by communities.

Over the last 12 years, more than 400 community projects have been completed including hospitals, schools, business development centers and water supply systems to facilitate access to clean water.

“We have raised the price of permits in order to ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance visitors’ experience,” Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board said.

“We also want to make sure that the communities living near the park area receive a bigger share of tourism revenues to fund development projects and to empower them economically.”

Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only around 880 remaining in the world.

Of those in in the Virunga Massif, Rwanda accounts for 62% of the gorilla population. Stringent conservation measures have significantly contributed to a rise in gorilla numbers. There are currently 20 families habituated for tourism and research in Rwanda, up from just 9 families in 2010.