Beginning January 2009, nationals of the member countries of the East African Community (EAC) will pay the same rates as Ugandans to gain entry and to access services within Uganda’s national parks.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), which is charged with managing the country’s protected areas, undertakes a biennial review of the entry and tourism tariffs with the aim of determining whether the tariffs correspond to the market forces and are in line with those charged by the neighbouring countries.
In the new tariff regime, the differentiation between Ugandans and East Africans was removed, maintaining only the category of East Africans under which Ugandans fall. Beginning January 2009, UWA will charge all East African citizens Ush5, 000 ($3) for each day they spend in the category A protected areas, while children between 5 and 15 years will be charged Ush2, 500. The entry fee to Category B protected areas will be Ush3, 000 for adult East Africans and Ush1, 500 for children aged between 5 and 15 years.
Protected Areas which fall in Category A include:-
1. Murchison Falls National Park 2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
3. Lake Mburo National Park 4. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
5. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park 6. Kibale National Park
7. Kidepo Valley National Park 8. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Protected Areas which fall in Category B include:-
1. Semuliki National Park
2. Mt Elgon National Park
3. Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Children under five years of age, students from Ugandan schools and honorary wardens will always receive free admission to the protected areas. Students on educational trips must however carry a valid identity card and a letter from their schools.
Chimpanzee tracking tariffs
Uganda Wildlife Authority has also increased the tariffs for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park from $70 to $90 for foreign non-residents, and from $50 to $70 for foreign residents. Citizens of East African countries will pay Ush60,000 for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park.
Chimpanzee tracking fees in the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park have also increased from $30 to $50 for foreign non-residents and from $20 to $40 for foreign residents. Citizens of East African countries will pay Ush30, 000 for chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge. UWA has also introduced a new tourism activity called the Primate Walk in Toro – Semliki Wildlife Reserve, which will cost $30 for foreign non-residents, $20 for foreign residents and Ush20,000 for East Africans.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
A single day of the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience, which involves spending 12 hours watching the chimpanzees feed, play, care for their young, and construct their nests, will from January 2009 cost foreign non-residents $220, foreign residents $150 and citizens of East African countries US$ 70.
The fees for a gorilla tracking permit in Bwindi impenetrable National Park have been maintained at $500 for foreign non-residents and $475 for foreign residents. However, Ugandans will now be charged Ush250,000 along with the citizens of other East African countries who up till now have been paying $475 for a gorilla tracking permit. Ugandans have been paying Ush150, 000 for a gorilla tracking permit.
Golden Monkey tracking
Both foreign non-resident and foreign resident touirists wishing to undertake golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will with effect from January 2009 be charged $50 for a single expedition, while East Africans will be charged Ush20,000.
UWA will charge foreign non-residents and foreign residents $20 per person for day-time game drives, while East Africans will be charged $15 for the same. Night-time game drives, which are undertaken between 7.00pm and 11.00pm, will be charged $15 per person for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, and Ush10, 000 per person for East Africans.
Guided Nature Walks
Day-time nature walks will cost between US$10 and US$15 per person for foreign non-residents and residents, while night guided nature walks will cost US$25 per person for foreign non-residents and foreign residents and Ush20, 000 per person for East Africans.
Launch cruises for foreign non-residents and residents have been maintained at US$15 per person per trip in both Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks, while East Africans will pay Ush15,000 per person per trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Ush20,000 per person per trip in Murchison Falls National Park.
The new tariff regime will run from January 2009 to 30th June 2010. UWA encourages all Ugandans and foreigners to visit the protected areas and enjoy the beauty of our country.