US3.2 MILLION INVESTED IN CITIZEN SUPPORT AROUND NATIONAL PARKS IN RWANDA
As destination Rwanda is arranging for the 12th edition of the Gorilla naming ceremony locally known as Kwita Izina – one of the annual popular Rwanda gorilla safari tour event products, the report from Rwanda Development Board indicate that the government has disbursed Rwf2.6 billion ($3.2 million) in the self help projects of the communities that surround the National Parks
The Kwita Izina event is noted to have been initiated through the Rwanda Development Board in the year 2005 with the intention of protecting the Mountain gorillas which are critically endangered world over along with their habitats. Interestingly, when the event was launched, the Rwandan President resolved that the communities that surround the Rwanda safari sites in particular National Parks were to keep the 5% of the revenues collected.
A range of 48 community based projects including water channels, schools, hotels among others are noted to have been established following the initiative according to the Rwanda Development Board Head of Conservation Department Télesphore Ngoga. Apparently, over Rwf2.6 billion has been disbursed in these projects with the intention of stimulating awareness and development.
Gorilla trekking Safaris and tours in Rwanda remain a dominant income generator in the Rwanda’s tourism sector as it constitutes 93% of the total revenues generated from National Parks. The figures from Rwanda Development Board indicate an 11% increment in the visitors to Volcanoes National Park.
The gorilla permit in Rwanda apparently costs $750; the foreign resident pays $350 while the Rwandan citizens pay Rwf30, 000 (about $42). This depicts that a gorilla safari in Rwanda is relatively higher in terms of cost compared to a Rwanda wildlife safari or a Chimpanzee trekking safari to Akagera and Nyungwe National Parks respectively where locals range from Rwf 5000 (about $7) while foreigners go for $50 and above.
Running under the Theme “United in driving economic growth through Conservation”, this years’ gorilla naming ceremony will occur on September 2nd at the Volcanoes Park grounds Kinigi and a range of 22 baby gorillas will be named.