Compared to Rwanda and Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo offers lower rates for gorilla safaris in Africa. Today, gorilla permits can be booed at as low at US$ 400 each. This is quite a good offer if compared with Rwanda, where the cost of gorilla permit has been increased from US$ 750 to US$ 1500. In the neighboring Uganda, gorilla permits can be booked at US$ 600 each for 2017 to 2019! This is a big difference if compared to the cost of DR. Congo Gorilla permit.
Below are some of the reasons for the low cost of DR. Congo Gorilla permits.
The political instability –for the past years, DR. Congo has been instable and that has been a threatening factor to the tourist thus lowering the prices of the Gorilla permits. In most cases, the price of a given commodity is determined by the demand…. the tourists instead decide to visit Uganda and Rwanda which are stable.
The alternatively, Uganda and Rwanda….the tourists have options; they can decide to trek Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda which are the neighbor of DR. Congo. The stiff competition between the three countries hosting Gorillas has forced DR. Congo to keep the low trekking costs.
The convenience factor… Rwanda and Uganda are easily reached compared to their counter DR. Congo. Currently, there are no direct flights from Europe to DR. Congo yet Uganda and Rwanda have. Therefore, the tourists find it easy to trek Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda than in DR. Congo. It should be noted that European countries offers the biggest market for tourists who come to Africa!!
- Congo is among the East African countries that benefit from East African tourist visa… That makes safaris in DR. Congo expensive. Currently, East African countries introduced visa at US$ 100 serving all East African countries. The East African visa serves Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi enables tourists reach some of those countries using the same visa.
The eruption of mountains in DR. Congo threatens some tourists from visiting. The eruption of mountain Nyiragongo cost the lives of hundreds in 2002, a lot of properties and so on. The mountain still shows signs of future eruption evidenced by the steam of fire and smoke coming out its chasm/ vent.
Democratic Republic of Congo currently has no International Airport… the ones available are offers internal flights. This is due to unrests in the country caused by seasonal rebel attacks which threaten the setting up of permanent structures for fear of destruction.
Uganda and Rwanda offers the majority of the mountain gorillas which are mostly trekked worldwide. Therefore, tourists find it easier to meet Gorilla groups with majority members. To date, Uganda hosts fourteen Gorilla groups of mountain Gorillas while Rwanda has ten …compared to those in DR. Congo.
High level of poaching in DR. Congo makes it hated by tourists for failure to protect the wildlife. Some tourists find it undesirable to support the country which doesn’t offer maximum security on wild animals and birds. It is believed that some tribes of people in DR. Congo kill Gorillas for meat.
HOW TO BOOST GORILLA TOURISM IN DR. CONGO
Establishing a politically stable state
Tight protection on Gorillas
Improvements of infrastructures like roads, schools, Hotels/ Lodges and so on.
Setting up International Airports
Marketing of the existing Gorillas and other wildlife
It should be noted that Rwanda conduct Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park, Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National parks while DR. Congo in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi biega National Parks.