As for ordinary trade principles, the more customers increase the faster progress is attained. This is however contrary to environment protection principle whereby increased numbers might lead to losses. This requires strong measures to promote tourism and protect biodiversity in the ecosystem as well.
Figures show that Akagera National Park recorded 15,000 visits annually from 2010 until 2019 when numbers increased significantly to 50,000.
The management of the park recently informed partners that the park sometimes would record higher visits beyond its capacity in the last four months of the year which posed risks to the park and visitors.
“One of strategies to reduce the high rate of visits and related consequences to the park without affecting revenues to preserve the park is the revision of prices. The new policy intends to mobilize visitors to spend long time. We have witnessed this especially during this period of recovering domestic tourism and needs reinforcement,” reads in part the park’s statement.
New reforms include increasing prices to visit Akagera National Park and offering discount when a visitor spends the second and the third night. There will be no extra payments from the 4th until the 7th night.
As per new entry fees to be effected on 15th January 2021, a Rwandan or member of East African Community (EAC) will pay US$16 (Rwf 15,000) up from US$7.50 (Rwf 6,500) per day or night.
A person spending two nights in the park will pay US$24 (Rwf 22,500) and Rwf 30,000 entry fees for three nights.
Effective January 2021, entry fees for international visitors has been fixed at US$100 from US$50 per night. If the visitor is to spend two nights, the entry price is fixed at US$150 and US$200 for three nights.
Children aged 5 and under are free of charge, no entry fee or activities fees apply. Activity fees rates for children are applicable for 6 – 12 year olds. 13 year olds and above pay adult rates for entry fees and activities.
Children between 6 and 12 from Rwanda and EAC will pay US$11 (Rwf10,000) up from US$4 (Rwf3,500). The price for two and three nights is respectively fixed at US$16 (Rwf15,000) and US$21 (Rwf20,000).
Prices for cars have also been reduced. A small car registered in Rwanda or EAC will be charged US$10 down from US$12 (Rwf10,000) while large vehicles carrying tourists will be charged US$20 down from US$24 (Rwf20.000).
Prices for small and large cars out of EAC remained the same at US$40 and US$100.
Group fees and annual passes
Usually, a group of over 20 Rwandans would get Rwf 1500 discount per individual, thus paying Rwf5000 entry fees each.
The new pricing has extended the discount for adults and children. Groups of Rwandan Nationals of more than 20 people automatically receive a group discount of 2,000 Rwf and will be charged at Rwf 12,000 per adult and 8,000 Rwf per child.
As for annual passes, the price for an individual from Rwanda or EAC remained the same at Rwf 95,000. The price has however been increased from Rwf 115,000 to Rwf 150,000 for two persons and Rwf150,000 to Rwf205,000 for a family.
Annual passes for foreigners living in Rwanda or EAC has increased to US$300 from US$250. The price has been fixed at US$500 from US$400 for two people and US$700 from US$600 for a family.
There will be no further charges for already booked passes.
The revised prices do not concern accommodation fees at Ruzizi Tented Lodge and Karenge Bush Camp which remained at US$25 and US$40 respectively for half and whole day.
Akagera National Park is home to the big five on the continent including Lions, Rhinos, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard.
Apart from the presence of over 482 bird species, the park is also home to various wild and aquatic animals.