Recently, Hernaldo Zuniga, Nicaraguan singer accompanies his whole family to trekking through the thick forests and misty volcanoes based in northwestern Rwanda. They were actually in search of mountain gorillas in this journey.
He narrated his experience and depicted their meet with the critically endangered primates as “an almost spiritual”. They further illustrated that it was one of the main reasons of stopping at Rwanda on a safari trip to Kenya, and a tour of South Africa.
However, Rwanda is no more satisfied in being a whirlwind stop for any travelers’ itinerary. At present, the country is working hard to expand its world appeal beyond its famous gorillas and tapering its niche market to the wealthy of visitors across the globe.
Zuniga considers himself to be lucky that his family secured the permits to witness the gorillas from close proximity before it becomes double the cost to $1,500 (1,300 euros) per person in May.
“I think that is going to be a drawback for many people. It is just going to be an elite group of people who can pay that,” said Zuniga, a famous star in Latin America. This increase in price for the government of Rwanda is a careful strategy to improve initiations of conservation at the same time placing itself as a luxury tourist destination.
To quote Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board, “The idea behind (the increase) is that it is an exclusive experience which also needs to be limited in numbers. Our tourism is very much based on natural resources and we are very serious about conservation.”