The Hirwa Gorilla Family crossed over to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The family which consists of 20 members crossed to the Uganda side of the Virunga Conservation Area a few weeks back. The group has been resident in the park for almost a month and it is being managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority along the guidelines of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP).
Mgahinga National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area, a region which extends to Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The gorillas roam freely within the Virungas and on several occasions, gorilla families cross to another country and stay for years.
Once a gorilla family crosses to another country, the revenues are shared 50-50 between two countries ie the country from which the gorillas migrated from and the new residential country. Once the gorillas are stable in the park, gorilla visits will be allowed for tourists interested in gorilla trekking in Uganda. Since the gorillas have migrated to Uganda, it is expected that both Uganda and Rwanda will be earning US$300 per permit. The only setback to this development can be the disparity in the cost of gorilla permits between these 2 countries. Rwanda sells gorilla permits at $1,500 compared to Uganda that sell its gorilla permit at $600.
Once gorilla visits are allowed in the park, the number of gorilla permits available for gorilla tracking will increase to 16 gorilla permits within the Mgahinga National Park.