10 things to consider before booking a gorilla safari in Uganda in 2024-25
10 most important things to consider before booking a gorilla safari in Uganda in 2024-25. When planning to do a gorilla safari in Uganda from 2024 to 2025, you must confirm a gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Uganda gorilla safari can only be allowed with a permit. You can purchase gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
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Select whether to do gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. This helps with checking availability and other logistics that support gorilla safaris.
Identify the people you hope to join you on the gorilla safari early because you do not have to move back and forth when checking gorilla permit availability. The age limit must be 15 and over because this is the current age limit for gorilla tours in Uganda.
Secure accommodations to use during gorilla safaris in Uganda. When booked for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, areas are used, so consider these areas as you book accommodation, too.
Choose the means of transport to get to the gorilla safari destinations in Uganda. Securing a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle is an added advantage because of the nature of the terrain of this area.
Consider the Time of doing the gorilla safaris as there is peak season: June, July, August, September, December, and January. In this season, the demand for gorilla permits is high, yet supply is limited to a maximum of 8 per gorilla family.
Doing gorilla tours in Uganda requires planning and making payment as soon as possible, especially if you are to use the high season when not only gorilla permits but also logistics get scarce.
What To Consider before booking a gorilla safari in Uganda from 2024 to 2025
Consider Time to do the gorilla tour in Uganda.
If you hope to do gorilla tours in Uganda during the peak season, which is June to September and December to January, ensure you have a gorilla permit in advance. Most people secure their gorilla permits for Uganda as early as 6 months to a year upfront. This is one of the ways to get secure about attending this wilderness adventure.
As the high season draws closer chances of finding gorilla permits get slim.
Even though the low season normally comes with less demand for gorilla permits, this is not a guarantee all the Time as availability changes in a slit of a second. No matter the season you travel for gorilla trekking, you must be sure of a confirmed gorilla permit.
Book Gorilla Permit For Uganda safari
Uganda currently has about 168 gorilla trekking permits from about 21 gorilla families and 8 gorilla habituation permits open to public booking each day. For one to consider doing a gorilla safari in Uganda on a certain day, they must have a gorilla permit.
To book a Uganda gorilla permit, select a date and the number of permits you hope to purchase. This helps with checking availability and going forward.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, a safari team is ready to assist you in booking the Uganda gorilla permits and additional safari amenities. Upon receiving your enquiry, our safaris consultant checks gorilla permit availability from the list of Uganda Wildlife Authority and then gets back to you as soon as possible.
In case the status of the gorilla permits is positive, we ask you to book the gorilla permits as soon as possible but note that only gorilla permits can be booked with payment. Since gorilla permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, chances of finding the same availability may change quickly without warning.
Choose whether to do gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience.
Gorilla trekking safaris take you to find a fully habituated gorilla family in the wilderness, but only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas. Four areas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open for gorilla trekking, that is, Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija. Gorilla permits are allocated according to these four areas of Bwindi. Each area has gorilla trekking families to which tourists are allocated on briefing day. Mgahinga National Park has only Nyakagezi gorilla trekking family so far.
Gorilla habituation experience is a safari where tourists move along with researchers and trackers to spend four hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family. These mountain gorillas may showcase odd behaviors like hooting, going into hiding, and much more. So far, only two families are open for gorilla tours in southwestern Uganda.
Your choice helps with securing the right destinations and even booking accommodations for this safari.
Check tourists’ age range in case you have children on gorilla tour
Recently, the age limit for gorilla tours in Uganda has been changed to 15 years and beyond to allow children to view the mountain gorillas. In the past, the age limit for gorilla safaris was 15 and over.
In case you have children joining the gorilla tour party, you need to ensure they are eligible before purchasing their gorilla permits. This is to avoid getting disqualified and disappointed at the last minute when they are not allowed to do the gorilla safari.
The way to see the mountain gorillas is rugged, resulting from volcanic action in this area that led to the formation of highlands like ridges and plateaus where mountain gorillas may spend part of their day. At times, tourists may be required to hike, which children below 15 years may need to be in a position to complete.
Select accommodation to use for gorilla tour in Uganda
Choices of accommodations to use during gorilla tours are available in Uganda. When booking these accommodations, you need to consider the area where your gorilla permit is booked. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park permits, in particular, has its gorilla permits booked according to an area that is Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.
In order to reduce the chances of having to drive in the dark to catch up with briefing in another Bwindi area, which is separated by several highlands and thick vegetation, you need to overnight within or closer to the area where the permit is booked.
Even Mgahinga National Park has different accommodations you can book.
Accommodations in the gorilla safari destinations of Uganda are categorized into Upmarket, Mid-range, and Budget.
Bwindi accommodations: Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Bwindi View Bandas, Clouds Lodge
Mgahinga accommodations: Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp
The accommodation facility you choose for the gorilla tour contributes to your gorilla safari package. Luxury accommodations are normally of high cost, and Budget accommodations are normally of a lower cost.
Choose Transport Means to Uganda Gorilla safaris Destinations
A 4×4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. The nature of the roads is bumpy, dusty, and are winding because of the highlands in the Kigezi sub-region of Uganda.
Having a professional and experienced driver guide is an added advantage. Ay Encounter Africa safaris, our choice of driver guides is based on professionalism and experience, which must match our over 10 years of experience in organizing Africa safaris.
Uganda offers daily domestic flights from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip. There is need to hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge. A distance covers about 2 hours from the Airstrips to the gorilla safari destinations.
During the peak tourism season in Uganda, most of the daily domestic flight seats sell out, so one must secure one in advance. Booking flights saves you from road fatigue from the long drive of about 8 to 9 hours.
Charter flights can also be booked at Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi if you want to have a more private gorilla safari experience in Uganda. Hire a transfer vehicle, too. Advance booking for charter flights in Uganda is required to make all the necessary clearances.
Do pre- Gorilla Tour Exercises.
When you think of going on a gorilla safari in Uganda, you need to start exercising to keep your body ready for hiking where necessary. The topography of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park is rugged, resulting from Volcanic action that led to the formation of different landforms where mountain gorillas sometimes spend their day.
At times, you may need to join the hike to find the mountain gorillas that roam the slopes of these highlands. The hike to the mountain gorillas tends to have some challenges if your body is not fit. You do not have to be in the gym all day, but start taking extra strides from the normal that can stretch your muscles a little more.
Pack the right gorilla safari gear.
Packing for gorilla safaris is very important as you lay your plan for this safari. Gorilla safaris involve walking in the wilderness, where the environment may be tough at times. When it rains severely, the ground gets slippery and soggy, which is challenging to walk through, so you need to wear the right gorilla safari gear—no need to pack heavily but light and relevantly to match the forest environment.
- Some of the gorilla tour gear you can pack include safari boots, insect repellant,
- Garden gloves to cover your palms
- Extra fully charged batteries
- Foldable Safari hat
- Safari long-sleeved shirt and trousers in wilderness-friendly colors like Khaki
- Some warmers, as the early mornings and evenings get cold
- Rainproof gears
- A torch
- Sun screen: even though this area experiences less sunlight
- Some hard cash
- Light Shoe bag to put in your shoes after the gorilla trek.
- Travel adapter
- First aid kit with emergency treatment in case you need it
Number of days on Gorilla safari in Uganda
The least number of days you can book for a gorilla safari in Uganda is 3 days. The first day of the gorilla safari is travel to the gorilla tour destination, the second day of the gorilla safari day, and the third day is departure. You can as well add extra days of your gorilla tour. The more days on Uganda safari, the higher the entire safari quotation because most service providers charge per-day prices.
Select additional activities to combine with gorilla tour in Uganda.
When you wish to make a combo of gorilla tours and other Uganda safari activities, choose what you wish to engage in so that it is included in your itinerary to avoid last-minute inconveniences. Uganda is a country gifted by nature, and you can explore more destinations in Uganda with a well-tailored itinerary. With the help of our safari consultants, we can tailor your gorilla safari tour in Uganda to the best of your interest and budget. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority.
A few of the other Uganda safari activities include chimpanzee safaris in Kibale National Park, game drives and launch trips in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Visit the source of River Nile, golden monkey safaris in Mgahinga National Park, and others.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we have prepackaged gorilla tours plus other Uganda safari activities, but you can also request a tailored itinerary covering your Time and preferences. Our safari team is ready to help you plan and organize this one-in-lifetime safari. We are here to help tourists navigate the different Uganda safaris and make the right choice within the days available on your holiday in Africa. Encounter Africa Safaris is here to walk with you on the journey of taking off your bucket list the gorilla safari experience.
Select a Reason for taking the gorilla safari in Uganda
When you have a reason for taking the gorilla safari in Uganda, state it in advance so that special attention can be paid with whatever booking you make. In case you are doing a gorilla tour as a honeymoon activity, state this is making birthday celebrations or anniversary celebrations, you need to give information over to our consultant
When you state this, your bookings, especially logistics, are chosen with utmost care to help you make memories of celebrations.
Although the criteria of allocating mountain gorilla permits has yet to be discovered as it’s done randomly after the briefing, when you have something to celebrate and request to share the same gorilla family like honeymooners, your request may be considered at, though not a guarantee all the time.
Our safari consultants are ready to organize your safari today. Contact us for more information.