It all began when with the new committee at Association of Uganda Tour Operators who initiated discussions with Uganda Wildlife Authority Board of Directors. A memorandum of understanding signed between the two resulted in AUTO discounted gorilla permits being offered to tour operators through their Association. Uganda Wildlife Authority with the advice of the Auditor General had scrapped off a 10% commission given to AUTO whenever tour operators would buy permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority. This 10% would then be given to AUTO to run its day today business. When this was stopped, there was bad blood between Uganda Wildlife Authority and Association.
How AUTO Discounted gorilla permits work
Every after three months, Uganda Wildlife authority evaluates how many permits were booked and purchased by AUTO Members and for every 30 permits bought, one gorilla permit is given to AUTO for free. The more gorilla permits bought in every three months, the more free gorilla permits that accrue to AUTO. Once AUTO gets these permits, they are then sold to members at a discount. Below is how AUTO discounted gorilla permits are allocated.
AUTO Discounted Gorilla permit allocation
When AUTO finally receives these discounted gorilla permits, it communicates to all its members through its official email. They first look at available permits and then divide them amongst all members. Each member is supposed to take its share on first come first serve basis. Members are told to book AUTO discounted gorilla permits showing the region and actual date of trekking and must pay for them one week from the date of booking. Members are allowed to book more permits when some tour operators fail to take their shares.
Price of AUTO Discounted gorilla permits.
Association of Uganda Tour operators is mandated to decide on the price of permits and at the moment AUTO Discounted gorilla permits are sold at USD450 for all months as opposed to the usual USD700.00. This means that a discount of USD250.00 per gorilla permit is enjoyed by those that belong to AUTO.
Encounter Africa Safaris is an AUTO Member and benefits from AUTO Discounted gorilla permits. We will endeavor to extend this discount to our clients in order to make their gorilla tours affordable at all time. Contact Encounter Africa Safaris for details