Best way to purchase Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits
Best way to purchase Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits. Booking the gorilla permits for Uganda and Rwanda is the most essential step to confirming a gorilla safari in either country. In Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority has the mandate to sell and regulate Uganda gorilla permits. Rwanda Development Board has the mandate to sell and regulate Rwanda gorilla permits.
Most Popular Safaris
When purchasing the Uganda gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must take note of the area where your gorilla permit is booked. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is bisected into four areas: Buhoma in the North, Ruhija in the East, Nkuringo, and Rushaga in the southern part. At the moment, Uganda has 152 gorilla trekking permits and 8 gorilla habituation experience permits open to public booking. Mgahinga National Park is another Uganda National park where you can do a gorilla safari but currently has only one gorilla family called Nyakagezi.
Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park as its only home to the mountain gorillas. At the moment, 12 gorilla families are open to public booking, with 96 Rwanda gorilla permits per day.
You can use an accredited tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris to secure a gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda. We have an experienced and professional team of safari consultants ready to serve you and help lift off your shoulder the burden of running around to find the availability of gorilla permits that are scarce. Our tour consultants work with you to tailor the most convenient gorilla safari itinerary and offer free advice where necessary.
What is Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where tourists follow a fully habituated gorilla family and spend only one hour with them. Only a maximum of 8 tourists are allowed to go gorilla trekking per family per day to minimize the effects of mass tourism.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists escort a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to follow a semi habituated gorilla family in the wilderness and have four hours with them.
During the gorilla habituation experience, tourists get to watch, note, and observe the mountain gorillas with researchers so as to get them familiar with human presence without altering their nature. This is when tourists have extra time before the mountain gorillas that still possess their wild behaviors like going into hiding, hooting at visitors and others.
Uganda is currently the only country where gorilla habituation experience is happening but only two gorilla families in the southern part of Bwindi forest are open for this activity.
How To Book Uganda or Rwanda Gorilla Permits?
Select where to do gorilla safari.
Uganda and Rwanda both offer gorilla safari adventures but in different National parks. In Uganda, you can do gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga National Park. Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park as its gorilla trekking destination.
In Uganda, you can do gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience the only difference is the cost and number of hours with the mountain gorillas.
Rwanda currently offers Gorilla trekking only.
Check for Gorilla permit availability.
Before sending money to purchase the Uganda or Rwanda gorilla permit, you must check for the availability of these permits per your date of preference. You must know the number of gorilla permits you wish to purchase to avoid moving back and forth with checking gorilla permit availability.
Note that gorilla permits sell very fast, and availability status can change in a flash of time. This is why we advise clients to purchase the gorilla permits as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can assist you in reserving gorilla permits and additional safari amenities like accommodations, vehicle hire, hiring professional and experienced driver guides, and much more. We pride ourselves on our over 10 years of experience preparing African safaris as testified on our travel forums like Trip Advisor, safari bookings, and others.
Gorilla permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis because of their restricted maximum of 8 per day. At the moment, Uganda has 152 gorilla trekking permits per day and 8 gorilla habituation permits per day. Rwanda opens 96 gorilla trekking permits per day for the public to book.
Forward Personal Details To Include in your Gorilla Permit
You need to forward some of your details like your full name as presented on the passport, Nationality, date of birth, and others.
These are included on your gorilla permit card and retrieved on the day of gorilla trekking or gorilla habitation experience in Uganda. In Rwanda, these personal details are for identification and record keeping.
What Is the cost If Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents and $200 for East African residents.
The Uganda gorilla trekking permits cost $700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250000shs for East African residents.
A Gorilla habituation permit for Uganda costs $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
What is included in the cost of gorilla permit for Uganda and Rwanda:
The gorilla permit cost includes ranger guide fees, local community support, park entrance fees, security on gorilla safari day, government tax, mountain gorilla conservation, one hour with the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking or four hours with the mountain gorillas during gorilla habituation experience.
When you do a gorilla habituation experience, the researcher fee is also covered in the gorilla permit cost.
What is excluded in the cost of gorilla permits for Uganda and Rwanda:
The porter fees, snakes, transport to gorilla safari destinations, accommodation, gorilla safari gear, and any other items of a personal nature.
Is The Price Of The Gorilla Permit Worth The Money?
The cost of the gorilla permit is worth every penny you spend. Gorilla safaris are an adventurous African safari for fun and an opportunity to contribute to the sustainable existence of the mountain gorillas. These primates are the only ones living in the world and are highly protected locally and internationally.
Whenever you purchase the gorilla permit, you indirectly give back to the community where mountain gorillas live. Getting the local community on board is important to understand the relevance of conserving mountain gorillas and their habitats.
During gorilla trekking, you can hire a porter from the local community, which is one of the most direct ways to give back to the local people. The funds they collect help them run their day-to-day life.
Can I Purchase the Gorilla Permits For Uganda and Rwanda?
Making full payment of your gorilla permit would be the best choice, but the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board accept installment purchases. You can pay for Uganda or Rwanda gorilla permits in installments of 30% and 70%.
To qualify for an installment gorilla permit purchase, you need to have booked your gorilla permit at least 90 days before the gorilla trekking date.
Remember to top up before 90 days to gorilla safari day or face a penalty.
In order not to forget to get to top up, you purchase your gorilla permit in full. When you fail to top up your gorilla permit, it is re-opened for others to purchase and you lose the prepaid money too.
When Is The Best Time To Book Uganda or Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
Purchasing the gorilla permit six months to a year upfront to the day of the trek is the safest decision for any gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda. Gorilla permits are limited because the maximum number allowed for public booking is 8 per gorilla family.
This was set to minimize the population that enters the forest per day. Mountain gorillas are vegetarian. They feed on foliage, and their delicacy is bamboo. They also feed on tubers, shoots, stems, and fruits. Mass tourism’s effects must be minimized for them to have plenty to feed on.
When you book the gorilla permit in advance, you avoid panicking at the last minute as you try to secure one.
During the peak season, that is, June, July, August, September, December, and January, gorilla permits are in high demand in Uganda and Rwanda. Getting last-minute gorilla permits in the peak season gets harder, so advance purchase is needed.
Although gorilla permit demand in the low season, that is, March to May and November, is quite low, gorilla permit availability is not a guarantee. You must still purchase your gorilla permit before confirming a gorilla safari, as the permit is the only ticket to this adventure.
Contact Encounter Africa Safaris for any advice about when and how to Purchase your gorilla permit.
How Sure Can I Be To See The Mountain Gorillas In Uganda And Rwanda?
Uganda and Rwanda have mountain gorillas and seeing them is 98% guaranteed. The mountain gorillas live in cohesive families, where getting away is sometimes hard. This keeps them together in a particular location for some time. Mountain gorillas feed from a spot for some time and can only depart when food is exhausted.
Prior to finding the mountain gorillas, a team of trackers wakes up earlier to follow and establish where these primates may have spent the night and their possible hangout spot. These clues are what ranger guides use when searching for mountain gorillas with tourists. This is to avoid exhausting the tourists as they walk through the dense Virunga area.
Mountain gorillas also leave traces like footprints, dung, freshly fed on grass, etc. These clues are what ranger guides use to find which direction they may have taken. During gorilla trekking, you must be observant too.
Even though wild animals are free to meander in the wild, mountain gorillas have bulky bodies; a fully grown male mountain gorilla weighs about 200 kilograms, which is about 450lb. The fully grown female mountain gorilla weighs about half this weight. This huge size of the body doesn’t allow them to walk so fast.
Why Should Hire A Porter During Gorilla Safari
A porter is a person who carries your gorilla safari gear and lifts off your shoulder the burden of carrying heavy items. During gorilla trekking, porters are present to help you with your property. This gives you time to move, with nothing keeping you from finding the mountain gorillas. This is because the time of meeting them is unknown, yet you have to hike where they may be lounging. The porter may also give you a push when tired.
By hiring a porter, you directly contribute to the livelihood of the local people as the money accumulated from being porters helps them with the running of their day today life. They are able to take their children to school, pay for medical assistance, buy food, and others.
What To Pack For Gorilla Safari In Uganda And Rwanda.
- Safari boots that you can use to walk through the soggy and slippery trails resulting from regular rains that fall.
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to protect your skin from biting nettles and other harsh conditions in the wilderness. They must be in wilderness friendly colors like tan, Khaki that do not attract stinging insects
- Garden gloves to protect your palms from getting hurt in case you tripe.
- Safari hat to cover your body from dripping water off the trees and buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Rain coat in case it falls while on gorilla safari.
- Flipflops top change into after gorilla trekking.
- Back pack to carry with your gorilla safari gears
- Extra cash to use in case you need to make purchases.
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes from buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Warm wear because it gets too cold in the early mornings and afternoons.
Get in touch with us to purchase your Rwanda and Uganda gorilla permits.