Booking A Gorilla Safari Tour Package Taking Into Consideration Price And Availability Of Services
Booking a gorilla safari tour package taking into consideration price and availability of services. Reserving a gorilla safari tour starts with booking the gorilla permit, which is highly demanded worldwide. Gorilla safaris are packaged according to Luxury, Mid-range, and budget, each containing inclusions and exclusions. The more inclusions in a safari package, the higher the quotation.
Most Popular Safaris
Gorilla safari tours can only be arranged in three African countries in the entire world: Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park as its only home to the mountain gorillas. D.R.Congo is the other mountain gorilla home in the Virunga National Park.
To confirm a gorilla safari, one must possess a gorilla permit. Each gorilla family can only host a maximum of 8 tourists daily for conservation reasons. Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas, too, for conservation reasons. The presence of humans disrupts the mountain gorillas from doing their day-to-day life, like feeding, grooming, procreation, and others.
In Uganda, gorilla permits are booked according to the area, specifically in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This vast park, which covers 327 square kilometers of thick-forested land, is subdivided into four areas. The Buhoma area is in the Northern part of the park, the Ruhija area in the East, the Nkuringo area, and the Rushaga area in the south.
Currently, Uganda has 19 gorilla trekking families and 2 gorilla habituation experience families open to public booking.
Rwanda currently has 12 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking safaris. D.R.Congo only has 6 gorilla families so far available for public booking. The unstable political atmosphere of Virunga National Park makes it hard for most tourists to go gorilla trekking in this area.
How to Book Gorilla Safari Package
Identify the gorilla safari destination you want to visit in Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R.Congo.
Ascertain the people you hope to go with for the gorilla safari. This helps with checking and confirming the gorilla permits. If you want company during gorilla safari, it’s best to book gorilla permits in the same area. Even accommodations need to be in the exact location to have much in common to talk about.
Check for gorilla permit availability per your date of preference. You can Enquire from an accredited tour company like Encounter Africa Safaris. We are one of the lucky tour companies with access to the gorilla permit status list of the Rwanda Development Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority. You can also check for gorilla permit availability status from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board.
Our safari consultant checks for gorilla permit availability, and upon confirming permit presence, we advise clients to reserve their gorilla permits as soon as possible. Mountain gorilla permits sell out fast on a first-come, first-served basis, so you must purchase yours as soon as possible.
Peak season gorilla permits, that is, June, July, August, September, December, and January, are sought after in the earlier months of this season. Finding last-minute gorilla permits for this period is challenging.
Later, you must forward personal details like your nationality, full name as presented on the passport, passport expiry date, and date of birth. These are used for identification purposes, and some are added to your certificate after the gorilla trek or gorilla habituation experience.
How Much Is Gorilla Trekking Safari?
The cost of a gorilla safari tour is preceded by the price of the gorilla permit, as this cuts across all budgets. Uganda’s current gorilla permit costs are $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250000shs for East African Residents.
Rwanda, gorilla permit costs are currently $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and $200 for East African Residents.
Other factors considered to create a gorilla safari quotation include the number of days on safari, the number of people traveling with, the time of booking the gorilla safari, additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking, the safari package you choose, and others.
When Is The Best I Can Book A Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Booking a gorilla safari is open all year; however, when you reserve your permit in advance, you save yourself from last-minute panic, especially during the peak seasons. When you reserve your gorilla safari 6 months to a year upfront, you have enough options for other amenities. Even accommodations to use during gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda, or D.R.Congo are still available with enough choices to make.
For those traveling as a group, there are open chances to make the choices of the most preferred gorilla families with booking.
Last-minute gorilla permits are more available during the low season that runs in March, April, May, and November but are only a guarantee some of the time. During the peak tourism season, gorilla permits are scarce, so last-minute permits are hard to find. You can either wait for resells, which are rare, or no-shows, which is a probability and may be time-wasting.
To be safe, book your gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda in advance, no matter the season.
How long is the gorilla trekking Adventure?
The gorilla trekking adventure starts early in the morning, but the return time is unpredictable. Mountain gorillas may possess a bulky body but are mobile too. Mountain mountain gorillas live freely in the wilderness and have nothing stopping them from traversing the forest.
Tourists normally follow the trails leading to where the mountain gorillas were last seen the previous day. The clues provided by the early trackers are used when following the mountain gorillas to reduce the time tourists spend in the wilderness.
Sometimes, the mountain gorillas may wander away from their known locations, prolonging or shortening the gorilla trek. Some of the factors that may prompt the mountain gorilla to move may include the case of a serious fight with another mountain gorilla, the adventurous nature of the mountain gorillas, weather conditions of the day, the proximity of the food, the death of a family member, and others.
Even the pace of the trekkers may prolong or shorten the gorilla trekking adventure.
Having some fitness level helps you stay energized early and get muscle pulls before completing the gorilla safari, a dream that comes true in the African jungle experience.
Being patient during gorilla adventure and possessing an open mind protects you from getting bored while searching for mountain gorillas.
How dangerous Are Mountain Gorillas during Gorilla Trekking?
Despite their scary outlook, mountain gorillas are serene primates and shy, too. Before being opened to public booking, the mountain gorillas undergo habituation for a certain period. Gorilla habituation is a process where researchers and trackers follow a wild gorilla family to get them used to human presence without altering their nature.
Gorilla habituation is done to create harmony between the mountain gorillas and humans for a certain period, that is, one hour.
The briefing is a must-attend before a gorilla safari adventure to take tourists through the guidelines of gorilla trekking and possible traits of mountain gorillas. These prepare you for the unpredictable behaviors of the mountain gorillas that have mood swings, too, just like humans.
Try not to touch the mountain gorillas when standing before them. Even mimicking the mountain gorillas is forbidden, as you may need to learn what you are communicating. Stay on track with the gorilla trekking rules to avoid agitating the mountain gorillas.
Is Gorilla Trekking Difficult?
The nature of the gorilla trekking area is volcanic, so expect some volcanic remains like plateaus and ridges over which vegetation tangles and drapes.
Sometimes, the mountain gorillas spend part of their day on the slopes to which they are expected to hike. It would be best to have some level of fitness not to get exhausted before completing the trek.
Even being fit before gorilla trekking prevents you from delaying the rest of the tourists, although the ranger follows the pace of the slowest trekker.
The ranger guides you with a machete and uses it to trim the tangled vegetation that may obstruct you from getting to the mountain gorillas.
Although gorilla trekking is hectic, it is worth every effort you put in to get to where the mountain gorillas are.
Is The Gorilla Trekking Area Safe?
Gorilla safaris happen in the dense Virunga area, but you must walk in the forest to find the mountain gorillas. Rwanda, Uganda, and D.R.Congo have trained ranger guides to lead the way to the mountain gorillas.
Before tourists are allowed into the forest, an advance team first searches the mountain gorilla area as a patrol measure, and in case there are snares set, they undo them. This team also does investigate the atmosphere in the forest by observing and listening carefully to forest calls.
The ranger guides escorting tourists possess a rifle and another a machete just in case defense is required. These rangers constantly communicate with the security team in case backup is needed.
You can be sure of your safety in Uganda and Rwanda during gorilla trekking.
You must also mind personal safety by only entering the forest with an escorting ranger guide. Do not carry your precious belongings, stay close to the other trekkers, and do not sneak away without notifying the ranger guide, as you may be a meal for some wild animal. Try not to taste street food if you wish to try local cuisine that may cause stomach upset.
Is Gorilla Safari Worth?
Every penny you spend on gorilla safari is worth it as you get to meet the only leftover mountain gorillas in the world physically. You contribute to the conservation of the mountain gorillas that were tripping into extinction by the 1980s, according to a population census carried out by American primatologist Dean Fossey and team.
Currently, gorilla trekking and other conservation activities are carried out in and around the mountain gorilla habitats. According to a recent census, the population has risen to over 1,000 mountain gorillas.
What to do and not to do during gorilla safari
- No flash photography is allowed when taking photos for the gorilla trekking adventure. This scares the mountain gorillas.
- Never eat or smoke before the mountain gorillas because it may harm their health.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the natural setting where mountain gorillas feed. The mountain gorillas are vegetarian, and this may slowly reduce their food.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, do not surround them. This makes them feel ambushed.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole about 30 cm deep if you wish to do a long call. It would be best if you did everything beyond recognition.
- Anyone below 15 years is not allowed to do gorilla trekking because the time of locating the mountain gorillas has yet to be discovered, and some patience is needed to complete this trek.
- Volunteer to stay behind if you catch any communicable infection like coronavirus, flu, cough, or cholera. This is because the mountain gorillas can see human infections easily. They have a DNA of about 96% to that of humans.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, keep a distance of about 8 meters from them. To reduce the chances of passing a communicable infection to them.
- Never spit on the vegetation because it’s food for the mountain gorillas. It is unhealthy and disgusting, too.
- Wear a mask and hand sanitize as an after-coronavirus period precaution. Changing into a clean mask as you approach the mountain gorillas would be best.
- Do not make noise and sudden movement with the mountain gorillas because it may scare them. The gorillas are often scared of unfamiliar noise in their presence.
- Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is because they are habituated to be in the presence of human beings for just that hour.
Contact us for more information if you are interested in booking a gorilla permit in advance.