Planning A Gorilla And Wildlife Safari On Christmas Day In Uganda Or Rwanda
Planning a gorilla and wildlife safari on Christmas day in Uganda or Rwanda is like bringing good tidings to forgotten relatives. Christmas is a moment to be jolly and create memories to last a lifetime since it is a once-in-a-year day. When you decide to do gorilla trekking and wildlife safari in Uganda or Rwanda, you have something to talk about for the most significant part of the new year.
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Whether you do gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, acquiring a gorilla permit is the first step because they are sold off fast. Many tourists plan the next Christmas destination at least a year in advance, so by the last quarter of the year, the gorilla permits for the festive season are no-more, or options are next to none.
Even when planning the gorilla and wildlife safari in either Uganda or Rwanda, you need to identify the destinations you wish to include in your itinerary based on the number of days on your holiday.
Identify the number of people you hope to travel with for your Christmas gorilla trekking experience to avoid going back and forth with checking gorilla permit availability in Uganda or Rwanda.
In Uganda, gorilla trekking is done from only two destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Uganda has a number of destination options for wildlife safaris, some of which include Queen Elizabeth National, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo National Park, Kibale National Park, and others. Each of these may have some common features, but even those that can only be found in a particular destination are present.
Rwanda has a volcanoes national park as its only gorilla trekking destination. However, the country is still recovering from the 1994 tragedy, so the alternative wildlife parks are in the recovery stage. You can do game drives in Akagera National Park and visit Nyungwe National Park for chimpanzee trekking.
How To Plan For Gorilla And Wildlife Safari In Uganda Or Rwanda On Christmas Day
Book A Gorilla Permit
You need to book the gorilla permits for Christmas Day in advance so that you can take advantage of your plans. Since the gorilla permits are limited to a maximum of 8 per day, you must book them early.
Uganda gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are booked according to Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo areas.
Rwanda gorilla permits are reserved according to the available gorilla permits. Still, on the day of gorilla trekking, every trekker is allocated a gorilla family according to physical capability, age, and others.
Identify the number of people you hope to travel with for gorilla trekking and wildlife adventure to keep your distance from moving back and forth, checking for availability as time goes on.
You can book your gorilla permit through an accredited tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris or contact Uganda Wildlife Authority directly.
Procedure For Book The Gorilla Trekking Permit
When gorilla permit availability is approved, we advise clients to purchase their gorilla permits as soon as possible to avoid last-minute panic when options are no more. Gorilla permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and none are reserved without payment.
Forward personal details later, like your full name as presented on your passport, date of birth, nationality, and passport expiry date. These are identification details; some add to your certificate after completing the gorilla trek.
Book Accommodation For Gorilla Trekking Days
You need to reserve accommodations closer to or within the gorilla trekking destinations, enabling you to attend the briefing early morning. In Uganda, briefing starts at 0730 hours, and Rwanda at 0700 hours. You must attend a briefing in person even if you have other people you have traveled with or receive a penalty. Accommodations are graded according to luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities.
Some Of The Uganda Accommodations You Can Reserve For Gorilla Trekking Days Include;
Bwindi Accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Engage Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Bwindi View Bandas, Gorilla Resort, Silverback Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge
Mgahinga Accommodations: Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga Gorilla Triangle, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp, Mountain Gahinga Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort.
Volcanoes National Park accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel La Palme, Kinigi Guest House, Hotel Muhavura.
When booking accommodation for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, you must consider the area where your gorilla permit is reserved. This is because these areas are found in different locations of the park, yet connecting them is challenging due to the poor road network.
You may be required to drive at night to catch up with briefing early morning, yet fallen tree trunks, slippery roads, and others may sometimes need help.
Reserve Transport Mean To Use During Gorilla And Wildlife Safari In Uganda And Rwanda
During the festive season, transport becomes challenging as most people are traveling. You need to book your transport in advance. In case you are using road transport not have to hustle searching at the last minute for a professional and experienced person. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we have a team of trained and skilled driver guides to whom we allocate to our clients.
When you opt for air transport, during Uganda gorilla trekking and wildlife safari, you must reserve a seat on the daily domestic flights at Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip in advance. The plane seats are sold out fast during the festive season because even the locals are traveling up the country too. Ensure you book a transfer vehicle.
Rwanda and Uganda have charter flight arrangements for those wishing an exclusive safari experience.
Identify The Wildlife Destinations To Go To In Uganda Or Rwanda
Uganda has a number of wildlife destinations you can select to visit on your Christmas holiday; however, the number of days on your holiday must be considered. Some Uganda wildlife destinations include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale National Park, Rwenzori national park, and others.
Although some wild animals are common to the majority of these Uganda National Parks, some wild animals are known to be living in specific parks.
During the Uganda game drives, you may spot some of these wild animals lions, leopards, herds of buffaloes, waterbucks,
bushbucks, zebras, topis, impalas, cheetahs, aardwolf, oribi, sitatungas, herds of elephants, Uganda kobs, elands, and others.
Reserve accommodations during your time in the Uganda wildlife parks as they are based on luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities.
Rwanda has limited wildlife parks, that as Nyungwe National Park, known for chimpanzee trekking, and Akagera national park.
While on a game drive in Akagera national park, you may spot animals like Lions, herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, zebra, rhinos, waterbucks, bushbucks, and others.
Book accommodations close to or within the Rwanda wildlife parks to enjoy your days in these destinations.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla And Wildlife Safari To Uganda And Rwanda?
Booking your gorilla permit for Christmas day at least 6 months to a year in advance is the safest decision, although you can still try three months before Christmas; this is probability time. Gorilla permits for the festive season are sold out in advance; they are almost finished by the last quarter of the year.
When you book your gorilla permit in advance, you reduce last-minute panic as you check availability, and even accommodation options are limited at the last minute. Most people wish to take memorable safaris during the festive season, including Christmas.
Gorilla permits for Uganda and Rwanda are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and none of the permits are reserved without payment. If you specify which gorilla area you wish to be booked into for gorilla trekking, chances are more open in the early months of the year.
Is Gorilla Trekking Tiresome?
Expect challenges during the gorilla trekking experience, whether in Uganda or Rwanda. This is because of the topography of the area where mountain gorillas live. The Virunga area was affected by volcanic action that led to the formation of highlands like plateaus and ridges on whose slopes and valleys mountain gorillas feed or lounge.
You may be required to hike to locate the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking. You must have some fitness level and wear the right gorilla trekking gear.
The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekkers but does not delay the rest of the gorilla entourage because the time or location of the mountain gorillas is still being determined.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Or Rwanda?
The time for locating mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking is still being determined as it’s dependent on prevailing factors in the forest, like the proximity of the mountain gorilla food. When the gorilla family is adventurous, you may take a short or long time to find it. If the mountain gorillas get into a fight, the losers may be split or forced to relocate into the deeper forest.
It would be best if you had some patience to succeed during gorilla trekking because when you rash, you may get tired before locating the mountain gorillas or mess up the gorilla trekking rules. You may push the mountain gorillas into hiding in case they suspect you not to be welcome for a visit.
Which Country Is Best For Gorilla And Wildlife Safari Of Uganda And Rwanda?
Uganda has a variety of optional wildlife activities to combine with gorilla trekking experience ranging from chimpanzee trekking to game drives to water activities where you can spot a number of wild animals and others.
Rwanda, on the other hand, has limited optional wildlife activities you can combine with gorilla trekking. This small country was badly injured by the 1994 genocide, which claimed a number of people and wild animals. The country is slowly rebuilding its wildlife glory with several wild animals imported into Akagera National Park. Rwanda is vigorously marketing its limited tourism potential as it as tourism is one of its main foreign exchange earners.
A gorilla permit for Uganda is currently $700 per person per trek, while Rwanda’s gorilla permit is $1500 per person per trek.
When you drive from the airport to the safari destinations in Rwanda, the drive time from Kigali airport to Volcanoes national park is about 3 hours. In Uganda, you can break the drive time from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, about 8 to 9 hours, into a stopover en route to the different wildlife parks for a day or two.
You can also use the Kigali to Bwindi route if you wish to do gorilla trekking first or last, whose duration is about 5 hours to 6 hours drive.
Rwanda currently has 12 gorillas, which is 96 gorilla permits per day. In contrast, Uganda presently has 19 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking, 152 gorilla permits, and two for gorilla habituation experience. Chances of access gorilla permits are more open in Uganda, especially last-minute permits, compared to Rwanda.
Can I Reschedule The Gorilla Permit Or Park Entrance Permits In Uganda Or Rwanda?
When you book a gorilla and wildlife safari in Uganda or Rwanda, you wish to attend and make African safari memories; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, you may not be able to. According to their policy, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board accept permit rescheduling.
You have to follow the below procedure.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board stating your wish to move the gorilla permit or any other permits to a future date. Attach some evidence in case you have any to back up your request.
Once approved, your permits are rescheduled per the prevailing availability, especially the gorilla and chimpanzee permits.
Uganda accepts two free gorillas and chimpanzee permit reschedules, but the executive director is the only one to approve the third.
Rwanda charges for permits rescheduled.
Contact us to plan your gorilla and wildlife safari.