Reasons Why Rwanda Tour Operators Find Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Simple To Sell
Selling gorilla trekking in Uganda is gaining more momentum than in Rwanda because of factors like the difference in gorilla permit cost. A Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person, while a Uganda gorilla permit costs $800 per person.
Uganda currently has 19 gorilla families and 152 gorilla permits, while Rwanda currently has 15 gorilla families and 96 gorilla permits open to public booking.
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Some of these differences make Uganda a more convenient gorilla trekking safari destination for Rwanda tour operators.
Uganda has two gorilla destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. All these national parks lie in southwestern Uganda, adjoining the park in Rwanda and D.R.Congo.
Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park as its only home of the mountain gorillas located in the northwestern part.
Why Rwanda Tour Operators Sell Uganda Gorilla Safaris
The cost of Uganda gorilla safaris
Uganda gorilla permits cost $800 per person per trek, while Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per person per trek. This means the Rwanda gorilla permit is double the cost of the Uganda gorilla permit, and yet both habitats for the mountain gorilla.
When you purchase an Uganda gorilla permit other than the Rwanda permit, some of the balance left of the Rwanda gorilla permit can be used to make payments for other safari amenities in Uganda, like accommodation. This can help balance the safari cost by making the gorilla safari in Uganda more affordable.
The Number Of Gorilla Families In Uganda
Uganda currently has 19 gorilla families living in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks. This means Uganda has 152 gorilla families open to public booking each day. When you compare this to Rwanda, with 15 gorilla families and 96 gorilla permits per day.
During the peak season, when demand for the mountain gorilla permit is high, the chances of finding mountain gorillas are more open in Uganda compared to Rwanda.
Location Of Uganda Gorilla Trekking Destinations
The Uganda gorilla trekking destinations, especially Mgahinga National Park, lie on the northern slopes of three Virunga Volcanoes that adjoin Volcanoes National Park. Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, and Mountain Sabyinyo only separate these parks.
Since Uganda and Rwanda share a border, crossing from Rwanda into Uganda using the Gatuna and Cyanika border is quicker and easier. From Kigali airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park, the drive lasts about 5 to 6 hours. The drive time from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 8 to 9 hours.
Uganda Has Additional Safari Options To Combine With Gorilla Trekking
Uganda has a number of optional activities you can combine with gorilla trekking, like chimpanzee trekking, visiting the source of the River Nile, white water rafting, and game drives to mention but a few. Even when you wish to make stopovers from Kampala or Entebbe airport to do some of these activities in a day or two, you have all these opportunities possible in Uganda.
When Rwanda tour operators sell the Uganda gorilla safari package, it is rich with interesting wildlife activities.
Uganda And Rwanda Being In The East African Community
Uganda and Rwanda belong to the East African community, where you can use the East African visa to enter two of the countries in this community without re-applying for a visa. You can enter through Kigali airport and cross from Gatuna or Cyanika border into Uganda, specifically to Bwindi Impenetrable national park or making the national park. This is one of the standing reasons why Rwanda tour operators sell Uganda gorilla safaris more.
Security In Uganda And Rwanda During Gorilla Trekking
When you do gorilla trekking in Uganda, you are sure to be safe and return home after the safari compared to D.R.Congo, another optional gorilla trekking destination. Rwanda Tour Operators find Uganda safer for their clients to do gorilla trekking.
Uganda Wildlife Authority Provides Chace For Free Gorilla Permits Reschedule
At the moment, Uganda Wildlife Authority is providing a chance for two free times for a gorilla permit rescheduled on the same permit. Rwanda Development Board currently charges in case you are rescheduling the Rwanda gorilla permit.
Every person who books a gorilla permit desires to get that precious time with the mountain gorillas. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned sometimes. You may be required to postpone your travel plans. If this happens, everybody would prefer a destination that doesn’t offer extra cost for moving a ticket. Uganda offers two free times to reschedule your gorilla permit, but the Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director only approves the third time.
Gorilla Safari Experience
Uganda has steadily been a gorilla trekking destination longer than Rwanda, even though the majority of the initial research about mountain gorillas was done in Rwanda by primatologist Dian Fossey at Karisoke research center in 1967.
In case you wish to have extra information about mountain gorillas, Uganda would be the best option, especially for those on primate research. Rwanda got a tourism hick-up during the genocide, which led to its setback. Rwanda is currently picking up to rebuild its tourism industry, as this is its main foreign exchange earner.
How To Book Uganda Gorilla Permit
You can book a Uganda gorilla permit by first enquiring about prevailing permit availability per the date of your choice. Gorilla permits are sold all year round, but you need to specify when you hope to do gorilla trekking. Identifying the individuals you hope to travel with for gorilla trekking safaris saves you from going back and forth with finding gorilla permit availability.
When you enquire about gorilla trekking in Uganda and state the date or the number of days you hope to be on Uganda safari, our safari consultant checks availability from the Uganda wildlife authority list. Encounter Africa Safaris is one of the few companies with access to the gorilla permit availability list.
If availability is approved, we request you purchase your gorilla permit as soon as possible. They are limited to a maximum of 8 permits per gorilla family per day. Since a first come, first served basis is the order in which permits are served, none is spared without payment.
You can pay in full or in installments of 30% and 70 % for your gorilla permits terms and conditions apply.
Forward personal details like your full name as presented on the passport, date of birth, nationality, and expiry date. These details are entered on your gorilla permit card and retrieved on the day of the trek. Some of these details are added to your certificate after completing your gorilla trek.
How Much Is The Cost Of Uganda Gorilla Permit?
A Uganda gorilla permit costs $800 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
Purchasing the gorilla permit in time saves you the trouble of searching for them at the last moment when they are sold out. Peak season gorilla permits, that is, June, July, August, September, December, and January, sell out fast, especially when the years are still young. You need to book your gorilla permit early.
What Is Included In The Cost Of Uganda Gorilla Permit?
The cost of a Uganda gorilla permit includes the following:
- A pack entrance fee.
- Security during gorilla trekking.
- Ranger guide service.
- One hour with the mountain gorillas.
- Community support, where 20% of the proceeds from the sale of gorilla safaris is given to the local community to run their projects and gorilla conservation support.
What is excluded from the cost of the gorilla trekking permit?
The gorilla permit excludes snacks, packed lunch, transport, gorilla trekking gear, tips, and any other items of personal nature.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can help you package a gorilla safari to soothe your needs and offer free necessary advice about gorilla trekking. We pride ourselves in our over 10 years of experience organizing gorilla safaris and beyond. We have accumulated expertise and built a good working relationship with service providers like accommodation facilities, destination caretakers, driver guides, and others of different budgets over time.
We can lift off your shoulder the burden of putting together the gorilla safari and offer value for money.
When Is The Best Time To Book Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit?
Uganda gorilla permits are available all year round; however, during the peak season, gorilla permits are sold out fast due to high demand, yet the supply is limited to only 8 per gorilla family for conservation reasons.
You can purchase your Uganda gorilla permit at least 6 months to a year in advance to be safe from last-minute disappointment.
Although last-minute gorilla permits may be available in the low season, normally March, April, May, and November, it is not guaranteed. During the low season, gorilla safari booking is minimal, so those with a limited budget may use this opportunity. Even service providers may offer discounted prices for gorilla safari amenities to break even.
How Long Is Uganda Gorilla Trekking Experience?
The time taken during the gorilla trekking adventure is hard to predict because of the prevailing factors in the forest and the pace of the tourists. Sometimes tourists have returned from gorilla trekking after two hours, while others may cover almost three-quarters of the day.
When you locate the mountain gorillas, you have just an hour in their presence. This is because they are habituated to being in the presence of humans for just one hour, giving them ample time to carry on with their day-to-day life.
Locating the mountain gorillas may depend on factors like the proximity of their food, in case of a fight amongst the mountain gorillas, the pace of the trekkers, weather conditions of the day, the death of a family member, and others.
Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Difficult?
The topography of the area where gorilla trekking takes place is volcanic, with plateaus and ridges you may need to hike sometimes. The mountain gorillas may spend part of their day at the slopes, so you must walk to locate them. During the severe rainy season, the ground may be slippery and soggy from the flooded rivers and decomposing matter, challenging the way.
It would be best to safeguard yourself from getting hurt by carrying the right gorilla trekking gear and having some hiking fitness.
During gorilla trekking, the ranger guide carries a machete to trim the overgrown vines that may obstruct you from proceeding or viewing the mountain gorillas. They do the trimming with a conscience not to destroy the vegetation on which mountain gorillas feed.
What Can I Pack For Gorilla Trekking Safari In Uganda?
- A safari hat with a large brim to protect your head from buzzing insects in the jungle.
- Long-sleeved shirt and convertible trousers to protect yourself from singing nettles. This safari attire must be in wilderness-friendly colors and not blue, white, or black, as these attract insects like tsetse flies.
- A camera for keeping memories of your experience with the mountain gorillas.
- A torch for lighting when lights run out, as most lodges here use solar energy as the main source of power for lighting and heating water.
- Garden gloves in case you trip and fall
- Insect repellant to keep away stinging insects.
- A pair of binoculars in case you need to view far-ranging features.
- A pair of stockings to tack in your trousers and prevent insects from creeping in.
- Travel adopter and charger
- Rainproof gears as it rains in the Virunga area without warning.
- Waterproof backpack
- Some hard cash in case you need to make payments on the ground, as credit cards are not commonly used in Africa because of the lengthy procedure of obtaining money from them.
- Extra fully charged batteries.
- Sunglasses to wear to the mountain gorillas or in case you stop under the scorching sun.
Contact us for more information.