Sometimes tour companies in Uganda request for extra gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority over and above what they have booked. Am sure this is something new to your ears. Still, it happens and Encounter Africa safaris is glad to share incidences when and how you can be given extra gorilla permits for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. Gorilla trekking remains one of the most sought after tourists activity in the whole world, and it only takes place in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. There four national Parks where habituated mountain gorilla families do reside and these are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Virunga National Park and Volcanoes National Park.
Requesting for extra gorilla permits from UWA
On a few occasions, Uganda Wildlife Authority gives extra gorilla permits to registered tour operators in Uganda to see mountain gorillas in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. Gorilla permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority on first come first serve basis, and because of competition for gorilla permits, they tend to sell out quickly. If you contact Uganda wildlife authority and you discover that gorilla permits are indeed sold out yet you wanted more, you may request for additional gorilla permits in the following ways.
Reasons why tour operators ask for additional trekking permits
There few occasions where Uganda tour operators can request for extra Bwindi or mgahinga gorilla permits. One of the circumstances where additional permits can be given out is where one has permits booked in advance for a big group, and if when the group increases in number, tour operators are free to request for extra gorilla permits to cater for the additional travellers on the group. While UWA has stringent terms and conditions, it can also be flexible. If indeed your cause is genuine, you will be allowed to benefit from these additional permits. The condition to benefit from extra gorilla permits is that you should have booked permits on that same date where you need these other permits. UWA, however, reserves the right to give or deny you these permits.
How to apply for additional gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority
When it so happens that you need extra gorilla permits, you will have to write an official letter to the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority expressing your interest to acquire more permits. You should be able to explain why you need them and why you did not book enough permits when the first booking of gorilla permits was made. Once your letter is received, everything will be evaluated, and the system checked to see if you already have gorilla permits for the said date and region. If this is proved beyond doubt, then you will be permitted to trek or get more permits beyond what you had booked. Usually, gorilla permits are printed on electronic cards, but if you get chance of getting these additional gorilla permits, you will be given a letter which you have to carry with you and give to the chief warden on the day of trekking. The chief warden may call UWA headquarters to prove this. In this era of ICT, an email is usually sent to the warden prior to your arrival. For more information about this, do contact Encounter Africa safaris.
Uganda Wildlife Authority may deny you more permits over and above what you had previously booked much as you may have a valid reason why you need these permits. The reason may be because there is a certain number of people or individuals that are supposed to visit a given habituated gorilla family daily. This number is 8, and according to rules governing the conservation of mountain gorillas, the number should never exceed 8 unless otherwise. The three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC are committed to as far as conservation of mountain gorillas are concerned, and one should not take it personal when denied this opportunity.
By issuing additional or, extra gorilla permits means exceeding the maximum number of gorilla permits issued per day. What happens typically is that Uganda Wildlife Authority normally has at least one or two gorilla families still under habituation and can be trekked on special request. If it so happens that at the time when extra gorilla trekking permits are requested, and such families are available but not yet opened to the public for trekking, UWA may grant you that opportunity to do do.
While requesting for an extra or additional gorilla permit is an option, there is no guarantee that UWA will always help out. To avoid such scenarios, you always need to book your gorilla permits in advance not to lose out when more bookings come through. If you anticipate more people to book on your group tour, it’s much better to reserve more permits than the required so that you rather have more permits than having few. What will normally happen is that you can pay 30% of the total cost of and top up later as more people book and confirm on your group tour. If you fail to raise the required numbers for your gorilla tour, you have two options of reselling or move these permits to a future date. For more information about reselling or rescheduling gorilla permits, please do contact Encounter Africa safaris on email or phone and we will be glad to assist.
Are you an international Tour operator offering extensive group tours interested in trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga? Have you ever booked with any of Uganda tour operators and could not expand your tour group because of lack of enough gorilla permits? If you contact Encounter Africa safaris, we will always try to secure enough permits, and if this fails, we will try asking for more permits. This happens only and only if you book all-inclusive Uganda safaris with us. Encounter Africa safaris arranges a variety of Uganda safaris ranging from 2 to more than 20 days covering all that you need to see in Uganda and Rwanda. We are highly reviewed on Safari bookings as well as Trip advisor where you can go and check out what our former clients are saying about our service.