Gorilla Permit overbooking
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla trails in the East (Ruhija), North (Buhoma) and south (Rushaga and Nkuringo). Each of these regions or trail head has different gorilla families but due to distances between them and lodges booked by clients make it sometimes hard for clients to move from one place to another when there is gorilla permit overbooking in one region as compared to other region. For example, you may find that gorilla permit overbooking has happened in Buhoma region which is by far the best or preferred region by tourists and when this is discovered most especially on the trekking day, it is very hard for Uganda Wildlife Authority to transfer clients let’s say to Rushaga on that very trekking day due to distance. This therefore means that gorilla families in such a region will be trekked by more than eight people.
Several reasons can result into gorilla permit overbooking. With the change of the reservations system at Uganda Wildlife Authority, some booked gorilla permits stored in the old system were not captured when transferring to the new system and as such, the new system was showing availability of gorilla permits yet in the actual sense, they had been sold out. As a result, more gorilla permits were sold out to tourists and tour operators resulting into over booking.
We must emphasize that while we are mentioning this, it is not done intentionally by Uganda Wildlife Authority and they encourage all people to report this to them should there be any overcrowding during gorilla trekking probably due to gorilla permit over booking. Uganda Wildlife authority is committed to the conservation of all endangered primates and wildlife in Uganda’s protected areas and as such does not promote activities aimed at endangering them. This article only emphasizes that sometimes this act of gorilla permit overbooking happens