Booking a gorilla trekking holiday during the high season of travel is somewhat challenging, but it’s still the best time for gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. The high season is when many travelers flock to the gorilla region, which implies that the best places to stay, gorilla permits, and transport means will be in high demand months in advance.
Generally, the high season for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, when the weather is dry to attract many travelers, spans from June to September.
If you’re not careful to understand the intricacies of planning a gorilla holiday for the high season, you will make grave mistakes bound to leave a wrong impression on the experience. Fortunately, we can help you avoid those common mistakes for booking a gorilla trekking holiday during the high season.
We highly discourage last-minute booking for gorilla trekking holidays in the high season because you are bound to get disappointed securing gorilla permits.
Gorilla permits are highly regulated, with just about 200 available daily in Rwanda and Uganda. Yet, the number of people interested in the gorillas is way higher than the available permits.
Some people book two years in advance to secure high season permits and be able to travel when the weather is favorable. So start planning your trip six to twelve months early to avoid scrambling for the tickets with everyone else.
The High season also means you will encounter difficulty finding decent accommodation and transport if you don’t book early. Although where to stay and how to get there are essential items on your gorilla trekking holiday, you can’t start planning for them before you secure a date on the permit.
When booking the gorilla permit for the high season, your tour operator will throw dates at you, trying to find availability within your date range. Those who make the common mistake of booking accommodation before securing the permit date will have to adjust their reservations later, thus, duplicating the entire booking process.
Allow enough time (at least a week) for your tour operator to find you gorilla permits that suit your travel date. Give them a date range that is comfortable for you to travel.
When you are sure you have the gorilla permits, then start working on accommodation reservations and transfers between places. Then you can book your international flights when you are sure the itinerary on the ground is covered.
When booking your flights, you may find that you have extra days in the country to do something else. Maybe you can add other activities on the trip like watching chimpanzees, taking a game drive, or a city tour.
Traveling in the high season means the weather is favorable for everyone; that’s why many travelers will choose to travel during that time.
You can access gorillas only by foot, and there are only dirt roads to the gorilla trailheads. The dry season means the roads are dry enough for a 4×4 vehicle, and trekking in the forest will be much easier when the trails are dry.
No one likes annoying rain during physically demanding adventures; that’s why many will avoid traveling in the wet season. Although gorillas live in a rainforest where it rains any minute, the chances of rain during the dry months are minimal.
But it frequently rains in the region during the wet season, making journeys between places and the gorilla trekking experience very challenging for even a seasoned traveler.
Generally, the dry season spans from June to August and December to February. The wet season covers March to May, October, and November. Some lodges are difficult to get to during the wet season.
Gorilla trekking holidays in the high season are undoubtedly pricy. Service providers use the advantage of many people traveling to earn higher revenue that may shield them from the low-income earning months.
That means being watchful for a tour operator that gives you a cheap quotation for a gorilla trekking holiday during the high season. You may save on money but get a lousy service delivery experience.
Anyone in Uganda can help you plan a gorilla safari, but there are no guarantees they will deliver as well as a licensed and experienced travel company. Take your time to vet the company you are dealing with to plan your trip. You can check with AUTO, the Association of Uganda Tour Operators in Uganda, to verify whether the company is trustworthy.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you through the planning process. Encounter Africa Safaris Ltd has been planning high-season gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda for over a decade and successfully runs dozens of trips each year. We would love to do the same for you.