Planning a budget gorilla trekking trip in Uganda and Rwanda
Suppose your gorilla trekking safari plan to Uganda and Rwanda is budget. In that case, you need to consider some of these questions: How much will you spend, when to book the gorilla safari, and how many people will travel with you and others?
These give you a clue of the possible amount of money you need to secure the gorilla permits in either Uganda or Rwanda. Even what you hope to spend as an extra cost out of the safari plan must be part of the budget.
Most Popular Safaris
The accommodation you book during gorilla trekking determines whether a safari is a budget, Luxury, or mid-range. No matter the gorilla safari category, you must have a gorilla permit, as it is the first determinant of a confirmed gorilla safari or not. No one can participate in gorilla trekking without a gorilla permit.
Booking a gorilla trekking permit must be done in advance, at least 6 months to a year upfront, to be safe. The high-season gorilla permits become scarce as this season gets closer: June, July, August, September, December, and January.
How to plan a budget Gorilla Safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Select Where To Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda or Uganda
Taking a stand on the gorilla trekking safari destinations is very important. You may select Uganda, Rwanda, or both if you wish to get the difference between the two countries.
In Rwanda, gorilla trekking safaris happened in Volcanoes National Park, which lies in the western part of the country. Rwanda has 15 gorilla families and 96 gorilla permits open to public booking. The Rwanda Development Board is Rwanda’s only gorilla permit-selling and regulating body.
Uganda has Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park as the gorilla trekking destinations. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 18 gorilla trekking families open to public booking and 2 gorilla habituation experience families.
Mgahinga National Park in Uganda has only one gorilla family open to public booking, but this park still has a virgin tropical rainforest appearance.
You can choose where you wish to do gorilla trekking
When To Book Rwanda or Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permits
Booking the gorilla trekking permit is a top priority during any plan to do a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda. A maximum of 8 gorilla permits can be sold per gorilla family daily. A first come, first served basis is used to secure the gorilla permits because of their limited supply despite the overwhelming demand worldwide.
To stay on the safe side, you can book the gorilla permits at least 6 months to a year upfront as they sell out fast, especially peak season permits. The peak Uganda tourism season runs June, July, August, September, December and January. You can still find gorilla permit availability three months from the trekking date; however, choices are limited.
Last-minute gorilla permits are tough to find during the high season but may be available for the low season. The low Uganda tourism season is normally March, April, May and November.
How Much Can I Buy a Rwanda Or Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit?
No matter the safari plan you have, whether budget, Mid-range, or budget, the cost of the gorilla permit cuts across all these safari costs.
A Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and $300 for East African residents.
Uganda’s current gorilla permit cost is $800 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
What is included and excluded in Uganda or Rwanda gorilla permit costs?
The gorilla permit cost includes ranger guide fees, security during gorilla trekking, briefing before gorilla trekking, one hour with the mountain gorillas, certificate after gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla conservation fund, local community support, and park entrance fees.
Exclusions of gorilla permit cost: transport to gorilla safari destinations, tips, accommodation, and any other items of personal nature.
Purchasing the gorilla permit in full is the best recommendation to avoid the chances of forgetting to top up.
You can also purchase the Uganda or Rwanda gorilla permit in installments of 30% and 70% if you buy them 90 days before the trekking date and remember to top up 90 days before the trekking date. Failure to comply may cause you to get a penalty.
How Many People to do gorilla trekking with
Identify the number of people you hope to do a gorilla trekking adventure with. This helps secure enough gorilla permits and avoid moving back and forth with checking availability. The status of the gorilla permit availability changes over time because a first come, first served basis is used to book the gorilla permits.
Even booking and making room arrangements is only possible when you know the number of people you are planning for. Reserving accommodation to use during gorilla trekking is key. It must be done upfront to avoid sleeping in facilities with poor standards even though you are on a budget gorilla safari plan.
How Much Is the Cost of Budget Gorilla Trekking Safari In Rwanda?
The cost of a budget gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda varies with the components in the entire safari package. This gorilla permit cost is standard for Rwanda and Uganda, but other factors, like
Number of days on a gorilla safari.
The least number of days you can be on Rwanda gorilla safari is 2 days, yet the least Uganda gorilla safari days are 3 days. The more days on the gorilla trekking safari holiday, the higher the package cost.
The SeasonSeason when you do budget gorilla trekking
During the peak season, the cost of safari amenities supporting gorilla reeking is high, so the budget quotation is also high. During the low season, service providers may give some discounts on accommodations, transport, and others. Someone on a budget gorilla safari traveling in the low season may get an upgrade with the discounted costs.
Number of people traveling with
The more people booked on a gorilla safari, the lower the safari costs as you get to share some service costs like driver guide, vehicle hire, accommodation at times, and others.
Additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking
The more activities you combine with gorilla trekking, the higher the safaris quotation. Uganda and Rwanda have other activities you can participate in during your gorilla safari, depending on your holiday period.
You can do game drives in National parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Visiting the source of the River Nile in Jinja, white water rafting, chimpanzee trekking, sport fishing, birding in Uganda, cultural experience, and others.
Other Rwanda safari activities include chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park, Game drives in Akagera National Park, a Canopy walk over Nyungwe forest, golden monkeys trekking, visiting the Rwanda genocide memorial, and several others.
Is gorilla trekking in Uganda Or Rwanda safe?
Doing gorilla trekking is a safe adventure as mountain gorillas are first habituated from their wild behavior to getting used to human presence without altering their nature. Gorilla habituation is unpredictable until the Researchers and habituators are comfortable opening the gorilla family to public viewing.
Gorilla trekking requires physical presence as you must walk in the dense forest. However, it would be best if you had some level of fitness. The topography of the Virunga area is Volcanic, with a number of ridges and plateaus on whose slopes mountain gorillas may spend some time.
You are required to hike to find the mountain gorillas, so you need to wear the right gorilla trekking gear.
The ranger guide also carries a machete to create way rises. Another ranger guide carries a rifle in case the need to defend tourists arises. Every trekker must follow the gorilla trekking rules to succeed, as mountain gorillas are very sensitive primates.
Which is the best country for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda?
Selecting Uganda and Rwanda’s best gorilla trekking destinations is hard as each has special services. Even the moment you stand before the mountain gorillas may make you get amnesia of what may have happened while planning the gorilla trekking. The mountain gorillas may cast their adorable spell over you. Some gorilla trekking differences of whether to go to Uganda or Rwanda come with
Gorilla permits cost
The Rwanda gorilla permit cost is $1500 per person per trek, while the Uganda gorilla permit cost is $800 per person per trek.
Number gorilla permits and families
Uganda currently has 19 gorilla trekking families with 152 gorilla permits and 2 gorilla families open for gorilla habituation experience, while Rwanda has 15 gorilla trekking families and 96 gorilla permits.
Uganda also has two gorilla habitats, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Rwanda has only one gorilla habitat, called Volcanoes National Park.
Drive time from the Airport to Gorilla trekking Destinations
The drive from Kigali Airport is 3 hours to Volcanoes National Park; you can also charter. The drive time from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 8 to 9 hours. Daily domestic flights from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi or Kisoro are available. Charter flight services are available at Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip.
Additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking
Uganda is endowed with a number of optional activities to combine with gorilla trekking. Some of the Uganda safari activities include visiting the source of the River Nile, white water rafting, chimpanzee trekking, game drives, sport fishing, and golden monkeys trekking, to mention but a few.
Rwanda is limited with choices of optional activities to combine with gorilla trekking like game drives in Akagera National Park, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park, canopy walks over Nyungwe forest, visit genocide memorial, and others.
How difficult is Mountain Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking is quite strenuous as the topography of the Virunga area is volcanic, with ridges and plateaus draped by tangled vegetation. It would be best if you had some level of fitness before gorilla trekking to complete the trek.
Packing the right gorilla trekking gear saves you from getting hurt while you trek to find the mountain gorillas. If you have physical disabilities, sedan chair hire is available at a friendly cost.
What are the dos and don’ts of the Gorilla trekking Experience?
- In case you catch a contagious infection, volunteer to stay behind. The mountain gorillas are susceptible to these infections.
- No littering the forest because it is where the food for the mountain gorillas grows. If you dump indecomposable garbage, it may alter the nature of the forest.
- No surrounding the mountain gorillas when you meet them. This makes them feel ambushed.
- When eating or smoking, do this beyond 300 meters away from the gorillas to avoid the chances of them grabbing it from you. They are wild animals that must not depend on human provision.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden because it may contaminate the food for the mountain gorillas, spreading germs to them.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, stand about 8 meters from them to reduce the chances of spreading germs to them or you.
- Provoking the Mountain gorillas is forbidden because they may get agitated by what you do to them.
- When taking photographs before the mountain gorillas, do it using no flash photography because they are often scared of unfamiliar occurrences in their presence.
- Wearing a mask before finding the gorilla is a must. It must Be at least N95 as a measure taken to reduce the chances of passing the coronavirus infection to the mountain gorillas. Sanitize your footwear before stepping into the forest to start gorilla trekking.
- Children aged 15 years are forbidden from attending gorilla trekking because of the matters surrounding this experience, like the time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown. Some patience is needed, which may be hard to deal with by searching for a child. Even the forest is slippery at times, yet you may need to hike to get to the mountain gorillas. This may be challenging for a child of this age.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, only one hour can be with them. They need to go about their daily activities.
Are you interested in gorilla trekking, please contact us for more information.