How to plan a gorilla trekking honeymoon in Uganda and Rwanda
Going gorilla trekking on honeymoon in Uganda or Rwanda is a remarkable experience as you start your love story. The mountain gorillas have family life that is similar to the human life with hierarchy of leadership.
You need to plan in advance for your gorilla trekking safari on honeymoon. You may do gorilla trekking in either Uganda or Rwanda or double gorilla trekking or gorilla trekking in Uganda through Rwanda.
Honeymoon has specific time depending on your wedding so you need to plan earlier so that you don’t get panic attack as you search for the gorilla permits.
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What is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where you follow a fully habituated gorilla family and stay with the primates for just one hour. Only trekkers aged 15 years above are allowed to go gorilla trekking. At the moment, Uganda has 19 gorilla families and 152 gorilla permits open for tourist viewing per day. Rwanda now has 15 gorilla families and 96 gorilla permits per day.
What Is A Gorilla Permit?
The gorilla permits is a card or piece of paper in form of a ticket allowing you chance to do gorilla trekking on a particular day. It is charged per person per day and maximum 8 gorilla permits per gorilla family are released for public booking per day to minimize disturbance.
How Much Can I Buy The Gorilla Trekking Permit
The cost of Uganda gorilla permit is currently $800 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents and 150000 shs fore East African Residents.
Rwanda gorilla permits currently cost $1500 per person per trek.
The cost of gorilla trekking permit includes parks fees, ranger guide fee, certificate after gorilla trekking, one hour with the gorillas, security, local community support and gorilla conservation support.
The cost of gorilla trekking permit excludes; energy bites, accommodation, transport, packed lunch and any other items of personal nature
Can I Buy The gorilla Permit In Instalment?
Buying the gorilla permit in full is the best advice but when inevitable, Uganda wildlife authority allows purchasing the permit in instalments of 30% and 70% of the total cost. This only applies when you purchase the gorilla permit before 90 days to the date of trekking and top up before 90 days to gorilla trekking date.
Can I Reschedule the gorilla trekking Permit?
In case you are not able to travel for your honeymoon and do gorilla trekking but wish to push this to a future date, you can reschedule it.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to reschedule the gorilla trekking date. Attach some evidence if you have it as back up for your safari.
When ratified, your gorilla permits are moved as requested but this depends upon availability per your new dates of gorilla trekking.
Uganda has two free chances of rescheduling the same gorilla permit but the third time has to be approved by the executive director. A 25% surcharge of the total gorilla permit cost is applied.
How To Plan Gorilla Trekking Safari On Honeymoon?
Procedure For Booking A Uganda Or Rwanda Gorilla Permit
Select the date for gorilla trekking on honeymoon with your spouse. You have to select which country you wish to do gorilla trekking from of Uganda and Rwanda. You may do double gorilla trekking in both countries and trek gorillas in Uganda through Rwanda.
When you enquire from us about a safari including gorilla trekking honeymoon, our safari consultant checks gorilla permit availability from Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda development Board. This depends on the destination you zero down too of Uganda d Rwanda. At Encounter Africa safaris, we lift off your shoulder the burden of planning for an African gorilla trekking honeymoon safari.
You may also directly check gorilla permit availability from Uganda Wildlife Authority reservation office or Rwanda Development Board. Be ready for the long que of calls before going through and annoying voice mail.
If gorilla permit availability is positive, we advise our clients to purchase there gorilla permits as soon as possible especially the peak seasons permits. The Uganda tourism peak season is June, July, August, September, December and January. Competition for the gorilla permits for this period is very high yet they are limited to 8 per day per family.
Provide some additional personal details like nationality, date of birth, full names as indicated on the passport and passport expiry date.
Book accommodation to use during gorilla trekking
Each gorilla trekking destination in Uganda or Rwanda has different categories of accommodations you can book according to your budget. They accommodation to use for gorilla trekking are categorized according to luxury, Mid-range or budget facilities. It is best to book accommodation to use on gorilla trekking honeymoon tour closer to the destination.
Accommodations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include Clouds lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Forest camp, Mahogany Springs, Ruhijah Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp, Gorilla Resort to mention but a few.
Accommodations of Mgahinga National Park include Gahinga Lodge, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp, Mountain Gahinga Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort and others
Volcanoes National Park accommodations to book include Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel La Palme, Kinigi Guest House to mention but a few.
Which Transport Can I Use During Gorilla Trekking Honeymoon Adventure in Uganda Or Rwanda?
Road Transport In Uganda
A number of routes lead to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and some include
Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi to Buhoma is the most direct route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The drive from Kampala to Rukungiri is 390 kilometers then connect for 82 kilometers to Buhoma.
Kampala to Kabale to Ruhija to Buhoma. The route from Kampala to Kabale is 414 kilometers then connect for 95 kilometers from Kabale to Ruhija to Buhoma. The road is in a poor condition so hire a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle.
Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma. Driving from Kampala to Kabale is 414 kilometers then 150 kilometers to Kanungu and Kanyantorogo.
Drive To Mgahinga National Park
Kampala to Kabale to Kisoro. The drive from Kampala to Kabale is 414 kilometers then connect for 80 kilometers’ drive through a winding road to Kisoro. Carry on for 14 kilometers to Ntebeko main gate of Mgahinga National Park.
Drive To Volcanoes National Park
The drive from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National park is about 3 hours through lash vegetation on the slopes of the serried hills along the road from which Rwanda acquires its name the land of a thousand hills.
In Uganda, you can book a seat on the daily domestic flights from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi or Kisoro. The flights last about 1 hours and half or two hours respectively. You need to hire a transfer vehicle as the airstrips are some distance from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.
Charter flight services are available at Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport.
From Kigali airport, you can charter to Volcanoes National Park.
When Is the Best Time To Book Gorilla Trekking Safari For Honeymoon In Uganda or Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is open all year round but tourists prefer the dry season which is June to September, December to January. The forest environment is bright and favorable for most forest dwellers to be active.
Book the gorilla permit in advance atleast 6 months to a year before to avoid panicking to acquire them at the last minute. The gorilla permits for the high Uganda tourism season sell out fast yet there supply is limited.
No gorilla permit is reserved without payment since it is the only way to show commitment for taking this safari.
Can I Get Uganda Or Rwanda gorilla permits at the last minute?
The demand for the gorilla permits especially in the peak season which is June to September and December to January is over the top so chance of last minute permit availability are slim.
During the low tourism season which is March, May, April and November, there are higher chances of last minute gorilla trekking permit availability but not a guarantee. Even chances of discounted gorilla permits for Uganda and Rwanda are more open in the low season but this depends on the regulating bodies.
Which Is the Best Country For Gorilla Trekking On Honeymoon Of Uganda And Rwanda?
Whether you do gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, the feeling you get when in front of the mountain gorillas unmatched. This feeling makes you forget the hassle you may have gone through trying to plan the gorilla trekking safari. A few of the differences between gorilla trekking experience in Uganda or Rwanda include:
The cost of gorilla permit
At the moment, the cost of uganda gorilla permit is $800 per person per trek while Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek.
The cost of gorilla permits includes park fees, one hour of gorilla viewing, security, local community support, gorilla support and others
Number of gorilla families
Rwanda currently has 15 gorilla families, 96 gorilla permits while Uganda currently has 19 gorilla families, 152 gorilla permits open for tourism.
Time from the Airport to gorilla trekking destinations
The drive from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National park is about 3 hours while the drive from Entebbe airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is eight hours to nine hours.
Additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking
Uganda has variety of activities to combine with gorilla trekking that is chimpanzee trekking, game drives, visit source of River Nile, white water rafting, birding, cultural experiences and others. Rwanda has limited choices of activities to combine with gorilla trekking that is genocide memorial visit, golden monkey trekking, chimpanzee trekking.
Topography of Gorilla Trekking destinations
Although the Virunga area is generally volcanic, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is steeper compared to other destinations. Expect to do more hiking to locate the mountain gorillas in Rwanda where five volcanoes make part of the topography of Volcanoes National Park that is Mountai Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Karisimbi and Mountain Sabyinyo.
You can do gorilla trekking in Uganda through Rwanda because of the shorter drive time of about 6 hours to 7 hours from Kigali Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.
This is drive time is shorter than eight to nine hours’ drive from Entebbe airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga National Park.
How safe is gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda?
Returning home in one piece after honeymoon is every couple’s wish and gorilla trekking in uganda or Rwanda is safe for you to consider.
The ranger guides provide protection during the gorilla trekking experience as each group is escorted by an armed ranger guide just in case of any attack. Another ranger guide holds a machete to create way for you in case some trimming needs to be done.
The rangers operate radio call services to keep communicating with those at the headquarters so that in case back up is required, it is quicker to request for.
Other security agencies of Uganda or Rwanda are around the gorilla trekking destinations to keep law and order.
Every tourists is required to pay attention t personal security by not giving your room access to strangers not known to you.
Not eating street food in case you wish to taste local cuisines. You may get stomach upset that may cost you chance to attend gorilla trekking.
When can you locate the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking?
The time for locating the mountain gorillas depends on the prevailing factors in the wilderness. Some tourists have been reported to find the mountain gorillas within 2 hours of the trek but others may go up to three quarters of the day.
The mountain gorilla are free animals that move without restrictions so the ranger guide leads the trekking group to the trail where they were last seen the previous day.
Even the pace of fellow trekkers determines the time when you are to locate the mountain gorillas. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker so that no one of forgotten in the wilderness. This is why you need to have some fitness level to make it faster when doing gorilla trekking.
Some patience is necessary for you to enjoy the gorilla trekking trip on your honeymoon and be very respectful too with other contenders.
Contact us for more information.