How many gorilla permits are available in Uganda in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park?
How many gorilla permits are available in Uganda in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park? Uganda boasts the longest list of gorilla permits for gorilla trekking and habituation experience. Uganda has two gorilla safari destinations that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The major activities of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park are gorilla safaris, but you can also engage in birding, primate watching, and others.
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Uganda currently has over 21 gorilla trekking families for which a maximum of 8 gorilla permits are open for public booking every day. At the moment, two gorilla habituation experience permits are open, but in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda offers over 168 gorilla trekking permits per day, and about 8 gorilla habituation permits per day.
The number of gorilla permits in Uganda is expected to increase as the process of gorilla habituation is going on. Gorilla habituation is a process where researchers help a wild gorilla family get used to human presence without altering their nature. The gorilla habituation process takes time and depends on how fast the mountain gorillas cope.
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where tourists search for a fully habituated gorilla family and spend one hour with them. It would help if you secured the gorilla permit to be allowed to participate in the gorilla trekking adventure.
The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where a maximum of four tourists escort a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to locate a semi-habituated gorilla family and then spend four hours with them. It would help if you had a gorilla permit to be part of the gorilla habituation experience party.
Where to Do Gorilla Safaris in Uganda?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi locally means Impenetrable, and this double meaning that soots right for this park. Bwindi’s impenetrable national park, which covers about 327 square kilometers of forest, is home to almost half the total number of mountain gorillas worldwide. This biosphere reserve hosts about 20 gorilla trekking families and two gorilla habituation families.
Gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are booked according to the areas: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Secure accommodation within or closer to the area where your gorilla permit is booked so as to be able to get to the briefing point in time. The nature of the topography of Bwindi forest doesn’t offer quick access from one area to another. Driving in Bwindi forest at night may encounter obstacles like bad roads, mechanical damage, poor visibility, and others, which may lead to being disqualified from the gorilla trek. Please attend gorilla trekking to avoid being disqualified from attending this activity.
Gorilla habituation experience is open in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is Uganda’s smallest National park in the southern-western part of Uganda. Mgahinga National Park covers about 33.7 square kilometers of land and is home to a gorilla trekking family called Nyakagezi. Three distinctive mountains form the terrain of Mgahinga National Park that is mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhavura.
The Nyakagezi gorilla family was adventurous in the past as it used to wander into Rwanda. This made it hard to pre-book the Mgahinga permits. Booking these gorilla permits depended on the availability of Nyakagezi mountain gorillas.
Mgahinga National Park still boasts one gorilla family, but chances of more families cropping up in this park in the future are still open.
While in Mgahinga National Park, you can do golden monkey safaris, birding, Batwa walks, and other Uganda safari activities.
How to Book Gorilla Permits For Uganda?
Select a date for the gorilla safari, choose the gorilla safari destination of Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park, and identify the eligible people traveling with for the gorilla safari. You have to look for Uganda gorilla permits that are available first.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can lift the burden of searching for gorilla permit availability, planning the gorilla safari, and reserving logistics for the gorilla tour off your shoulders. Our over 10 years of experience planning gorilla safaris and other African safaris has given us expertise in this field.
Upon receiving your gorilla safari enquiry, our safari consultant checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s gorilla permit list. We are one of the few companies accredited to have access to this list.
Our safari consultant will get back to you as soon as possible, but we advise clients to book their gorilla permits as soon as possible. The gorilla permits are limited yet highly demanded worldwide. During the high tourism season, chances of finding last-minute gorilla permits are minimal because they sell out as the season draws closer. The peak Uganda tourism season is June, July, August, September, December, and January.
Later, we request that your details be added to your gorilla permit card for identification, like nationality, full name as presented on the passport, date of birth, passport expiration date, and others.
How much is the cost of the Uganda gorilla permit?
At the moment, the costs of Uganda gorilla trekking permits is :
$800 for foreign nonresidents
$700 for foreign residents
300,000 shs for East Africans
Currently, the gorilla habituation experience permit costs:
$1500 for foreign nonresidents
$1000 for foreign residents
750000shs for East African residents
What is included in the cost of a gorilla permit for Uganda?
The cost of a gorilla permit covers one hour of gorilla trekking or four hours of gorilla habituation experience, researcher fees for gorilla habituation experience, security, ranger guide fees, park entrance fees, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, government tax, certificate after completing the gorilla safari and others
What is excluded from the gorilla permit costs for Uganda?
The gorilla permit cost excludes snacks, packed lunch, transport, and any other items of a personal nature.
Is the price of the Uganda gorilla permit worth the experience?
Yes, the cost of a gorilla permit may be hefty, but more rewarding. During the gorilla safari, you are one of the few people with an opportunity to be just meters away from the only living mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla safaris are like a dream come true encounter.
When you purchase the gorilla permit, you contribute to the continuous work of conserving the mountain gorillas for sustainable existence; by the 1980s, according to the census conducted by American naturalist Dian Fossey, the population of mountain gorillas was about 300. Thanks to dedicated conservation teams in and out of Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R. Congo, the population of mountain gorillas is over 1000 at the moment. Purchasing the mountain gorillas funds their conservation programs.
Indirectly, you contribute to the local communities around the mountain gorilla destinations. They annually receive a portion of the proceeds accrued from the sale of gorilla permits. It’s one way to support the local community.
When you purchase a porter to help carry your belongings during the gorilla safari, you contribute to the livelihood of the local people.
Can I Buy The Uganda Gorilla Permit in Instalments?
Yes, Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts instalment gorilla permit purchases as long as you buy the gorilla permit 90 days before trekking date and top it up 90 days to trekking day.
You can purchase the gorilla permit in installments of 30 % and 70%, respectively.
Please comply by top-up time to avoid losing the gorilla permit, as it is re-opened to public booking without notifying you, and the deposit is not refunded.
Instead of putting your gorilla safari to such a test, purchase the gorilla permit in full to ensure it is in your full possession.
Can I reschedule gorilla permits for Uganda?
If you fail to travel for a gorilla safari in Uganda and hope to travel in the future, you can move the gorilla permit to a future date within the year under which it was booked.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to move your gorilla permit per your new date. State the reason why you may not be in a position to honor the first date. Attach any evidence to back your request in case you have any.
When approved, your gorilla permit is moved per your new dates, but it depends on prevailing availability.
If your gorilla permit is paid for in installments, top it up before moving it.
How Safe is Uganda For Gorilla Safaris?
Uganda is safe for gorilla safaris because the Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides are well-trained to protect the mountain gorillas, other forest inhabitants, the forest, and tourists. At least two ranger guides escort each tourist group with emergency protective gear daily. That is, one carries a machete while another has a rifle.
The forest is patrolled each morning to establish its condition. If there are snares, the rangers set them free, show where the mountain gorillas may have nested, and establish possible hangout areas for the mountain gorillas.
To avoid forgetting anybody in the vast forest, the ranger guides follow the pace of the slowest trekker. The rangers also keep on constant radio call communication with security on the ground in case backup is needed.
As an individual, you are required to pay attention to personal safety by not walking in the forest without an escorting ranger guide. Do not walk around with valuables that you are afraid to lose because you may attract the wrong company.
Is Gorilla Safari in Uganda tiring?
Gorilla safaris in Uganda are tiring because of the nature of the terrain of this area. The mountain gorillas sometimes spend their day life along the slopes or deep in the valley, and you have to hike. One is required to bear some level of fitness in order to complete the gorilla safaris.
Wearing the right gorilla safari gear saves you from getting slow during the gorilla safari. The ground gets soggy and slippery from the regular rains that fall and decomposing matter in the wilderness.
When you take breaks during the gorilla search, you can use the energy bites you carry to avoid getting tired before finding the mountain gorillas.
Carry your packed lunch to be sure of a meal because you are still determining your return time after the gorilla adventure.
What Can I Pack for Gorilla Safari in Uganda?
- Rainproof gears in case it falls without warning
- Safari boots to wear while in the jungle as the ground is so boggy and may have pricking items.
- Safari clothes in colors that are wilderness-friendly
- Extra batteries in case one runs low
- A camera to take memories of what conspired during a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
- Garden gloves to wear in case you have to hold a tighter grip on a creeper in the forest
- Pajamas warm enough for the extremely cold nights
- A torch for lighting in the night when lights go off
- Some hard cash to change into local currency in case you need to purchase something during a gorilla trekking safari. Credit cards are rarely used because getting money from them takes a long time.
- A foldable safari hat with a wide brim to protect your hair from dripping water off the tree leaves.
- Use insect repellant to smear the body to keep away insects.
- A pair of binoculars to get a clearer view of far-ranging features
- Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide them or if you are not comfortable using them
- Backpack to carry with the gorilla safari gear and hand them to a porter where required.
- A travel adapter and charger in case you need to recharge your electronic gadgets
- In case you visit another pack and have to bask under the sun by the poolside, sunscreen.
- A pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Snacks to munch on when you get hungry while gorilla trekking
- Bug spray in case your room may contain them
- Warmers because this area receives cold conditions in the early morning after afternoons.
Plan your Africa safari with us today. Contact our team for more information.