Those interested in trekking gorillas in Mgahinga should interest themselves in knowing how many gorilla permits are available in Mgahinga National Park. Mgahinga National Park is the smallest of the four national parks where mountain gorillas live in their natural habitats. The three National Parks which are home to the rare mountain gorillas include Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi impenetrable National Park. Mgahinga is located in southwestern Uganda and is part of the extensive Virunga massive volcanoes share by three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of the four national parks, Mgahinga is the only park with one gorilla family which is habituated and trekked by tourists daily. Other national parks have more than one gorilla families of which some are habituated, and others are not. Encounter Africa safaris operates gorilla trek safaris to Mgahinga National Park. Visit our website for affordable Mgahinga gorilla safaris.
How many gorilla permits are available in Mgahinga National Park.
As earlier noted, Mgahinga National Park located in the southwestern part of Uganda in the district of Kisoro has only one gorilla family called Nyakagezi. The fact that mgahinga National Park has one gorilla family, gorilla permits available daily are only 8 gorilla permits. In other words, Mgahinga national park can only avail 8 gorilla permits per day for people to visit these great apes. It should be noted that globally, it was agreed that every habituated mountain gorilla family must be trekked by a maximum of 8 people per day for one hour. The fact that mgahinga has one family, it implies that only 8 permits and 8 people can trek gorillas daily for only one hour.
Nyakagezi gorilla family in Mgahinga National Park used to move from Uganda to Rwanda or Virunga, and at one point gorilla trekking in this small national park was halted. During that time, Nyakagezi gorilla permits could be booked in Rwanda and money given back to Uganda due to the transboundary agreements between the three countries that are home to mountain gorillas. This migration from Uganda to Rwanda was usually due to their periodic movements as well as the food search. Effective 2015 however, Nyakagezi gorilla family has been resident in Mgahinga National Park with gorilla permits being booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority park headquarters in Kampala. Initially, gorilla permits for mgahinga National Park would be reserved only on the ground.
How to book Nyakagezi gorilla permits with Encounter Africa safaris
Encounter Africa safaris conducts daily day safaris and tours to Mgahinga National Park as long as you request us to arrange this for you. Booking gorilla permits anywhere in the world requires you to send us your dates when you want to visit mountain gorillas. It’s from these dates that we shall check the number of gorilla permits available at Uganda Wildlife Authority trekking in Mgahinga National Park. Once we get availability, two things will happen. We will reserve them on UWA online reservations system and then send you an invoice to make payment. Encounter Africa safaris accepts three modes of payment which include paying in cash (this applies to last-minute bookings) bank transfers directly to our bank account and or credit/debit card payment (which attracts 5% surcharge of the total cost). Whichever payment you may prefer, make sure you send us proof of payment so that we go ahead and use our credit to secure or pay for your Mgahinga gorilla permits. The reason why we use our credit to pay for your gorilla permit is that money usually takes 2-3 working to show on our bank account and yet gorilla permits are issued out at Uganda Wildlife Authority on a first come first serve basis. If we are two waits for the 2-3 working days, you may end up missing out on your gorilla permit yet without a gorilla permit booked for you. You can trek these mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park. Gorilla permits are paid for in cash at Uganda wildlife Authority, and a receipt is issued. It is this receipt from Uganda wildlife Authority that we will scan and send to you to prove that we have booked and purchased your gorilla permit. We will then pick or collect your gorilla cards closer to the time of your safari, and our guide will carry them with him and present them to park staff on the day of gorilla trekking.
How much does Uganda earn from selling Mgahinga Gorilla permits
The government of Uganda sells 8 gorilla permits daily and 96 permits annually. This is on the assumption that all gorilla permits issued daily are sold which is normally not the case. If it happens and all permits are sold, it means that at the cost of $600, Uganda earns $4800 daily and $57600 annually. This, however, is not always the case since during low season and some high season months, some gorilla permits are booked and paid for. The percentage of this money goes to the government, and we used to pay Uganda Wildlife Authority workers, infrastructure development. At the same time, the rest is channelled to the communities around Mgahinga National Park.
When to book these permits
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park can only be guaranteed if one is holding a gorilla permit. The fact that many people now prefer Uganda as a gorilla trekking destination compared to Rwanda, gorilla permits tend to run out quickly. It is therefore advisable to book your Mgahinga gorilla permit at least 4-5 months to one year in advance. This gives Encounter Africa safaris to acquire your gorilla permit when there is still enough space for you. Further, note that Mgahinga has only one gorilla family and only 8 permits available daily. This, therefore, means that these few permits are competed for and have to be booked in advance if one is to get an opportunity to see or visit and trek mgahinga mountain gorillas.
How can book and trek mgahinga gorillas?
Mgahinga gorilla permits can be booked by anyone all over the world. It is possible to contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority reservations team on the phone or email to book your gorilla permit or else, book your gorilla permit through a registered and recognized Uganda tour operator like Encounter Africa safaris. Many people have encountered difficulties in trying to book their permits directly at Uganda Wildlife Authority due to poor response rate when you send an email or make a call. If you contact Encounter Africa safaris, we will handle everything for you and you will avoid the hassle mentioned above.
Encounter Africa safaris remains your reliable tour operator for Uganda and Rwanda, and we pride ourselves in the many years of successful operation in the two mentioned destinations. We are a responsible tour operator who cares for the local community and the environment. We encourage all our clients to visit some of the projects run by the locals such as village walks and community experiences as well as projects that assist in conserving the environment. If you book any of our Uganda safaris, endeavour to request for a project where you can contribute. Let your travel or safari have an impact on the locals and the environment. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings.