How to organize a gorilla and golden monkey safari from Mbarara city.
The gorilla and golden monkey safaris are destined for Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda. The drive from Mbarara City to Mgahinga National Park is about 5 to 6 hours. You need permits for gorilla and golden monkey trekking, as these are the only entry tickets you need to present. Before checking permit availability, know the number of people traveling with and eligible for either gorilla or golden monkey trekking.
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Mgahinga National Park is the smallest Uganda National Park, covering about 33.7 square kilometers of land. Still, despite its small size, it hosts some of the leftover mountain gorillas in the world. Only one gorilla family is open for a gorilla trekking safari: the Nyakagezi family. This gorilla family had a history of wandering into Rwanda, so pre-booking its permits was impossible. The Nyakagezi gorilla family of Mgahinga National Park is steadily living in Uganda.
Golden monkeys, one of the world’s notable monkey species, are also residents of Mgahinga National Park—unfortunately, just a population of about 2,000 to 4,000 golden monkeys currently living in the world. Golden monkeys have a larger body compared to other monkeys. Golden monkeys are charming primates to be in the company of. Even though they are habituated, they keep you on your toes.
Reserve Mgahinga accommodation upfront because there are limited choices of facilities in this park. With this, you must know how many people travel to help with room booking and allocation.
Select the means of transport to Mgahinga National Park that fits your budget, as you may use road or charter flight services. The vehicle for road transport must be in good condition and 4×4 wheel drive because the roads in the countryside are rough and slippery, especially in the severe rainy seasons.
What To Consider When Organizing Gorilla and golden safari from Mbarara city
Reserve Gorilla and golden monkey trekking permits
At Encounter Africa Safaris, through our safari consultants, we can help secure a gorilla or golden monkey trekking permit for you. When you send us an inquiry, our safari consultants check for the status of the Gorilla and golden monkey permits per the Uganda Wildlife Authority list.
As soon as gorilla and golden monkey permit availability is found, we advise clients to purchase theirs as quickly as possible. This is because they sell out fast on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a maximum of 8 gorilla and golden monkey trekking permits are open to public booking each day.
For identification, forward us details like your full name as presented on your passport, date of birth, nationality, and expiration date.
What is the cost of the Golden Monkey trekking permit?
The Golden Monkey trekking permit costs $ 60 per person for foreign nonresidents, $50 for foreign residents, and 40000 shs for East African residents.
Inclusions of golden monkey trekking permit cost are:
- Ranger guide fees.
- Golden monkey conservation.
- Local community support.
- Government tax.
- One hour with the golden monkeys.
Exclusions of Golden Monkey permit cost: park entrance fees, tips, porter hire, accommodation, and any other items of personal nature.
What is the cost of Gorilla permits for Mgahinga National Park?
Currently, the cost of a gorilla trekking permit for Mgahinga National Park is $ 800 per person for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shsh for East African residents.
The cost of a gorilla permit covers the ranger guide fee, park entrance fees, mountain gorilla conservation, security, one hour with the mountain gorillas, certificate after completing the trek, government tax, one hour with the mountain gorillas, local community support.
Exclusions in the gorilla permit cost are porter hire, tips, accommodation costs, and any other items of a personal nature.
Book Accommodation To Use During Gorilla And Golden Monkey Safari In Mgahinga National Park
Note that Mgahinga National Park has limited accommodations to book, so booking is essential as you organize this primate adventure.
Even with limited accommodations in and out of Mgahinga National Park, you can choose from Luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities.
- Mgahinga accommodations: Gahinga Lodge, Traveller’s Inn, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp
Choose Additional Uganda Safari Activities To Combine With Gorilla And Golden Monkey Safari
While on the Uganda safari, you can add other activities to your itinerary to spice up your African safari experience. Uganda is naturally gifted as it’s the only source of the River Nile, the longest in Africa.
Depending on the additional days you may have on Uganda safari, you may engage in chimpanzee trekking, game safaris, Uganda birding experience, white water rafting, sports fishing, mountaineering, visit Lake Bunyonyi, launch trips, forest walks, Uganda cultural experiences.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla And Golden Monkey Trekking In Mgahinga National Park
Whichever time of the year you choose to do golden monkey and golden monkey trekking in Uganda is suitable; however, the dry season is most preferred by tourists. This season is Uganda’s peak tourism season, usually June, July, August, September, December, and January.
Both Golden Monkey and gorilla permits for the peak season sell out fast, so to prevent last-minute panic as you try to find availability, booking the permits six months to a year upfront is a safe attempt.
Since both golden monkeys and gorilla permits have a limited supply, a first come, first served basis is used when booking them. None of them is reserved without payment as a policy set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Some may be found at the last minute for wet-season gorilla and golden monkey trekking permits, although there is no guarantee. Suppose you have a limited safari budget but would like an upgrade with services like accommodation. In that case, the low season may be the appropriate time as chances of discounted costs may be open this season. You can try your luck with accommodation, vehicle hire, and others, as sometimes they ignore costs to break even, although optional.
Can I Purchase the Gorilla Permit in Instalment?
Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts installment gorilla permit purchases if you book within the set range. Fully paying for your gorilla permit is the right approach as you ensure you remember top-up time.
To qualify for a gorilla permit installment purchase, you must have purchased your permit 90 days before the trekking day and remember to top up 90 days before the trekking day.
Failure to comply with this policy attracts a penalty that may lead to losing even the deposit.
Is Gorilla Or Golden Monkey Permit Reschedule Accepted?
When you recognize that you may need to be in a position to honor the dates for gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking safari, you can reschedule your permits in case you are sure of a future safari date. The gorilla permits have to be fully paid for, and you reschedule to a future date within the year when it is booked.
Uganda Permit rescheduled procedure.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority, the reservation office, requesting to reschedule your Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking permits. State the date to which you wish the permits to be moved.
State why you may not be able to do gorilla and golden monkey trekking safari at the booked time. Attach some evidence to back this up in case you have it.
Upon accepting your request to reschedule the gorilla and golden monkey trekking permits, your permits are moved according to the prevailing availability status.
How difficult is Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking in Mgahinga National Park?
Generally, the Mgahinga National Park terrain is mountainous, resulting from three Virunga volcanoes: Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Sabyinyo. The topography is usually steeper as the gorillas sometimes spend time on the slopes of ridges and plateaus draped by overgrown vines and many other tangled creepers.
For a virgin gorilla trekking experience, Mgahinga National Park is the ideal destination as it has not been frequented. You need to have some level of fitness or hire a sedan chair service or a porter to give you a push when tired and carry your Gorilla and golden monkey safari gear,
What time do you return after Gorilla or golden monkey trekking?
Return time after Gorilla or Golden Monkey trekking in Mgahinga National Park is hard to determine as it’s hard to predict the time of finding the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are not confined to one location since they are free animals that traverse the forest without set stops.
Finding the mountain gorillas depends on factors like the location of their feeding ground, in case of a fight with another family, the death of a top gorilla family leader, prevailing weather conditions, and the pace of fellow tourists.
You must bear some patience and follow the guidelines of the Gorilla and golden monkey safari because these primates get to see you before you locate them.
Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys during the trekking adventure. This is for conservation reasons as they are habituated to be in front of humans for just that time. These primates need to look for food that can support their bodies throughout the day and night.
What is the cost of the Gorilla and golden monkey trekking safari in Mgahinga National Park?
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we package our safaris according to Luxury, mid-range, and budget packages. The cost of golden monkey and gorilla trekking permits is familiar with all these packages, but other items vary.
Some of the things we consider when making a gorilla and golden monkey trekking package include:
- The number of people on safari.
- Number of safari days.
- Additional activities to combine with this safari and others.
Each of the safari packages we offer differs with inclusions.
What guidelines to follow during gorilla and golden monkey trekking safari from Mbarara city
- Provoking and mimicking the golden monkeys or mountain gorillas is forbidden, as you may not know what you are communicating.
- Wear a clean mask with the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to these precious primates.
- No feeding the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys; if you are eating, do it at least 300 meters from them. This is to prevent any chances of them grabbing it from you, yet they are wild animals that must search for their food.
- Sneezing or coughing before the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys may spread an infection, so do it away from them.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys when you locate them to prevent the chances of spreading infections and germs to them.
- Only children aged 15 years and above can do Gorilla and golden monkey trekking because of the nature of the entire experience. Hiking to locate the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys is sometimes challenging, which may be challenging for children below this age. Even the time of finding the mountain gorillas is still being determined, which requires patience. A child below this age may not withstand this.
- Littering the forest is forbidden, which may alter the nature of the forest where the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys live.
- Only enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide because there are other unhabituated forest inhabitants that you may encounter, and they hurt you.
- When you locate them, only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. They have been habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that time.
- Surrounding the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys is forbidden because it makes them feel ambushed.
- Don’t use flash photography when taking photos, as you may scare these primates.
To organize your gorilla and golden monkey safari from Mbarara city, please contact us for more information.