Rescheduling gorilla habituation permits is a relief for a client who has not been able to travel for the booked days but can travel later or at a future date. There are many reasons why travellers many not make it for their booked gorilla trips, it may be because of sickness and once cannot take a flight, Flight delays and arriving after your booked date, passing of a close relative or any other reason beyond your capacity to travel. You should not worry about losing USD1500 for your gorilla habituation experience and the whole trip. Encounter Africa safaris will help you request for rescheduling of your permits to another date of your choice with the valid reason that influenced you missing the trip. The request is submitted to Uganda wildlife Authority and your permit can be moved to a new date depending on availability. It is your obligation to notify the company in time for the process to be easy. Uganda wildlife Authority has relaxed its policy and one is allowed to reschedule the permits twice until march 2022.
Gorilla Habituation experience is only done in Bwindi impenetrable National park in Uganda. It is an incredible experience which is sometimes regarded as the life experience of seeing the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla Habituation Experience is a process where wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to people, with repetitive visiting of the gorillas by Researchers and guide and Visitors. Gorilla Habituation may take between two to three years to be completed. They get to learn more about individual gorillas and the way they behave, move, Feed and live daily. With time, these gorillas get used to these researchers and in the long run, each individual gorilla is given a name. Once researchers are sure that these mountain gorillas can trek, they then introduce a mock exercise where some few people who may include scientists, guides start visiting it.
The gorilla habituation experience is done every day between Rushaga and Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park, the activity starts with briefing early morning at 7:00am about the guidelines to follow while visiting these gorillas in the process of being habituated. Only four tourists are allowed to go along with researchers and guides every day to participate in this activity, the trek can take hours, half-day or even full day depending on the movement of the gorillas. The gorilla habituation experience was started 2014 by Uganda wildlife Authority a governing body of all conservation areas in Uganda, It was introduced for those interesting in spending more time observing the gorillas that have not yet been habituated for trekking, during this experience you are allowed to spend four hours with the gorillas in their natural environment.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is located in southwestern Uganda in the districts of Kisoro, and Kanungu districts. It borders DR Congo and it is very close to the Virunga conservation area. The park is one of the oldest forests in Africa and was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. Bwindi Impenetrable national park has more than 400 species of plant life, sheltering up to 120 mammals among which are the primates including the famous Gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, forest elephants and antelopes among others. Bwindi forest is the where gorilla tourism started in Uganda, It is estimated that the park is a home to more than 500 gorillas which is more than half of the world’s population of Gorillas and of these we have 19 groups habituated for human visit known as Mountain Gorilla trekking and Gorilla habituation experience taking place in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park between Nkuringo and Rushaga Sectors.
Rescheduling gorilla habituation permits in Uganda is very possible and as Encounter Africa safaris we can always process for you the reschedule to your desired dates of travel. The request of Reschedule can be submitted to Uganda Wildlife Authority in form of a Letter with adequate and valid reasons for rescheduling, we do always write letters to UWA on behalf of the clients so as to ease the process of application. Due to Sickness, Loss of a beloved one, financial demand or any other reason can require you to change dates which is very under stable and that’s why the Uganda Wildlife Authority policy is very adjustable to allow you reschedule your already Purchased permit to new dates. To reschedule the gorilla habitation Permits requires you to have made full payment for the permit to allow it to be moved to new dates of your choice
You are required to choose the date of your choice and let us know, then we check Availability of the permits on your new dates you would like to Trek, as most dates can be sold out during the high season, checking availability help you to apply for dates that are not fully sold out. In case you request for a date that is sold out, Uganda wildlife Authority will not allow you to reschedule to that date. Reschedule can be accepted any time after reschedule and before two weeks to the trek date. Deciding on rescheduling the permits means your travel dates have changed as well, Encounter Africa safaris as your booking agency will help you re-book your all the services to your new dates, the dates for staying at the lodges will change and we will book the services again for your new confirmed dates.
The cost of the Rwanda gorilla permit in Volcanoes National park cost the same price as the Habituation gorilla permit in Uganda, the advantage is that habituation permit in Uganda allows you to spend four hours with the gorillas compared to one hour in Rwanda. The gorilla habituation permits cost USD1500 per person for Non- Foreign Residents, USD1000 for Foreign Residents and Uganda Shs. 750,000 per person for East African Citizens. Encounter Africa safaris will help you to book and secure the permit for your preferred date depending on availability and all the services for your gorilla trip.
Contact us about your planned trek and desired dates, we shall check availability of permits online system for Uganda Wildlife Authority and if permits are available, we shall send you an invoice to make payment for the permits as they are top priority and if they are not available, you will choose other dates that have the availability of permits. Once we receive payment, we shall book and secure your permits from Uganda wildlife Authority and send you a copy of the receipt with booking ID to confirm your trek. Since the gorilla habituation permits are limited to four permits per day, they tend to sell out very quickly reason we recommend booking months in advance for your preferred date before it sells out.
Every tourism activity in Uganda has rules and regulations to follow before and after the gorilla trek. Since these gorillas are very sensitive and endangered, it is our obligation to conserve them for the future generations and the following are some of the procedures which can change over time;
• Gorilla habituation rules and regulations require all tourists to have a valid gorilla habituation permit. Gorilla habituation experience permits must be booked in advance and are valid for a given date. No one will be allowed to participate in this experience without a valid gorilla habituation permit. Gorilla habituation permits are sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority at USD1500.00 for four hours.
• For anyone to be allowed to participate in gorilla habituation experience, he or she must be 15 years and above. Just like gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation minimum age has been but at 15 years and above to minimize childish behaviour during this experience. Experts reason that you may never predict children’s behaviour when they get to meet gorillas. Children below 15 years are also believed to have communicable diseases they may be easily transmitted to mountain gorillas. Uganda wildlife Authority is serious about this and should they have any doubt, you may be requested to produce your birth certificate.
• As you move in the forest which in this case is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, avoid making noise, speak with a low tone so that you do not disorganize the natural ecosystem. Keeping your voice low will also help you to observe many animals in the forest that include birds, other primates and mammals resident in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and even not scare them away.
• Conserve the nature environment by making sure that you do not litter or dispose of your plastic bottles in the forest or trails. Litter the trash in designated trash cans or keep it in your bag pack
• Always follow instructions of your guide or researchers while on your way to where the gorillas will be. This helps in keeping the whole experience organized.
• Gorilla habituation rules and regulations require all tourists to keep a distance of 7-5 meters away from mountain gorillas. This is aimed at reducing the chances of spreading diseases to mountain gorillas and controlling the gorillas from charging against you.
• Do not use flash while photographing, avoid eating and drinking during gorilla habituation, and do not touch the gorillas much as they will move closer to you since they can fume.
• If you need to ease yourself please ask researchers or your guide to organize for you a toilet or dig a whole. If you feel sick before gorilla habituation, kindly stay behind and seek medical attention and Uganda Wildlife Authority may arrange for you another experience.
To participate in gorilla habituation experience, you will either fly or drive to Bwindi impenetrable national park in southwestern Uganda. You can fly from Entebbe International Airport/Kajjansi Airstrip to Kisoro Airstrip and then drive to your booked lodge, Aerolink Uganda is one of the most recommended Flight companies that has daily flights to Bwindi and it is about one hour flight to Kisoro. We also have road trip options from Kampala/Entebbe to Bwindi which is about 8-9 hours but very enjoyable as you can stop at the Equator, Igongo Cultural Museum in Mbarara, see different plantations and landscape.
We also organize road trip gorilla habituation from Kigali in Rwanda, The trip can start from the Airport/Hotel in Kigali city and then drive to Uganda via the genocide memorial and later proceed into Uganda through Katuna border. You will have stops to take photographs and viewpoints like the Lake Bunyonyi Viewpoint, Twin lakes Viewpoint, then stop for Lunch in Kabale. The drive from Kigali is about 4-5 hours which is shorter compared to 8-9 hours from Entebbe/Kampala to Bwindi. All options are available for you to choose the most convenient for your gorilla habituation experience.
Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors have many lodges, hotel and camps where you can stay for your gorilla habituation activity. These range from budget to luxury, with different prices and service standards. Encounter Africa safaris can help you book the hotel of your choice, In Rushaga sector, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp as midrange option, Four Gorilla Lodge as a Luxury option and Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge as the budget option. In Nkuringo you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge as the budget and midrange option and Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge as the luxury option. The lodges require to be booked in advance especially in high season as they can be fully booked.
Encounter Africa safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Encounter Africa safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for more than 15 years and we specialize in life-changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla safari from Kigali. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris next time you intend to visit any of the five East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania. We will tailor your gorilla habituation experience to best meet your expectations.
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