Uganda Wildlife Authority has set a new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits that will take effect 1st July 2020. According to UWA, Uganda gorilla and chimp permits will be increased to USD700 and USD250, respectively. This, therefore, means that there has been an increment of USD100 on each gorilla permit and USD50.00 on every chimpanzee permits. This increase in gorilla permit price will be for two years and will later be reviewed accordingly.
Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits have been trading at USD600 per person for foreign non-residents, USD500 for foreign residents with work permits for East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Southern Sudan. The new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits has been increased by USD100 and USD50 respectively starting 1st July 2020. The price for East African citizens in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Southern Sudan remains unchanged at Ugx 250,000. When it comes to chimpanzees, its only Kibale National Park chimpanzee permits that have been affected. The price has been increased from USD150 to 200 while those for chimpanzee habituation experience has also been increased from USD200 to USD250. For more details, please contact Encounter Africa safaris.
Implication of new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits
Some implications are resulting from the new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits because an increment of USD100 on each gorilla permit and USD50 on each chimpanzee gorilla makes it slightly expensive compared to Democratic Republic of Congo where gorilla permits are still below USD500. The reason for increasing the price has been due to increased demand for Uganda gorilla permit meaning that Uganda is now looked at as one of the best gorilla trekking destinations in Africa. To raise more funds to conserve the rare mountain gorillas, an increase in the price will ensure that Uganda and other countries with mountain gorillas do benefit.
The new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits has also come with other benefits to all those that will be trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda. For any gorilla permit booked and purchased at USD700, one will be entitled to visiting either park of Rwenzori National Park or Semiliki National Park. These two national parks have unique attractions but are less visited. Roads leading to these national parks have been worked on, and Uganda Wildlife Authority has put them up for promotion and whoever buys a gorilla permit and has some funds is free to visit any of them.
Does the new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits make Uganda expensive?
Looking at the new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits, it may make you think that Uganda gorilla treks are now expensive. It is not true as Uganda has maintained its position of being the second-best affordable gorilla trekking country in Africa. When compared to Rwanda, Uganda remains a cheaper and safer option for gorilla trekking in Africa. At USD1500 Rwanda gorilla permits are the most expensive in the whole world and besides the small increment put on Uganda gorilla permits is manageable.
New guidelines for toping up Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits
While announcing the new price for Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee permits, Uganda wildlife Authority also announced new guidelines for permit top-up. In this latest development, tour operators can buy gorilla and chimpanzee permits by paying 30% of the total cost and then pay the rest in three months. In other words, one is given 120 days to top up both gorilla and chimpanzee permits, or else they will be realized back into the market to be bought by other tour operators. Initially, Uganda Wildlife Authority had relaxed the time on when to top up gorilla and chimpanzee permits, but this has been resulting in companies holding permits only to release them at last minute making others lose out. This idea has been welcomed by many tour operators who feel that if permits are not topped up and brought back to the system will result in more permits. The new system also allows registered tour operators to reserve gorilla permits for up to seven days and after that, if not paid will be released. This enables tour operators to hold and reserve gorilla and chimpanzee permits to allow potential clients to make payments in the given seven days.
Gorilla habituation experience permits remain unchanged.
While Uganda wildlife Authority set new prices for gorilla and chimpanzee permits. The new product of gorilla habituation experience was not affected. Mountain gorilla habituation experience permits have been maintained at USD1500 per person for four hours with wild mountain gorillas still under habituation. With this, tourists are allowed to spend four hours with researchers and experts in making wild mountain gorillas get used to human beings. This four-hour gorilla trek is limited to four people per day and is done in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Currently, two gorilla families are reserved for this and booking gorilla habituation experience permits is done at Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala. For more details about gorilla habituation experience safaris and trips, do contact Encounter Africa safaris.
New Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee booking guidelines
Besides increasing the price of gorilla and chimpanzee permits, Uganda Wildlife Authority in conjunction with Uganda tourism board is in the process of making sure that only registered tour operators are allowed to book and purchase gorilla permits from UWA head Quarters. Initially, registered and non-registered tour operators, as well as individuals, have been allowed to book and pay for gorilla permits at Uganda Wildlife Authority. Ever since Rwanda increased the price of her gorilla permits from USD750 to USD1500, many Rwanda registered tour operators have been competing with Uganda tour operators for gorilla permits. This is because there has been no regulation stopping foreign-based tour companies from booking these permits. It has thus been suggested that all individuals as well as foreign companies, book their gorilla permits through Uganda registered tour operators.
About Gorilla trekking in Uganda National Parks
Uganda remains the only country in the whole world with the highest number of mountain gorillas. According to the current mountain gorillas, it was discovered that Bwindi impenetrable National Park alone has more than half the number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. You can now book gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to trek gorillas in Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo or Buhoma sectors of the forest. You can as well book gorilla permits to visit mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park which borders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.