New Year’s gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Hoping to mark the New Year with a gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda, you must book your gorilla permit in advance. This being peak safari time, the gorilla permits are sold off fast. Reserving accommodation to use during gorilla safari is vital, too, as options to choose from narrow as the new year draws closer.
Meeting the mountain gorillas on New Year gives you time to reflect on what you hope to do as the year is still very young. Gorilla trekking requires you to be quiet or talk in a low tone while in the forest, giving you moments to self-evaluate.
Most Popular Safaris
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park, and Volcanoes National Park are places of tranquility where you only listen to the jungle calls. The new year is a time to listen to your inner self and draw how you hope to follow the entire year.
The Virunga area creates a beautiful ambiance for you to make plans for your life in the next year.
Where To Do Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This biosphere hosts about 10 primates: mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, and blue monkeys. The huge list of fauna and flora has accumulated over 25000 years.
Bwindi forest provides a haven for various fauna and flora, including over 200 tree species, 88 moths, 51 reptiles, 350 bird species, 310 butterflies, and others.
To do gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must know where your gorilla permit is booked. This vast national park is portioned into four areas that are Buhoma area, the Ruhija area, the Rushaga area, and the Nkuringo area.
To book accommodation during gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must first know where your gorilla permit is booked. This is to prevent chances of waking up in the dark to drive from one area to another to catch up with briefing.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park lies in the fur southwestern part of Uganda. This forested national park is one of the still virgin National Parks of Uganda because it is less visited. Mgahinga National Park hosts some of the most celebrated mountain gorillas in the world. Only one gorilla family is so far open to the public. Mgahinga National Park hosts the Nyakagezi gorilla family with a history of wandering into Rwanda.
In the past, booking gorilla permits for Mgahinga National Park was challenging as it was based on the presence of the mountain gorillas.
The park hosts a number of other primates like golden monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons, and others.
Its jagged mountains form a beautiful backdrop for this park, including Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhavura. You can hike in a day for about 8 hours return journey.
Where To Do Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda?
Volcanoes National Park
Right in the northwestern part of Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park. This park currently hosts 12 fully habituated mountain gorilla families open for gorilla trekking.
The topography of this park is volcanic and steeper, resulting from 5 mountains that form part of this park. These mountains include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Karisimbi, and Mountain Sabyinyo.
For primatologists, the volcanoes national park is home to more primates like golden monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, and others.
Over 200 bird species are volcanoes national Park residents, including Albertine Rift endemics. During this safari holiday, you can enjoy a double gorilla trekking opportunity with birding in Rwanda.
Some birds you may spot in volcanoes national park include Handsome Francolin, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Malachite Sunbird, Kivu Ground Thrush, White Tailed Blue Fly Catcher, and others.
Where And How Can I Book Gorilla Permits For Uganda And Rwanda?
Uganda Wildlife Authority sells Uganda gorilla permits, but an accredited tour operator can purchase them on your behalf.
Rwanda gorilla permits are regulated and sold by Rwanda Development Board. You can also buy these gorilla permits through an accredited tour operator.
Procedure for booking gorilla permits
New years is always the first of January, so that you can enquire from a tour operator or Uganda Wildlife Authority about gorilla permit availability. The number of gorillas permits you to hope to book for your gorilla trek.
Our safari consultant checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board list. Encounter Africa Safaris is one of the approved companies accepted to access the list of gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda.
Once gorilla permit availability is positive, we advise our clients to purchase their gorilla permits as soon as possible. This is because they are sold out fast on a first-come, first-served basis.
None of the gorilla permits is secured without payment.
Forward personal details like full names on the passport, nationality, date of birth, and passport expiry date.
How Much Is A Gorilla Permit For Uganda And Rwanda?
The Uganda gorilla permit costs $700 per person per trek, $600 per person per trek, and 250000shs for East African residents.
The Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per person per trek.
Booking your gorilla permit in advance is essential, especially for the peak season: June To September and December To January. This is the peak tourism season in Uganda and Rwanda. Most service providers hike their prices this season, like accommodation facilities, driver guides, etc.
What Is Included In The Cost Of Gorilla Permit In Uganda And Rwanda?
The cost of a gorilla permit includes; one hour with the mountain gorillas, park entrance fees, security during gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla conservation support, local community support, and a certificate after gorilla trekking.
What Are Exclusions In The Cost Of Gorilla Permit?
Transport, tips, drinks, snacks, porter, and other items of personal nature.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we assist in putting together your gorilla trekking package to lift off your shoulders the burden of hassling to arrange this safari package.
Our over 10 years of organizing Uganda and Rwanda safaris have won us reviews from clients that have helped us improve our services over time. We have a great working relationship with accommodation facilities from whom we can get discounted prices where applicable for our clients.
Can I Purchase New Year’s Gorilla Permits For Uganda And Rwanda In Instalment?
Full payment for your gorilla permit is the best option to avoid missing to top it up.
Uganda and Rwanda accept 30% and 70% gorilla permit installments, respectively. Only tourists who purchase their gorilla permits before 90 days of the gorilla trekking date are eligible for installment gorilla permit purchase.
You must remember to top up your gorilla permit 90 days before the gorilla trekking date or face a penalty.
When Is The Best Month To Purchase New Year Gorilla Permits For Uganda And Rwanda?
Since the New Year is a festive holiday time prepared for by many as early as when the year is still young, it is best to purchase your permit for the first of January at least 6 months in advance.
This is because of the competitive demand for gorilla safaris in the festive season, yet the permits are limited to a maximum of 8 per gorilla family per day.
Last-minute gorilla permits for the new year are hard to get, not even on the ground, because they may want to make memories to last the entire year. Gorilla trekking is not an ordinary primate safari experience but a chance to be in the company of some of the few leftover mountain gorillas in the world.
Can I Reschedule The New Year Gorilla Permit For Uganda Or Rwanda?
Doing gorilla permit rescheduling in Uganda and Rwanda is accepted according to a rescheduling policy of both countries.
To reschedule your gorilla permit, you must write to either Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda development board requesting to move your gorilla permit. If you have one, State why you wish to push your gorilla trekking date. Attach some details to back up your request.
When approved, your gorilla permit is rescheduled to your preferred date based on prevailing availability.
Uganda accepts two free gorilla permit rescheduling times. The Executive director only approves the third time with a 25% penalty.
Rwanda charges gorilla permit reschedule service.
Which Is The Best Country For Gorilla Trekking On New Year Of, Uganda And Rwanda?
The moment you stand before the mountain gorillas makes you forget the glitches of organizing a gorilla safari, whether in Uganda or Rwanda.
Other factors you can consider as the differences between gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda include:
Cost Of Gorilla Permit
The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek, while the Uganda gorilla permit price is $700 per person per trek.
Number Of Gorilla Families
Uganda has 19 gorilla families so far with 152 gorilla permits, while Rwanda has 12 gorilla trekking families with so far 96 gorilla permits.
Additional Activities To Combine With Gorilla Trekking
Uganda has a variety of activities to combine with gorilla trekking, including chimpanzee trekking, game drives, visiting the source of the river Nile, white water rafting, and others.
Rwanda is limited with optional activities to combine with gorilla trekking, that as visiting the Kigali genocide memorial, chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, Rwanda cultural tours, and others.
Time Taken From The Airport To Gorilla Trekking Destinations
The drive time from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours, while the drive time from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 9 hours.
You can do gorilla trekking in Uganda through Rwanda, which is a shorter distance of about 5 hours to 6 hours from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Mgahinga National Park. You can use the East African visa to enter both countries since they are in the East African community. You can use either Cyanika or Gatuna border to cross from Rwanda into Uganda.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Or Rwanda
The nature of the topography where gorilla trekking happens is volcanic, with ridges and plateaus covered with lush vegetation. During the severe rainy seasons, the ground is very wet and soggy due to limited sunray penetration allowed through the dense canopy.
Sometimes the dense network of rivers overflows, causing soggy trails that are challenging to walk through. Even the decomposing matter from the vegetation that falls over may make the way slippery. Having safari boots to protect your feet from getting hurt would be best.
Having some fitness level helps when you have to locate the mountain gorillas at the slopes where they sometimes feed or lounge.
Pack the right gorilla trekking gears that can support you all through the trek and stay safe from the harsh environmental conditions of the forest.
How To Behave During Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
- Stay in a tight group when you locate the mountain gorillas so they do not feel ambushed by your presence. This agitates the mountain gorillas and may push them into hiding.
- Wearing a mask and sanitizing your shoes before starting the gorilla trek is important as a measure adopted after the coronavirus pandemic.
- Spitting on vegetation and the ground is unacceptable as you may pass an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- If you have a communicable infection like cough or flu or covid-19, volunteer to stay behind to save the mountain gorillas from acquiring it. This may lead to their massive death.
- When you meet the mountain gorillas, leave a gap of about 8 meters from them so that you do not pass any communicable infection to them. When they move closer, retreat slowly without looking suspicious.
- As you take the mountain gorilla photos, use no flashlight as you may scare them. They are afraid of new occurrences in their presence.
- In case you wish to defecate, ask the ranger guide for assistance to dig a hole of about 30 centimeters and cover well beyond recognition.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas and mimicking them is forbidden because you may not know what you are communicating.
- If you wish to feed or smoke before the mountain gorillas, do it at least 200 meters from them. This is to reduce on chances of the mountain gorillas grabbing it from you, which may cause them to start depending on humans, yet they are wild animals that must search for their food.
- Only trekkers aged 15 years and beyond are allowed to do gorilla trekking.
- One hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them.
Contact us for more information.