Planning a super luxury and VIP gorilla safari in Uganda
Suppose you wish to book a super luxury gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. In that case, you must book the gorilla trekking permit first, as it is the entry ticket to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.
Uganda currently has 19 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking and two for gorilla habituation experience. Traveling super luxury may include closing off a gorilla family for you to trek or habituate exclusively.
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How to Plan A Super Luxury and VIP Gorilla Trekking Adventure
Book A Gorilla Permit
How to book Gorilla permits for Super Luxury Gorilla Safari in Uganda.
After selecting the date when you hope to do gorilla trekking, you can call the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a tour operator like Encounter Africa Safari for availability. Outline the number of gorilla permits you would like to book to avoid moving back and forth with checking availability.
When availability is favorable, we recommend that tourists purchase their gorilla permits quickly because they are sold out fast. If you want to do gorilla safari in the peak season, we advise you to book your gorilla permit at least 6 months to a year in advance. This is because of the cutthroat completion for these gorilla permits for this season, yet supply is limited to a maximum of 8 persons per day per trek. The peak Uganda tourism season is June and July. August, September, December, and January.
Gorilla permits are reserved with payment, yet a first come, first served basis is used to secure them.
Forward some passport details like your full name as indicated on your passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and others.
What Is the Cost Of Uganda Gorilla Permit?
Gorilla Trekking Permit
The gorilla trekking permit cost is currently $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and 250000shs for East African residents.
This includes park entrance fees, ranger guide services, gorilla conservation support, local community support, one hour of viewing the mountain gorillas, security, and a certificate after completing gorilla trekking.
Exclusions for gorilla trekking permit cost are porter fee, transport to the destinations, tips, and any other items of personal nature.
Gorilla Habituation Experience
A gorilla habituation permit for Uganda costs $ 1,500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $ 1,000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
The cost of a gorilla habituation permit includes 4 hours of gorilla habituation, park entrance fees, ranger guide fee, researcher fees, local community support, gorilla conservation support, certificate after gorilla trekking, security during gorilla trekking.
Exclusions of the cost of gorilla habituation permit: drinks, porter fee, transport, gorilla habituation gears, and any other items of a personal nature.
What is the difference between a gorilla trekking safari and a habituation experience?
Gorilla trekking safari is an adventure where you follow a fully habituated gorilla family and have one hour of viewership. In contrast, the gorilla habituation experience is a tour where you track semi-habituated mountain gorillas to familiarize them with human presence without altering nature.
From gorilla habituation, a gorilla family is fully recognized as ready for public viewing and opened for gorilla trekking.
So far, Uganda has two gorilla families open for gorilla habituation, while about 19 gorilla trekking families are open.
The cost of a gorilla trekking permit is currently $700 per person per trek, while the cost of a gorilla habituation experience is $ 1,500 per person per trek.
Can I Purchase the Uganda Gorilla Permit in Instalment?
Paying in full for your gorilla permit is the ideal solution. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts installment gorilla permit purchases if you do this 90 days before the trekking date and top up 90 days before the trekking date.
You can purchase your gorilla permit in installments of 30% and 70 % but remember to top up or receive a penalty.
Uganda accepts two free chances to reschedule the same gorilla permit, but the Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority only approves the third time. An additional 25% of the total gorilla permit cost is applied too.
Can I Close OfF A Gorilla Trekking Family?
Yes and No. In case the gorilla families available have no one booked on to them, you can close it off for your exclusive gorilla trek. Each day, a maximum of 8 gorilla trekking permits and 4 gorilla habituation permits are released for the public to book. You can buy off all these gorilla permits so long as they are not booked by the time of your request.
If you do not wish to have anyone unknown to you join you to search for the mountain gorillas, you can close them off.
You must pay for each gorilla permit accorded to this gorilla family.
Which is the best time to close off the gorilla family during gorilla Safari
The low season, which is normally March through May and November, has limited visitors booked to do gorilla trekking, so that you can use this to your advantage. Chances of finding gorilla families on to which no one is booked are more open in the low season.
If you hope to travel for gorilla trekking in the peak season of June, July, August, September, December, and January, you must close off the gorilla family at least one year in advance. This saves you the trouble of switching dates for your gorilla safari in case tourists are allocated to it already.
Book Accommodation For Gorilla Safari?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla areas, each with different accommodations. It would be best if you overnighted within or closer to the area where your gorilla permit is booked. Some of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park areas include the Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo areas. For gorilla habituation experience, you must spend the night in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Some of the Bwindi accommodations you can book for gorilla safari include Clouds Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge.
Accommodations in Mgahinga National Park; Gahinga Lodge
Reserve Transport to Use During Gorilla Safari
When you choose road transport, you need to book at least a comfortable 4×4-safari land cruiser with a window seat per person, at least with an experienced and professional driver guide. These are limited during the peak season, so reserve this safari vehicle at least 6 months before the gorilla trekking tour to select the best option.
For air transport during gorilla trekking, you need to book a seat on the daily domestic flights because they get filled with locals who travel up the country. Domestic flights depart Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airport each day for Kihihi and Kisoro Airstrip.
You may charter from Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip.
Book a transfer vehicle from the airstrip to the national park.
Select Other Activities To Combine With Gorilla Trekking
Uganda is endowed with a number of activities you can be part of with gorilla trekking. Since the drive from Entebbe Airport or Kampala is long, you can break it with a stop to do activities like game drives. Queen Elizabeth National Park Mweya area is about 160 kilometers from the Buhoma area of Bwindi. During the morning game drive, you may spot animals like lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, topis, warthogs, etc. Launch trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, game drives in Lake Mburo National Park, birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, cultural tour in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and others
Do pre-gorilla tour Exercises
Having some level of fitness saves you from being overworked during gorilla trekking. You may not always be in the gym, but stretch your muscles more than usual to prevent muscle pulls. During gorilla trekking, you may have to hike to the slopes in order to get where the mountain gorillas may be feeding or lounging. The topography of this area is generally volcanic, with ragged highlands and slippery slopes at times.
Pack The Right Gorilla Safari Gears
Having personal items to use for gorilla safari makes you feel comfortable. You may have to pack items like safari boots, safari foldable hats, garden gloves, insect repellants, and so much more.
You do not have to pack heavily, but light and relevantly comfortable enough to carry even if you get no help.
Book International Flight to Entebbe Airport
In case you have no pre-gorilla safari tour days in Uganda, you need to reserve your international flights in advance so that you do not miss out on traveling to start your safari in time.
You may miss the gorilla trek once you arrive late to arrive for the starting date of your gorilla safari. The gorilla permit expires on the day it is booked, and even rescheduling it at the last minute may not be possible.
What is Gorilla Permit Reschedule?
Gorilla permit rescheduling is moving the date for the gorilla permit to a future date, but this is only approved by the Uganda Wildlife Authority after making a written request. It is hard to reschedule your gorilla permit at the last minute because of the approval process’s bureaucracy.
How to Reschedule Gorilla Permit?
Everybody who books a gorilla permit would like to be part of a day’s trekkers; however, you may need help to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. You can reschedule your gorilla permit if you want to travel. Here is the procedure you follow to apply for a gorilla permit reschedule.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority stating your request to change the gorilla trekking date. You may attach some evidence to back this up in case you have any.
When approved, your gorilla permit date is moved depending on the prevailing availability status according to your request.
Uganda allows two free gorilla permit rescheduling times; however, the Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director must approve the third time. An additional 25% surcharge is levied.
- Shallow Antimalarial Before Gorilla Safari
Uganda is a tropical country, so expect mosquito bites, but you can swallow some antimalarial to prevent this. Gorilla safaris happen in a very cold environment where mosquitos are not expected to live, but on the way, you may get a mosquito bite. Do not give a chance to anything that can stop you from attending gorilla safari. It is a life-changing African adventure.
What Not to Do During Gorilla Safari
- Speak in a low tone during gorilla safari so as not to scare the mountain gorillas, which are highly sensitive to intruders in their environment.
- Do not enter the forest for gorilla safari if you have a contagious infection like cough, flu, COVID-19, etc. Mountain mountain gorillas are highly sensitive to these infections, which may lead to their massive death. Volunteer to stay behind in case you catch any communicable infection before gorilla safari.
- Littering the forest is forbidden, especially indecomposable garbage that can alter the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas collect food.
- Wearing a clean mask before coming closer to the mountain gorillas is a must. This was adopted after the Covid19 pandemic to prevent chances of passing an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- Using flash photography is forbidden as you may scare the mountain gorillas that are very sensitive to unfamiliar occurrences in their environment.
- Do not spit on vegetation or ground while in the park, as you may contaminate the mountain gorilla’s gorilla’s source of food.
- Keep a distance of 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is to prevent chances of passing an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- In case you wish to defecate, ask the ranger guide to ding hole at least 30 centimeters deep and bury well beyond recognition.
- Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking and 4 hours for gorilla habituation experience.
Contact us for more information about luxury gorilla safaris in Uganda.