How To Reserve Gorilla Permits Before Paying For Them In Uganda
How to reserve gorilla permits before paying for them in Uganda. Every gorilla permit in Uganda must be paid for before being booked for anyone. This is a policy set and followed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. No gorilla permit is preserved without payment as a first come, first served policy is used before securing a gorilla permit.
The number of Uganda gorilla permits is currently 152 gorilla permits per day from 19 gorilla families living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The Uganda gorilla habituation experience permits are currently 8 per day from two gorilla families in the southern part of Bwindi.
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When you check for gorilla permit availability and the dates of your preference still have permits, you are advised to reserve your permits as soon as possible. The status of the gorilla permits for Uganda changes anytime because first come first served basis to reserve the gorilla permit.
One must issue payment for the gorilla permit before being preserved to avoid jokers who used to book it and never purchase it. To prevent such occurrences, one must issue payment for the gorilla permits and receive a genuine receipt from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. That they present to collect the gorilla permit later.
How To Book Uganda Gorilla Permits
Select the Uganda National Park where to do the gorilla safari
Uganda has two gorilla safari destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the main gorilla safari destination of Uganda.
Gorilla permits for Bwindi are booked according to the Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga areas. The park was divided into these areas for quicker service delivery and management of this dense forest. Each of the gorilla safari areas has gorilla families under its management.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has two gorilla habituation experience permits open to public booking.
Mgahinga National Park has one gorilla family called Nyakagezi, open for gorilla trekking. This gorilla family is steadily living in Uganda even though it was known to wander into Rwanda.
Check for Uganda Gorilla Permit availability.
You must set a date when you hope to do gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience and the number of people you hope to travel with for gorilla safari. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can book the gorilla permits for you and additional safari amenities like accommodation, vehicle hire, and others. You can directly enquire about the gorilla permit availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Knowing the number of people you hope to travel with for gorilla safari is important to avoid moving back and forth by checking gorilla permit availability.
Book the Uganda Gorilla Permit
Purchase your gorilla permit as soon as possible because, as mentioned earlier, a first come, first served basis is used to secure the Uganda permits. Uganda gorilla permits are limited, yet demand is high, especially for the high season. Uganda’s peak tourism season is June, July, August, September, December and January.
To feel safe, purchase your gorilla permit for this season at least 6 months to a year upfront. Last-minute gorilla permit availability for the peak season is hard to find.
Purchasing the gorilla permit in full is the best option, but you can make an installment gorilla permit purchase, too, in case you qualify.
Gorilla permits are reserved with payment to avoid reserving gorilla permits for unserious people.
Forward Personal Details to add to the gorilla permit
When collecting the gorilla permit card from Uganda Wildlife Authority, you need to present some personal details like your full name as presented on the passport, date of birth, Nationality, and passport expiry date.
When you present on gorilla safari day, these details are added to your gorilla permit card and retrieved later from the strip embedded at the back of your card. These are identification details that distinguish you from other gorilla trekkers.
How Much Is a Uganda Gorilla Permit?
A Uganda gorilla trekking permit costs $800 for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents and 300000 for East African residents.
Uganda gorilla habituation experience permits cost $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents and 750000shs for East African residents.
The cost of a gorilla permit covers park entrance fees, government tax, four hours during gorilla habituation experience, security, local community support, mountain gorilla conservation, one hour with the mountain gorilla trekking, a certificate after the gorilla safari, and ranger guide fees.
Exclusions in the gorilla permit cost: transport, accommodation, porter hire, snacks and any other items of personal nature.
Can I Reschedule A Uganda Gorilla Permit?
Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts gorilla permit reschedule in Case you cannot travel by the pre-booked date. Most tourists who book gorilla permits are destined to have that precious moment with some of the few leftover mountain gorillas, but circumstances may stop them.
In Case you wish to travel in the future, you can request to reschedule your gorilla permit as follows.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority asking to reschedule your gorilla permit to a new date stated. Attach evidence in CaseCase you have any, and this will act as backup for your request. The date to which the gorilla permit is moved must be within the year for which it was booked.
When approved, your gorilla permit is moved as per your request, depending on the prevailing availability. Uganda Wildlife Authority currently allows one-time free gorilla permit reschedule. The gorilla permit must be topped up first for those who purchased them in installments.
When Is The Best Time To Book Uganda Gorilla Permits?
Booking the gorilla permit 6 months to a year in advance saves you from last-minute panic as you search for permit availability. If you hope to travel for a gorilla safari in the high Uganda tourism season, you need to book your gorilla permit in advance. The demand for gorilla permits increases as the season draws closer.
Last-minute Uganda gorilla permits are hard to find in the high season.
During the low season, gorilla permits may be available at the last minute, but this is not guaranteed. The low season attracts fewer tourists, but you must confirm a gorilla safari with a permit. Only risk traveling to the gorilla trekking destinations with a confirmed gorilla permit no matter the season.
Can I Use A Gorilla Permit For Another Area To Do Gorilla Trekking In Another Area?
No, you cannot use a gorilla permit for another area to do gorilla trekking in another area. When you purchase a gorilla permit for a particular area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must attend gorilla trekking in that area. This explains why you must secure accommodation within or closer to the area where your gorilla permit is booked.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla trekking areas under which gorilla permits are booked: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
Each gorilla safari area has a limit to the number of people booked to attend gorilla trekking in that area. This limit is considered when trekkers are being allocated gorilla families after the briefing. Extra gorilla permits may be considered when a gorilla family is overbooked, but the Uganda Wildlife Authority must acknowledge this. These excess tourists may be allowed to visit gorilla families under habituation or set aside from research.
Can I Be Refunded A Uganda Gorilla Permit?
Gorilla permit refund is challenging because of the bureaucracy and depends on the Uganda Wildlife Authority refund policy. Suppose you purchase your gorilla permit through a tour operator. In that case, the operator may add additional charges as a follow-up cost but not a guarantee to get the refund because it depends on the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
How sure Can I Be To see the Uganda Mountain Gorillas In The wild?
There are 98% chance of seeing mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Although the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park were known to disappear into Rwanda, they are steadily living in Uganda now and there permits are available for pre-booking.
Before a gorilla family is opened to public booking, it undergoes the process of habituation. Gorilla habituation is a process where researchers and trackers follow a wild gorilla family, noting their characteristics, identifying each one, collecting their waste, and so much more without altering their nature. The process of gorilla habituation helps mountain gorillas get accustomed to human presence. When the gorilla family is ready, it is opened to the public. This is a premier step to gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation.
Each day, a team of trackers wakes up early to follow a gorilla family where they may have spent the night and possible hangout spot. Rangers use these clues to lead the tourists so they are not lost in the vast wilderness.
If you fail to locate the mountain gorillas, The Uganda Wildlife Authority invokes the refund policy where 75% of the total gorilla permit cost is returned to you.
Note that gorilla trekking or habituation is not a probability adventure but a sure deal.
Is Gorilla Safari in Uganda Difficult?
The topography of the area where Gorilla safaris happen is generally volcanic with highlands. Sometimes, you may be required to hike to where the mountain gorillas may be spending the day. On the day of the trek, in case it rains, the rain trails get slippery and soggy.
You must wear tracking gear like safari boots, long-sleeved shirts, and trousers in wilderness-friendly colors, like tan or khaki.
Since the mountain gorillas live in the wilderness, sometimes the vegetation overgrows, making it quite hard to go where they may be spending the day.
As a tourist, you need to have some level of fitness to go through the entire trek.
What are the Guidelines Of Gorilla Safari in Uganda?
- No spitting on vegetation as it is food for the mountain gorillas and is one way to pass infection to them.
- When eating or smoking, do it at least 300 meters from the mountain gorillas so that they do not grab it from you. They are wild animals that must search for their food.
- Littering the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas live. They feed on vegetation that thrives in the forest. Even other forest dwellers feed on this vegetation.
- If you wish to defecate, ask the ranger guide to dig a hole about 30 cm deep and cover well afterward beyond recognition. This is to prevent forest dwellers from exhuming this waste.
- Anyone with a communicable infection like flu, cough, coronavirus and others is not allowed to be with the mountain gorillas because they are highly susceptible to these infections. Volunteer to stay behind in Case you catch any of the communicable infections.
- A person below 15 years is not allowed to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas. Because of the above reasons.
- Keep your voice low or quiet when searching for the mountain gorillas so you do not distract even other forest dwellers.
- Please do not use a flash when photographing because it may scare the mountain gorillas. They are agitated by new occurrences in their presence.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, do it away from the mountain gorillas so that you do not pass an infection to them
- Provoking or teasing the mountain gorillas is not advised because you do not know how they may react to this.
- When you meet the mountain gorillas, keep a distance of about 300 meters from them. This is one of the ways of preventing chances of passing an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- When you meet them, only four hours for gorilla habituation and one hour for gorilla trekking are allowed with the wild mountain gorillas. They are habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that time. This is to allow them to go about their day-to-day activities like feeding, grooming, making babies, and others with less distraction.
Contact us on how to reserve your gorilla permits.