Mountain Gorilla Trekking Permit
Mountain gorilla trekking permit : Before going for a gorilla trek, many things are out into consideration. You’ll realize that you need hiking shoes, long sleeved clothes, a walking stick, a hat, sunscreen, long stockings. Cameras, binoculars, water and snacks will make your trip comfortable. Booking accommodation and transport before the trip will help your organization prior to the trip and you’ll be good to go; only to realize that you need a permit to actually go gorilla trekking. It is very important to book a permit at least 10, yes 10 months in advance so you can be prepared early.
Uganda wildlife authority, the only body responsible for issuing these permits, sells 152 gorilla trekking permits a day, visiting 19 habituated gorilla families spread over 4 sectors of Bwindi national park. Also, 8 slots are sold daily for 2 gorilla families with of Bwindi forest. Another 8 are available each day for the only gorilla family at Mgahinga national park. During the peak seasons, December to February and June to October, which are also the dry seasons, these permits are on high demand. It is important to note though that even in the other months; the permits are booked out all the same even with low tourist turnover.
Gorilla trekking permits are purchased only at the Uganda wildlife authority offices in Kampala and not at the entrance of the different parks. For the low seasons, Uganda wildlife authority introduced discounted gorilla trekking permits in 2011. More and more tourists turned up for gorilla trekking and other activities offered in these parks in the low seasons but these discounted permits have since been stopped being issued for reasons not really known.
There has been a significant increment in the prices of gorilla trekking permits since July 1st 2020. Formally, foreigners from outside East Africa were to pay $600 for a permit as compared to the $700 they are to pay now. East African nationals from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan remain paying $70 which is equivalent to 250000 Ugandan shillings. The $100 increment is meant to help the local communities around the parks through infrastructure developments like schools, hospitals, businesses which will improve the livelihoods of people and increase on government revenue.
Uganda’s unbeatable gorilla trekking permits prices have attracted tourists from all over the world to enjoy gorilla trekking at lower prices. Uganda has very low prices compared to it’s competition Rwanda in this trekking business; Uganda charges $700 now compared to the $1500 Rwanda charges. Uganda has seen an increase of tourists flood in from neighboring Rwanda so as to enjoy these incredible low prices. The Uganda wildlife authority tried to keep prices at $600 but an increase was required to help communities, as noted earlier, because they are key in conserving and preserving gorillas in Uganda.
Other permit increments since 2020 include; golden monkey trekking permits at $100 from the previous $90, chimpanzees trekking at $200 from $150 for foreigners, chimpanzee habituation permit at $250 from $220 for foreigners and chimpanzee filming fees from $630 to 40% of the permit.
To acquire a gorilla trekking permit, you can book directly from Uganda wildlife authority offices in Kampala or use a reliable tour operator which is more convenient. Most tour operators will first confirm if there are permits available for the date you want to travel and you’ll be given a company’s bank account number to pay for the safari. If you don’t wish to pay for the whole trip but only the permit, most of not all travel companies will require you to pay commission to help you acquire the permit. It is also possible to cancel a permit and the rules are as follows.
- No refund if you cancel 0-8 days before the trip
- 25% refund if you cancel 9-45 days before
- 50% refund if you cancel 46-90 days before
- 75% refund if you cancel 91 days or more before the trip.
You may be refunded 50% of the fee if you’re Ill and it is confirmed. This is to encourage honesty about sickness, according to Safari bookings.