Gorilla Permit in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, gorilla trekking permits 2024-2025
Gorilla Permits are document that grants entry to a certain group of habituated gorillas. It could be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, or another gorilla habitat.
Are you wondering how to book a gorilla permit? Obtaining a gorilla permit or permission to view wild mountain gorillas is one of the most crucial aspects to consider when organizing a gorilla safari.
Gorilla permit in Uganda. It is critical to reserve your gorilla permit as soon as you plan to visit gorillas. All tourist/ gorilla trekkers must possess a Gorilla permit while accessing gorilla habitats, and it is recommended that they obtain one at least 6 months in advance, particularly when they intend to visit during the high season.
When you decide to go gorilla trekking, you must commit to the journey and request assistance from your tour organization in reserving a permit for a specific day.
Booking gorilla permits during high seasons (June to early October and December to early March) can be extremely competitive. It is doable to obtain gorilla permits on your own, but our observation has shown that many individuals, especially non-residents, find the process onerous. A professional tour organization will make it easy to obtain permits and plan your full gorilla tracking expedition. This involves arranging transportation, meals, additional excursions, and lodging. The price of the gorilla permit must be included in the total tour cost.
We will soon learn that gorilla permits are priced differently in each of the three mountain gorilla trekking countries.
Rwandan Gorilla Permits
Rwanda’s volcanoes national park is where gorilla trekking takes place. Rwanda has ten habituated gorilla populations, with permits costing $1500 each. In Rwanda, gorilla permits can be obtained online, at the Rwanda Development Board offices in Kigali, or directly from the park. The exorbitant cost of Rwanda permits has driven many budget travelers to cross the border to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for less expensive excursions.
Booking Gorilla Permits in Uganda and Cancellation Policies
Gorillas can be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda has 19 habituated gorilla groups. Bwindi has 18 habituated gorilla families, but Mgahinga has one gorilla permit in Uganda, resulting in a huge group. Gorilla trekking costs $80 per day in Uganda. Uganda has reaped significant benefits from keeping its permit prices low. Because of the cost of permits, the park attracts more tourists.
Gorilla permits in Uganda
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park is divided into various parts. Your permit will specify which gorilla family to track as well as your accommodations. Inexpensive gorilla permits in Uganda may be available during the low seasons of the months of April, May, and November, although this is becoming increasingly rare. Mgahinga National Park contains only one habituated gorilla family and is often uncrowded during the off season. Obtaining a gorilla permit for Mgahinga can be highly challenging throughout the high season. Why? Because all travel companies seek licenses when there are none available in other gorilla parks.
I almost forgot to mention that Uganda is the only country that offers the gorilla habituation experience. This is where guests may spend more time with the gorillas while being guided by experienced researchers and trackers. This gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 and is ideal for people who have already gone for normal tracking and want to have a thorough grasp of mountain gorillas. You will have spent four hours with the primates by the time you leave a group in the process of habituation. During standard gorilla trekking, you only have an hour with the primates.
Gorilla permits in the Congo
Congo has eight gorilla groups, and a gorilla trekking permit costs $400 per person. Booking gorilla permits in Congo is done either directly with the park or through a travel operator. The park or tour operator assists you in reserving the permit on the basis of mutual confidence. Tour operators can also assist you in securing Eastern lowland gorilla permits in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Lowland gorilla permits can be obtained at the last minute, however we urge that you book in advance to be sure.
As one considers the various rates for gorilla permits, they may wonder if it is worthwhile. Gorilla permits are pricey because gorillas resemble humans so closely. Apes may not be as clever as chimps, but their conduct and family structure are very similar. Gorillas are more intelligent compared to chimps. They remain more polite, calm, and respectful to all family members. Gorillas will fight to the death in order to safeguard their family, particularly their young.
Rwandan gorilla permits
Mountain gorillas remain an endangered species, with only around 1,000 left in the wild. They can only be discovered in the wilds of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. The thrill of seeing them in the wild is unique, and the reality that they are endangered has led to the high price of permits. Governments require cash to conserve primates and protect their natural environments. 80% of the funds raised from gorilla licenses is spent for gorilla conservation. This is why many people believe gorilla trekking is ethical. Paying for the gorilla permits also helps to protect a species that reminds us of ourselves and the past. Community members and past poachers benefit greatly from gorilla ecotourism and are less likely to damage the animals.
Extra Details on Obtaining Gorilla Permits in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo
A gorilla permit is the only document that allows you to visit and interact with gorillas for one to four hours. When you plan your trip, tour operators will require you to give the details of your passport or a duplicate so that they can verify your age. The age factor is significant since it decides whether you qualify for gorilla trekking or if you will require a porter while visiting the park. The passport copy will also assist the tour company in determining whether you require a multilingual guide.
Price of a gorilla permit, What are included in the gorilla permit fee? The cost of a gorilla permit includes park admission fees as well as the services of the Rangers/Guides who will guide you through the jungle. The Rangers defend you from wild animals by shooting them (occasionally). The cost of a gorilla permit does not include accommodations, transportation, porters, or tips.
Before traveling, be sure to arrange your gorilla permits and safari months ahead of time. This is especially crucial during the petal season.
Never accept payments for gorilla permits that differ from those issued by the government authorities. If it is high season, it is best to wait or book for a month. There is no need to rush; if you truly want to see the gorillas, you will.
When scheduling a gorilla permit or tour, never transfer money to an individual account. All legitimate tour businesses maintain a bank account. If you are ever required to follow up, this will make it easier. All tour providers must provide the option of payment by credit card. The majority of enterprises in East Africa use the Pesapal online platform or a system similar.
Gorilla trekking takes place all year. However, the low season for tourism occurs from March to April, as well as the beginning of May or November. These are periods when obtaining gorilla permits is simple. You are not guaranteed a gorilla permits during the other months (high season) unless you arrange your safari in advance. Check our article regarding how to select an easier gorilla group to hike.
Uganda’s policies and penalty for canceling gorilla permits
Rwandan gorilla trekking permits If you cancel your gorilla trip after booking a gorilla permit, here’s what you need to know. If you cancel the tour within 8 days of the tracking date, the Uganda Wildlife Authority will not refund you. If you cancel between four and forty-five days before the activity, UWA will reimburse just 25% of the permit cost. If you cancel a tour 46 to 90 days before gorilla trekking, you will receive a 50% refund on the permit fee. If you cancel 91 days in advance, you will receive a 75% refund. Refunds are only available to individuals who paid the full amount for their gorilla permit. If you merely made a deposit, you do not qualify for a refund.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority follows the cancellation policy described above. Travel companies have specific cancellation policies, and you should review their Terms & Conditions.