Can I buy gorilla permits in Uganda by myself?
Can I buy gorilla permits in Uganda by myself?: If you are planning to visit Uganda and encounter mountain gorillas, it is very possible to buy gorilla permits in Uganda by yourself directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority. Mountain gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park and to encounter them you need a gorilla trekking permit. In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, there are those that need gorilla habituation permits if they are to encounter mountain gorillas for 4 hours.
A lot of travelers think that to have a gorilla safari or buy gorilla permits you need a local tour operator but this is not true. Travelers can also buy themselves gorilla permits, book transportation, and accommodation facilities. This is usually done by travelers that are visiting Uganda on budget and it has helped them to save some money that would be paid to the local tour operator for helping them organize the safari.
How to buy gorilla permits in Uganda by yourself?
Travelers that are intending to visit Uganda and trek mountain gorillas can by themselves gorilla permits directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Travelers must first look for the national park they want to visit, type of gorilla permits, dates of the months and year they want to trek the mountain gorillas. They will then contact the reservations office at Uganda Wildlife Authority via email with the dates of the national park they want to visit, the type of gorilla permit, months and year they want to travel.
The information shall be used to check for the availability of the gorilla trekking permits and in case they are not available you will be sent the dates close to the ones you had chosen or asked to choose other dates. If the permits are available, you will be sent an email informing you that they are available, the cost of the permits, and then the different banking details.
You will use any of the banks that is easier for you and thereafter send a scanned copy of your receipt to the reservation’s office at UWA. The reason as to why you are asked to send a scanned copy of the receipt is that the money can take 2-3 days to get to Uganda. After sending the receipt to show that you have paid, your permit shall be booked and on arrival in the country, you will have to visit the Uganda wildlife authority offices in Kampala to collect your permit.
Travelers can buy themselves gorilla permits in Uganda but those that are lazy to do so or those that are planning to use local tour operators to organize their safari can use local tour operators to buy for them gorilla permits at the same fee Uganda Wildlife Authority charges. To book gorilla permits with a local tour operator, you need to be sure that they are licensed to do tourism-related activities in the country.
Africa Adventure Vacations is one of the local tour companies licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board to book gorilla permits on behalf of clients. To book with us, you will contact us via email with the national park you want to visit, type of gorilla permits, dates of the month and year you want to travel and we shall use the information to check for the availability of the gorilla trekking permits with Uganda Wildlife Authority.
If we find the gorilla permits available, we shall send you an email letting you know how much you need to pay for the permit and also different banking details you can use to send us money. You will send the money for your permit and also a scanned copy of your receipt of payment and once we receive them your gorilla permit shall be booked.
Cost of Uganda gorilla permits
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park cost the same price. Each gorilla trekking permit is $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for citizens of East Africa. The gorilla habituation permits which are only used in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa.
When to buy gorilla permits in Uganda by yourself
The time to buy gorilla permits for Uganda by yourself depends on the season you want to go gorilla trekking. Uganda has the dry season which is known as the high season and then the low season which is known as the low season. Travelers that are visiting Uganda in the high season are strongly advised to book their gorilla trekking permits 3-4 months earlier in advance. This is because so ma y travelers are planning to visit the country and therefore you need to secure your spot earlier to avoid inconveniences.
Travelers that are planning to visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in the rainy season/ low season of March to May and October to November can book their gorilla permits 3-4 months early in advance although it’s not necessary. They can as well book their permits a few weeks before the gorilla trekking day because there are few travelers visiting the permits and therefore permits are always available at UWA on any day.
Best time to encounter Uganda gorilla?
Travelers can visit Uganda and encounter mountain gorillas at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to encounter mountain gorillas in Uganda and they do happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Uganda for gorilla trekking in the rainy season of March to May and October to November and this favors budget travelers because the lodges are at a low price. Travelers should however note that during the rainy season, there is too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the road leading to the park are impassable.