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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Gorilla Tours And Gorilla Safaris

Compare the price of gorilla permits in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park

Compare the price of gorilla permits in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park

Compare the price of gorilla permits in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park

Compare the price of gorilla permits in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park: both parks are famous places when it comes to mountain gorilla trekking. Bwindi is home to the highest population of mountain gorillas in the southwestern part of Uganda while Volcanoes national park is in the western part of Rwanda. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has 19 mountain gorilla families and 2 semi-habituated mountain gorilla families living in 4 sectors while Volcanoes national park has 10 mountain gorilla families open for gorilla trekking purposes.

To encounter mountain gorillas in both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Volcanoes national park, there is a certain fee you need to pay and this is used to conserve mountain gorilla, develop communities around the national parks and also pay the rangers, trackers, wardens, doctors and other people working in the park. To encounter mountain gorillas you need to secure a gorilla permit which is shown to the park wardens to enable you encounter mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.

Comparing the price of gorillas permits in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park

In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, gorilla trekking permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. In Volcanoes national park each gorilla trekking permit is $1500 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents, and $200 citizens of East Africa. In both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Volcanoes national park, gorilla trekking permit allows a traveler be part of the gorilla trekking activity where they will be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour.

buying gorilla permits in Uganda from UWA

buying gorilla permits in Uganda from UWA

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has got gorilla habituation permits which are used to trek semi-habituated mountain gorilla families in Nkuringo and Rushaga sector. In Volcanoes national park there are no gorilla habituation permits because there are no gorilla families that are open for habituation purposes. Gorilla habituation permits in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa.

The gorilla permits for Volcanoes national park are expensive because Rwanda markets herself as a luxury tourism destination. Uganda on the other hand has affordable gorilla trekking permits for travelers to afford to encounter mountain gorillas and maybe to attract more travelers because it has so many mountain gorilla families. Bwindi has 21 mountain gorilla families for trekking while Volcanoes national park has only 10 gorilla families

Uganda wildlife authority is the government body that controls and issues gorilla permits for Bwindi impenetrable forest national park while Volcanoes national park, it’s is called Rwanda development board. Uganda wildlife authority has 152 mountain gorilla trekking permits and 8 gorilla habituation permits per day while Rwanda Development Board has only 80 gorilla permits per day. These mountain gorillas are sold on a first come first serve basis.

To book gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda, you have an option of using local tour operators that are licensed or directly from the organizations that issue the permits. Booking with a local tour operator is the simplest way to get gorilla permits for both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Volcanoes national park. The local tour operators don’t charge extra costs and they will collect the gorilla permits for you unlike if you book with the organization.

To book with a local tour operator or Uganda Wildlife authority for those visiting Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Rwanda Development Board for those visiting Volcanoes national park, you need to first get the days of the month and year you want to travel. You will send them to your local tour operator or reservations office of UWA or RDB so that they use the information to check for the availability of the gorilla permits.

Once the gorilla permits are available, you will be sent an email including the price of the permit and how you can send the money for the permit. In case the permits are not available, you will be asked to choose other dates or given dates close to the ones you had so that you choose. But if you are lucky and they are available, you will just need to send money for the permits and a scanned copy of the receipt of payment to prove you paid because money might take long to show on account. Your permit shall be booked.

In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Uganda Wildlife Authority enables travelers to book and pay gorilla permits in installments and this has not yet started in Volcanoes national park Rwanda. Using Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator, you can now pay gorilla permits in installments which can be 30%, 50%, or 70% and the balance must be cleared 3 months before the trekking day.

Best time to encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park

Mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park can be encountered at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months that occur from June to September and December to February are the best to visit these national parks. During such months, there is little or no rainfall that keeps the trekking trails dry hence not affecting the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is short and thin with great views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads leading to the parks are passable.

Travelers can still visit Bwindi and Volcanoes national park in the rainy season of March to May and October to November because the parks are always open. During the rainy months, the accommodation facilities are very cheap, and the prices are reduced because lodges want to attract the few customers in the park. Travelers should however note that the rainy season is characterized by too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery affecting the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the parks are poor conditions.

Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes and Bwindi

Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes and Bwindi

Between Bwindi and Volcanoes national park, which is the best park to encounter mountain gorillas

Gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi and Volcanoes national park has no big difference because the experience is the same and the chances of seeing mountain gorillas are 98%. In Bwindi, the search for mountain gorillas can take 2-7 hours while in Volcanoes national park it can take 1-5 hours because the national park is very small. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi takes you through the thick tropical forest while in Volcanoes national park, it’s the bamboo vegetation cover.

When it comes to the price of the gorilla permits, I would choose Bwindi over Volcanoes national park. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is cheap when it comes to gorilla permits compared to Volcanoes national park. A single gorilla permit for Volcanoes national park buys 2 gorilla permits for Bwindi and you still save $100. When to it comes to accessibility then Volcanoes national park is better than Bwindi because it can be accessed in 2-3 hours from Kigali while Bwindi can be accessed in 9-10 hours from Kampala and 4-5 hours from Kigali.

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