Cost of gorilla permits in Uganda
Cost of gorilla permits in Uganda: Gorilla permits are cards or documents issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority to allow travelers that are 15 years and above t trek mountain gorillas and encounter them in their natural habitats. In Uganda, there are two kinds of permits, gorilla trekking permits, and gorilla habituation permits. Gorilla trekking permits are cards that are used by travelers who want to encounter a gorilla family that is already habituated while the gorilla habituation permits are used by travelers that want to encounter semi habituate mountain gorilla families.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks which are Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has 21 mountain gorilla families of which 19 are fully habituated and 2 are semi-habituated. Mgahinga national park has only one mountain gorilla family and therefore only 8 people can trek in this park on a day. To trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park, you must have a permit and this is got from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator at a fee.
The cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda
Gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. The trekking permits come with an opportunity of being around mountain gorillas for 1 hour, paid park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, and community development fees.
The cost of gorilla habituation permits in Uganda
Gorilla habituation permits which only apply in the Rushaga and Nkuringo regions of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park do cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa. The fee paid for gorilla habituation permits includes 4 hours with mountain gorillas trying to make them get used to human presence, park entrance fees, ranger fees, and community development fees.
How to buy/book gorilla permits in Uganda
Gorilla trekking and habituation permits in Uganda are sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body managing and controlling all park activities. Gorilla permits for Uganda can be booked or bought directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator at the same fee. Travelers who book the trekking permits directly from UWA will have to collect them from their head offices in Kampala.
Booking directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority
Travelers organizing gorilla safaris to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga national park are the ones that are supposed to buy permits direct from UWA. To book the permits, a traveler will contact the reservations office via an email that must contain the dates of the month and year they want to travel. The information shall be used to check for the availability of the permits for the park you want to visit. Once the permits are available, they will send you an email containing the different banking details and the cost of the permit. You will send the money and a scanned copy of your receipt for confirmation and then your permit shall be booked. On arrival in the country for your safari, you will visit their head offices in Kampala and collect your permit.
Booking with a local tour operator
Different local tour operators in Uganda can help travelers on booking Bwindi permits. To use a tour operator, you should good those that are licensed to do such activities or you can get recommended by a friend who has traveled before. Africa Adventure Vacations is one of the local tour operators in Uganda who can book Bwindi permits for you.
To book with us, you will have to contact us via email letting us know the dates of the month, year, and the national park you would love to visit. This information shall be used to check for the availability of the Bwindi permits with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Once the permits are available, you will be sent an email containing different banking details and the cost of each permit. You will send them money and later a scanned copy of the receipt of payment and we shall book the permit for you.
When to book trekking permits in Uganda
It’s very important for travelers to know the cost of Bwindi gorilla permits in advance because that is when they will get the best trekking regions and even avoid last-minute booking disappointments. Bwindi permit booking should be done atleast 3-4 months in advance if you are planning to visit the park, especially during the dry season which happens from June to September and December to February. During the dry season, it is when most travelers are planning to visit the park and therefore permits tenmd to sell out quickly and they are sold on a first come first serve basis. Travelers that are visiting Uganda for gorilla trekking in the rainy season can book bwindi permits even when there is one month to the trekking date because they will always be available.
Number of trekking permits in Uganda
The total number of Bwindi permits in Uganda is 168 and these are for both Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Mgahinga national park has only 8 trekking permits and this is because the park has only one mountain gorilla family called Nyakagezi that is available for trekking activities. 160 Bwindi permits are in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and 152 of these are Bwindi trekking permits for the 19 mountain gorilla families fully habituated while 2 are for semi-habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo and Rushaga regions that are open for habituation purposes.