Price for Bwindi gorilla trekking permits
What is the price for price for Bwindi gorilla trekking permits? A gorilla trekking permit is a document issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority allowing a person to trek mountain gorillas for a certain period of time. The gorilla trekking permit allows a traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour while a gorilla habituation permit allows a person to be around mountain gorillas for 4 hours. The gorilla trekking permits are sold to only people above the age of 15 years old although even those that are not yet 15 years old can still get a permit but under certain circumstances.
Bwindi harbors a lot of wildlife but mountain gorillas are the major attractions in the park. The park covers an area of 331 sq. km and harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. Bwindi has 21 mountain gorilla families that live in different sectors of the park such as Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga. The other gorilla trekking area in Uganda is Mgahinga national park which is found in Kisoro district.
Bwindi gorilla permit price
To be part of the gorilla trekking activity in Bwindi or any other gorilla park, you must have a gorilla trekking or habituation permit. This will be asked at the briefing point by the rangers to see if you really qualify to trek the mountain gorillas and to see if the card is from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Yes the price of gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi is $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for citizens of East Africa. The normal gorilla trekking permit allows a traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour and it comes with paid park entrance fees as well as ranger guide fees.
There is a unique activity done in Bwindi gorilla park and this is gorilla habituation. To be part of the gorilla habituation experience, you need to get a habituation permit and this costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents, and UGX750,000 East African citizens. Bwindi gorilla habituation permit allows travelers to be around mountain gorillas for 4 hours and comes with paid park entrance fee for the day and ranger guide fees.
Booking Bwindi gorilla trekking permits
Through Direct from Uganda wildlife authority: Bwindi gorilla permits can be booked directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority which manages and controls all the activities in the park. To book a gorilla permit you will have to send an email to the reservationists at Uganda Wildlife Authority. The email should contain the dates of the month and year you want to travel and this information will be used to check for the availability of the trekking permits. If the permits are available, you will be sent the banking details to send money. After they have received the money, your permit will be booked and you will be waiting to pick it up at their office once you arrive in the country.
Using a local tour operator: Bwindi gorilla permits can still be booked using a trustworthy local tour operator who must be licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the association of the Uganda tour operators. Africa adventure vacations is one of the companies to trust when booking gorilla permits. What you will do is send us an email containing the dates of the month and year you want to travel and this information will be used to check for the availability of the gorilla trekking permits with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. When the permits are available, you will be asked to send the money and your permit will be booked.
When to book gorilla permits for Bwindi
Gorilla permits for Bwindi can be booked at any time of the year before coming into the country. Travelers are advised to book the gorilla permits 3-4 months before coming into the country for trekking and this is because gorilla permits sell out quickly most especially during the dry season. Travelers visiting Bwindi in the rainy season can still book their permits a few weeks before the trekking date because not so many travelers move and so the permits are always available.
Number of gorilla permits in Bwindi
Bwindi has the highest population of mountain gorillas as well as the highest number of mountain gorilla families. The national park has 19 mountain gorilla families which means there are 152 normal gorilla trekking permits at Uganda wildlife authority. Bwindi is also the only place to meet semi habituated mountain gorilla families and they are only 2. Each of the semi habituated mountain gorilla families is trekked by 4 people which means only 8 habituation permits are in Bwindi every day. In total, Bwindi has 160 gorilla permits all sold at Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kamwokya.
On the day of gorilla trekking, all travelers will wake up early for morning breakfast, get all the necessary documents, and meet their drivers to transfer them to the sector offices. At the sector offices are the park wardens that teach the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity before making groups not exceeding 8.
Armed ranger guides lead trekkers into the jungle to look for a mountain gorilla family. During the search which can take 2-7 hours, the trekkers are able to see different park animals such as duikers, monkeys, giant forest hogs, elephants, golden cats, side-stripped jackals, clawless otter, bush pigs, bats, birds, and much more. The moment the assigned mountain gorilla family is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the gorilla group, watch the members do daily activities, take photos and learn about the gorilla’s behaviors.