What is included in a gorilla permit?
What is included in a gorilla permit: A gorilla permit is a document that allows tourists to be part of the mountain gorilla trekking activity where they will encounter mountain gorillas for 1 hour. A gorilla permit is issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body managing and controlling all the park activities. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park which are both located in the southwestern part of the country.
Gorilla trekking is the main activity done in these national parks and to be part of them you have to purchase a gorilla permit. The gorilla permit is bought at a fee from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator at the same fee. The money that is used to buy a gorilla permit to enable you to encounter mountain gorillas includes a lot of things and they include the following.
What is included in a gorilla permit?
A gorilla permit fee includes one hour around mountain gorillas and this starts counting the moment you meet them. To locate the mountain gorillas can take you 2-7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas and the speed of trekkers. The moment the mountain gorillas are seen is when the 1 hour according to Uganda Wildlife Authority starts counting.
A gorilla permit fee includes park entrance fees. Travelers that are going for gorilla trekking don’t have to pay park entrance but those that are going for other activities such as birding or community tours are supposed to pay entrance fees. Travelers that are visiting the park for gorilla trekking don’t pay entrance fees until they get out of the park.
A gorilla permit fee includes guide fees. The gorilla permit money includes the service of the park wardens who teach you the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity as well as the allocation of the gorilla family. The fees also include the service of the armed ranger guides who lead you through the whole trek protecting you from dangerous wild animals as well as showing you the right trails to use to locate the gorilla family. The fees also include trackers fees that go to the jungle to see where mountain gorillas slept the previous night.
A gorilla permit fee includes community development fees. Some of the money about 10% collected from gorilla permits is given to the communities that live around the park to improve their families or businesses. The local communities are given part of the money got from gorilla tourism to let them know that these animals are important to the community so they shouldn’t do poaching.
A gorilla permit fee includes money that is paid to the veterinary doctors who make sure that the mountain gorillas are healthy every time. These doctors keep moving around the national park to see if the mountain gorillas are in good health and in case there is one with wounds or any disease, they do treat them and this is why the population keeps on increasing.
How many permits are in Bwindi?
With 19 fully habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi national park, there are currently 152 gorilla trekking permits in the sectors of the park. The park also has 8 gorilla habituation permits from the 2 semi habituated mountain gorilla families that are found in Nkuringo and Rushaga regions. Bwindi therefore has the highest number of gorilla permits in the whole world totaling to 160.
How much does a gorilla permit cost?
There are two types of permits, a normal gorilla trekking, and a gorilla habituation permit. Because of what is included in a gorilla permit , the gorilla trekking permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000. A gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents, and UGX750,000 for citizens of East Africa.
How to purchase a gorilla permit?
To know what is included in a gorilla permit, you need to decide whether to buy it by yourself or use a trusted local tour operator. A traveler can purchase the gorilla permit by contacting Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator. You should tell them the dates of the month and year you want to trek and this information shall be used to check for the availability of the gorilla permits. Once the permits are available, you will be sent an email containing the price of the permits as well as the different banking details. When you send the money, your permit shall be booked and you will be able to trek gorillas that day.
When to purchase a gorilla permit?
A gorilla permit can be purchased at any time of the year before the gorilla trekking date however travelers are advised to buy the permits early in advance of 3-4 months to avoid last-minute booking disappointments. Travelers who book their gorilla permits earlier get an opportunity to do proper planning for their safaris. The travelers also get to choose the gorilla sector they want to trek from or even sometimes a gorilla family to trek.
Best time to go gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking can be done at any time of the year because the park is always open however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit the park and they occur from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and scattered giving clear views of mountain gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can still visit Bwindi in the rainy season of March to May and October to November because the park is always open. Travelers who visit the park during that season will benefit from huge discounts on accommodation facilities because the accommodation owners lower the price to attract the few customers in the park. Travelers should note that in the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.