What is the best time to buy gorilla permits in Uganda?
What is the best time to buy gorilla permits in Uganda ?: Gorilla permits are cards/documents that allow travelers to be part of the gorilla trekking activity in gorilla parks. Uganda gorilla permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body managing and controlling park activities. There are two types of gorilla permits at Uganda Wildlife Authority and these are gorilla trekking permits which grant access to one trek and one hour around mountain gorillas. There are also gorilla habituation permits that grant access to one trek and 4 hours with mountain gorillas trying to make them used to human presence in their natural habitats.
In Uganda, mountain gorillas are lucky to be found in two national park and these include Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park. Uganda has the highest population of mountain gorillas in the whole world with the highest number seen in Bwindi gorilla park and the least number in Mgahinga national park. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park mountain gorillas do live in four sectors of the park which are Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma. The Mgahinga mountain gorillas move around the whole park which is just 31 sq. km.
There are 19 mountain gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable first national park and 1 gorilla family in Mgahinga national park and for any traveler to be allowed around these mountain gorillas, they must have a valid gorilla trekking permit which shows that they are supposed to trek that very day. The gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi do indicate the sector where you are going to trek and these are checked by the park wardens at the sector offices during the briefing.
Travelers that are interested in encountering mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park should first secure themselves a gorilla trekking permit or gorilla habituation permit. The gorilla permits can be got from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator after you have contacted them with the dates of the month and year you want to travel. The dates shall be used to check if permits are available and once they are there you will pay and get your permit book.
Best time to buy gorilla permits in Uganda
The best time to buy gorilla permits in Uganda is at least 3-4 months in advance for different reasons. We do believe that 3-4 months before the gorilla trekking date, there are permits still available at the Uganda Wildlife Authority compared to when you book late and you find them sold out. It’s important for travelers to book gorilla permits in Uganda 3-4 months before the gorilla trekking date in order to get a chance of trekking in the sectors of the park of their choice.
Uganda Wildlife Authority nowadays issues gorilla permits for each region and therefore if you book in advance you will have a choice to tell them whether you want to trek in Nkuringo region, Buhoma region, Ruhija region, Rushaga region, or Mgahinga national park. When it comes to travelers that want to trek gorillas in the rainy season, those don’t have the best time to buy gorilla permits because they can buy even a few days to the safari. This is because the season attracts a very low number of travelers since it comes with plenty of rainfall.
Booking the gorilla permits 3-4 months in advance helps to do proper planning of your safari. Once you know your permit is secured, you look at how you will come to Uganda, the lodges you will stay in, and also the items you will pack on your safari. When the permit is booked, you are assured of trekking and therefore you start doing exercise around your areas so that by the time of trekking you are fit enough.
How to buy gorilla permits in Uganda?
Buying gorilla permits in Uganda can be done by contacting a trusted local tour operator or Uganda Wildlife which is a government body responsible for issuing gorilla permits. You will contact any of the two via email and your message should contain the dates of the month and year you want to travel. The information is used to check whether the permits are available and in case they are sold out, you will be asked to choose other dates.
When you are lucky and you find gorilla permits available, you will be sent an email containing different banking details and the cost of the permit. You will choose which bank is good for you and send money for the gorilla permit. After sending money you will be required to send a scanned copy of your receipt of payment and once it has been received, your gorilla permit shall be booked. Travelers that book direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority will pick up their permits at the offices in Kampala.
How much do gorilla permits cost in Uganda?
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park gorilla trekking permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000. Gorilla habituation permits which are only used in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UCX750,000 citizens of East Africa.
When to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done at any time of the year however there are seasons that are better than the rest. The dry season is the best to trek gorillas in Uganda and it happens from June to September and December to February. The dry season is good for gorilla trekking because the months are characterized by little or no rainfall that keeps the trekking trails dry, vegetation is short, and think with good views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers most especially the budget travelers can come for gorilla trekking in Uganda during the rainy season to enjoy cheap accommodation facilities and discounts on some park activities. The prices of most things are reduced to attract the few travelers that are visiting the park. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and is characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.