Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda is one of the essentials that one needs to have before they embark on a journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for Gorilla Trekking. Visiting the endangered mountain gorillas is the most famous popular activity that attracts visitors to Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga and it can only be achieved if you purchase a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda.
Gorilla permit is a legal document or a card similar to an ATM issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority at the head offices in Kampala that allows any traveler above the age of 15 to trek mountain gorillas for one hour in the presence of the gorilla family in any of the two national parks in Uganda, Bwindi forest impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park.
Gorilla trekking is an activity where visitors trek or hike in the jungle in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. In Uganda gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi impenetrable forest which is a home of about 400 gorillas with 14 Gorilla groups and 11 habituated gorilla families found in the 4 sectors of Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector in the south and also done in Mgahinga national park with one habituated gorilla family (Nyakagezi).
Gorilla trekking is done in three countries which include Uganda in with the highest number of gorillas located in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park, Rwanda with mountain gorillas found in Volcanoes national park and Democratic Republic of Congo with gorillas found in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park which harbors the unique Eastern lowland gorillas.
Cost of a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
A single gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $500per person for foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens. There are 96 gorilla trekking permits available each day in Uganda Wildlife Authority with 8 permits for Mgahinga national park and the remaining 88 for Bwindi national park which allows a maximum of 8 people daily for each gorilla trekking group and the permit is for one hour in the presence of the gorillas in their natural habitat. however there is also an interesting activity in Bwindi, gorilla habituation experience which takes place in the Rushaga and Nkuringo sector with two habituation gorilla families and the permit costs $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents with only four permits available each day for each gorilla habituation group and during the gorilla habituated experience the visitors more time which is 4 hours with the gorilla groups compared to 1 hour given during gorilla trekking.
Where to get a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda can be accessed through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris where you book a safari with gorilla trekking on the itinerary, the gorilla trekking permits should be booked in advance 4-6 months earlier before the date for trekking because gorilla trekking permits are competitive and difficult to book especially during the peak season in January, February, June, July, August, September, and December when the national parks are dry for trekking and the permits can also get sold out. You are supposed to pay a gorilla trekking permit fee in advance so that Achieve global safaris can acquire the permit for you.
Gorilla trekking permits can be used once by a single person, Achieve global safaris organizes all-inclusive safaris to see gorillas in Bwindi national park and Mgahinga national park including a 3days Bwindi safari, a 4days Bwindi gorillas and lake Bunyonyi among others and can also book safaris to other interesting destinations in Uganda like Queen Elizabeth national park with tree-climbing lions in Ishasha sector, Murchison falls national park among others, organizes safaris to other countries like Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla trekking permit can also be purchased directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority by email or telephone though this might be slow and take time, the permits at Uganda Wildlife Authority are only sold on cash in Uganda shillings, US dollars, GB pounds, Euros among others, however the best option is booking through a trusted tour operator like Achieves global safaris.
When to buy the Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
Gorilla trekking permits can be acquired any time throughout the year and is advisable be purchased 4 to 6 months earlier before the actual trekking date, visitors are supposed to purchase the gorilla trekking permit directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority or pay 100% amount of the gorilla trekking permit cost for bookings before arrival to the tour operator like Achieve global safaris to purchase the permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority so as to ensure timely allocation of the gorilla family since the gorillas in Uganda are found in different sectors and also allows timely selection of the accommodation depending on the sector booked for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking permits are competitive during the peak season in January, February, June, July, August, September, and December however the best months for purchasing a gorilla trekking permit is in April, May and October which is the offseason with fewer tourists due to the rains, therefore visitors are supposed to wear warm clothes, rain jackets/ponchos, garden gloves, hiking boots, packed lunch from the lodge, enough drinking water, insect repellent among others.
How to acquire a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
When booking for a gorilla trekking permit you contact the tour operator like Achieve global safaris with the date, month and year when you want to trek the gorillas in Uganda and the company will check availability of gorilla permits and if there are gorilla trekking permits available, you are requested to send your scanned passport details which include the names, country, passport number that are needed by Uganda Wildlife Authority in order to print and issue your gorilla permit which is purchased according to first come first serve. You are then requested to pay for the permit and the company will send you the scanned copies of the gorilla trekking permit. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is guaranteed to Achieve global safaris when you acquire a gorilla trekking permit in time.
What is included in a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
A gorilla trekking permit includes one hour in the presence of the endangered habituated mountain gorillas plus other hours spent trekking in search of the gorillas in the jungle. During this one hour, you are free to take videos, photos and ask any questions about the mountain gorillas. It also includes the services of a gorilla guide or ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority who is conversant with the trails in the forest that lead to the mountain gorillas, gorilla trackers who look for the gorilla habituated families so as to make trekking easy, park entrance fees for Bwindi national park or Mgahinga national park depending on the park where you are going to do gorilla trekking and security through the tourism police which ensures safety of the visitors and the park rangers who are trained and carry guns for protection in Uganda. However, the gorilla trekking permit does not include the tips and the porter who carries the backpack of the visitor when trekking and offer help while trekking in the forest.
Gorilla trekking permits have a fixed date and can be changed due to some circumstances like when a visitor fails to track because of the illnesses hence given a 50% refund when the visitor treks the whole day and fails to view the gorilla which is close to impossible in Bwindi national park.
Gorilla trekking becomes successful when you have a valid gorilla trekking permit where after gorilla trekking in Bwindi national park or Mgahinga national park you are issued a certificate by Uganda Wildlife Authority for taking part in Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda which gives you a lifetime experience with unforgettable memories.