Its normal for a client to know the total amount of money they will spend on their gorilla tour. This is our opinion on the cost of a gorilla safari. For a gorilla safari tour, you ought to purchase a gorilla tracking permit and book your accommodation and logistics to and from the tracking spots. Basing on your tracking spot, for Uganda gorillas, the you need at least 2 days to meet gorillas while Rwanda gorillas is 2 days.
Price of Gorilla Permits
In regards to your gorilla tour, your most valuable item on your safari budget is a gorilla permit. It’s this permit that will be your only way to meet mountain gorillas for one hour or 4 hours per person in Uganda or only an hour in Rwanda. Currently a Uganda gorilla tracking permit costs USD 600 while Rwanda gorilla tracking permits cost USD 1500 each. Uganda gorilla permits are issued by UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) on a first-come-first-serve basis while Rwanda Gorilla permits are issued by RDB (Rwanda Development Board).
We help our clients to find availability and book Gorilla permits on their behalf for both Rwanda and Uganda. It is very important that you consider booking your gorilla tracking permits three-five months prior before your actual date of travel and trekking as these permits are usually in high demand more especially during the peak seasons of June to July, August and September then December, January and February.
Price and Cost of Transport
The second very important aspect you need to consider in your gorilla tour budget is transportation. To access the Bwindi Impenetrable national park, you will need to arrange transport to and from either by flight or by road. The lowest days to access Bwindi road is 3 days where on day 1 involves leaving Entebbe / Kampala to Bwindi and day 2 is for trekking gorillas and finally on day 3 you drive back to Entebbe / Kampala.
These are long hours of driving so you need a plan wisely, however the best option is to hire us to do this days tour for you where its us to carry the burden of transporting you as you just enjoy the comfort, but if your doing this on your own ensure you make a budget for a vehicle with driver and then fuel to handle the long distance from Entebbe to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
We also hire tourists our safari vehicles for hire. For tourists afraid of the long distance, there is an option of flying to and fro Bwindi. Aerolink Uganda Limited is operates scheduled flights to and from, departing from Entebbe airport and landing in either Kihihi airstrip or Kisoro airstrip close to the forest. Similar flight companies include fly Uganda and Eagle air operate charter flights to and from however more expensive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Booking your Accommodation
Accommodation is another important aspect on your gorilla tour that you must consider on your tour budget. Depending on your budget and taste, Bwindi Impenetrable National has accommodations ranging from budget, mid-range and luxury properties offering meals on either full board or half board. So for a minimum gorilla tour of 3 days, you will have to spend 2 nights at the one of your preferred lodges in the park, the first night when you arrive on day 1 and second night on day 2 after gorilla trekking experience.
However it is relatively possible to depart the lodge on day 2 of trekking but this will only depend on the time finished trekking since this time of meeting with the gorillas is not guaranteed. Most of the accommodations in Bwindi quote their rooms depending on seasons, during peak seasons, the prices are usually higher than the low seasons. Depending on taste and budget, if you have no idea of which lodge to book with, we can arrange one for you.
Cost of Porters
To have a porter during your gorilla trekking activity is a aspect and we recommend all our tourists to take on at least 1 porter with them for good reasons. These porters are usually strong young boys and girls living within the community around Bwindi, so this work is a way of supporting them through school and also support to sustain their families therefore paying for a porter is your great contribution towards community development.
They are very professional in their duties, they help you carry bags and as you approaching gorillas, they remain behind you with all your packed meals and stuff you might not need at the moment. For disabled tourists who also wish to see gorillas, these porters will help out in carrying you through the forest to also see the gorillas. Contact us if you wish to get more details about them and how much you will spend on them.
Cost of Tips
Tipping is the only way you can show your gratitude for good service towards your gorilla tour. Seeing the wild mountain gorillas is one of the hardest things to see and these ranger guides in Bwindi and Mgahinga take a lot of time habituating and monitoring their movement to ensure that when you go to visit, you are guaranteed to view the wild gentle creatures. Other people you should tip include your driver guides for extra work done, waiters at the lodge and porters. Tipping is not a must that thing but its the only way you will show appreciation to the people who see you through your dream of meeting the only existing mountain gorillas in the world. As a responsible Tours and travel operator, we reserve some small monies for tipping.
With that simple formula you can now estimate how much you gorilla trekking safari will cost you. We wish you a great adventure.