Gorilla trekking permit availability in Uganda

Gorilla trekking permit is legal document or card that is issued to a visitor above the age of fifteen years by Uganda Wildlife Authority allowing him or her to trek a gorilla family in any gorilla tracking destination. A gorilla trekking permit is very important as far as gorilla trekking is concerned because without the permit you will not be allowed to trek any gorilla family in Uganda or other gorilla destinations. Gorilla trekking is one of the famous activities in Uganda and it’s carried out in two destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda. Gorilla trekking is also done in other destinations in Africa that is Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

The national park is located in southwestern  shared by districts of Kanungu , kabala and  Kisoro and a home of over 450 mountain gorillas which are about half of the mountain gorillas in the whole world. Bwindi impenetrable national park harbors 19 habituated gorilla families and they are found in four sectors namely Rushaga sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the east, Buhoma sector in the north and Nkuringo sector in the south. Due to the fact that the park harbors 19 gorilla families it implies that there are about 152 available gorilla trekking permits on a daily basis. Gorilla trekking in the park starts with a briefing early in the morning at the park headquarters about the rules, regulations and expectations during trekking. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 individuals to trek each habituated gorilla family depending on physical fitness and then start trekking in the jungle which takes about 2 to 6 hours or even more depending on the location of the mountain gorillas. Once the gorilla family has been found you will spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas taking photos, recording moments and learning about their habits, behaviors among others.

Mgahinga gorilla national park

The national park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district. Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of two habituated gorilla families namely Nyakagezi and Hirwa family which migrated from the neighboring Volcanoes national park in Rwanda in October 2019 therefore there are 16 gorilla trekking permits available daily. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park starts with a briefing just like in Bwindi impenetrable national park, takes about 2 to 5 hours and when the gorillas are found you will spend one hour with the gorilla family in their presence taking photos, recording the moments and learning more about their lifestyle, habits, behaviors among others.

Cost of a gorilla trekking permit

Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 which will later be hiked to $700 effective April 2020 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for east African citizens and the permit was increased by $100 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents effective 1st July 2020 therefore you should book a gorilla trekking permit when it’s still cheap before the increased price becomes effective.  The gorilla trekking permit is Uganda is cheaper compared to volcanoes national park because a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda cost $1500 for all nationals.

How to book for a gorilla trekking permit

Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda can be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority a government tourism body by contacting the offices via email or telephone calls. There is also an option of booking a gorilla trekking permit through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. When booking through a tour operator you will contact us with the date, month and year when you want to engage in gorilla trekking and we will contact Uganda Wildlife Authority for availability of the gorilla permit matching the dates and get back, once there are available permits, you will be asked to make a deposit of the gorilla trekking permit and send scanned copies which will be used to purchase the permit. Once the payment has been done we will purchase your gorilla trekking permit and send you a scanned copy as confirmation and it will therefore be issued to you on arrival.

Booking a gorilla trekking permit through Achieve Global Safaris is the best option in that we will not only save you the hustle but also plan for your entire gorilla trekking safari which includes transportation, meals, accommodation and other activities that you may want to engage in either Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park  

Gorilla trekking permit availability

Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda can be booked anytime throughout the year and permit availability is based on the season

Peak season

Peak season in Uganda is also known as the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. during this time there is less rainfall in the gorilla trekking destinations which attracts many visitors because there will be clear viewing of the mountain gorillas due to short grass and the gorilla trekking trails in the jungle will be passable. gorilla trekking permits in the peak season are therefore competitive and usually get sold out therefore visitors are advised to book 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date to avoid disappointments.

Low season

This is also known as the wet/rainy season in the months of March to May and October to November. During the wet season there is heavy rainfall in the forests and can rain anytime of the day therefore gorilla trekking trails will be wet, muddy, slippery and visitors do not prefer the wet season therefore there will be less crowds in the gorilla destinations. Due to heavy rainfall in the low season the gorilla trekking permits are not competitive and visitors can also book at the last minute which is most probably not possible during the peak season.

The low season is therefore of high advantage compared to the peak season when it comes to gorilla trekking permit availability in that during the low season there are less crowds in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, less competition for gorilla trekking, booking at the last minute and the lodges at the destinations also offer discounts which favors budget travelers.

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