Uganda Gorilla Permit Booking 2024-2026 Cost

Uganda Gorilla Permit Booking 2024-2026 Cost

Uganda Gorilla Permit Booking 2024-2026 Cost : To take part in the amazing, mind blowing mountain gorilla trekking experience, you need to have a gorilla trekking permit.

Uganda is a great gorilla trekking destination, the country is home to more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. These gentle giants are considered endangered species and are only found in the forested forests of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.

 The only way to protect the mountain gorillas is through ecotourism and the income generated from gorilla tours helps in funding the national parks and provides a financial incentive for the local people to safe guard the mountain gorillas. In order to see these gentle giants, a gorilla permit is required.

You will find all the information you need to know about a Uganda Gorilla Permit in this blog post.

What Are Gorilla Permits?

Gorilla permits are authorization document that allow guests to track the gorillas, this also allows the authorities to control the amount of people visiting these endangered primates. The permits grant visitors access to one trek and one hour with the gorillas.

The duration of the trek may vary from 2 to 7 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are on any given day, in Uganda gorilla permits apply to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which has 21 habituated gorilla families and is the most visited gorilla destination. Also, Bwindi is the only gorilla park in the world offering gorilla habituation experience.

The Uganda gorilla permit also applies to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which has one habituated gorilla family open for gorilla trekking safaris.

What Is A Gorilla Habituation Permit?

A Uganda gorilla habituation permit allows you to take park in the gorilla habituation experience/process through which wild gorillas are trained to be less hostile to human presence, wild gorillas are not always so placid in the presence of people.

To achieve the relaxed, almost nonchalant attitude of the gorillas in the process known as habituation, it takes time, money and effort. Gorilla habituation is essential for gorilla tourism and by participating in this unique Uganda Safari Experience, you get to spend 4 hours with a gorilla family as opposed to the one hour of regular Uganda gorilla treks.

Gorilla habituation experience gives you more fascinating insight into one of the world’s most endangered animals, however it is expensive.

How Much Is A Uganda Gorilla Permit In 2024?

From 1st July 2024 – 30th June 2026, gorilla permits in Uganda costs as shown below.

The tables below shows the new costs for Uganda Gorilla trekking and Uganda Gorilla Habituation costs from the 01st July 2024 – 30th June 2026.

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit Price 1st July 2024 – 30th June 2026

Visitor Category Gorilla trekking permit price
Foreign Non Resident USD$ 800
Foreign Resident USD$ 700
East African Citizen UGX 300,000
Rest of Africa USD$ 500

 Gorilla Habituation Permit Price From 1st July 2024 – 30th June 2026

Visitor Category Gorilla habituation permit price
Foreign Non Resident USD$ 1500
Foreign Resident USD$ 1000
East African Citizen UGX 750,000
Rest of Africa USD$ 1000

 

What Does The Uganda Gorilla Permit Cover?

It is important to note that gorilla trekking permit in Uganda only grants you access for a trek and one hour with the gorillas, the permit excludes accommodation, air ticket, ground transportation, meals and other part activity fees and other expenses.

Why Is The Gorilla Permit Expensive?

Conservation of gorillas is experience which is why the permits are experience, currently there are about 1063 mountain gorillas left in the African rainforest jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. These type of gorillas are rare and they are found nowhere else on earth today and also, you cannot see them in zoo.

Once on the verge of extinction, their survival is one of the greatest conservation success stories in Africa thus calling for the need to invest more in their protecting and conservation of their shrinking natural habitat.

The revenue received from the selling of gorilla permits also allows national parks to raise the money necessary to protect these endangered primates.

When you are eager to pay 800 USD for a flight to Uganda, please do not save on a gorilla permit. Yes the permit is a lot of money, but seeing mountain gorillas is an extra-ordinary activity and once you are eye to eye with a giant silverback gorilla, that moment is priceless and you will most likely forget about your money.

How Many Gorilla Permits Are Available In Uganda?

There are currently around 176 gorilla permits available per day in Uganda, these are split between the habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (168) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (8).

How Do You Get A Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit?

Uganda gorilla permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government body that is responsible for protecting Uganda wildlife inside the national parks in Uganda, the most convenient way to book for your gorilla permit is use a reliable tour operator.

Normally the gorilla permit is included as part of your overall cost of a Uganda gorilla safari.

Bwindi Gorilla Permit

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla trekking sectors to choose from, they are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Each of these sectors acts a self – standing gorilla trekking destination and has a number of habituated gorilla families and accommodation options.

When booking a gorilla permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must select which sector of the park you want to track from. It is important to note that an issued gorilla permit is not transferable from one region to another.

Assuming a guest purchased a gorilla permit from Nkuringo and mistakenly spent a night in Buhoma which is about 6 hours’ drive from Nkuringo, UWA official will not allow you to trek gorillas in Buhoma or the nearby Ruhija sector. Meanwhile, Mgahinga has just one habituated gorilla group and therefore doesn’t require selecting a sector.

When Should You Book Your Uganda Gorilla Permit?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is carried out throughout the year, although a Uganda gorilla permit is easier to acquire during the low seasons (March – April) and beginning of May or November. In order to avoid missing out on the permits in the peak season, book your permits 3to 6 months in advance. Gorilla permits in Uganda’s peak season which is a dry season from June to September and December to February tend to sell out quickly.

The gorilla treks in Uganda are also limited to only 8 visitors per gorilla group per day, some people try their luck by visiting the gorilla trekking visitor center for a last – minute gorilla trek, with positive results due to cancellation or open spots.

 What Happens When Your Gorilla Permit Expires

Uganda gorilla permits are issued for a specific date, and as noted above, they are always booked ahead of the trekking time and you pay at least a 30% deposit of the permit price at reservation time.

It is possible that you may not make it for the trip or trek due to unforeseen issues, and when your gorilla permit expires before you track the mountain gorillas, the gorilla trekking activity will forfeited.

Can You Reschedule A Uganda Gorilla Permit?

Yes, the holder or the tour operator on behalf of the holder can reschedule the Uganda gorilla permit to another date, up to a week before tracking date. Unfortunately, UWA does not permit any reschedule after the permit has expired.

Can You Cancel A Uganda Gorilla Permit?

If you have only paid a deposit, you will not receive any refund or cancellation. If you have paid your Uganda gorilla permit in full, the following cancellation rules apply

  • 75% refund if you cancel your permit 91 days or more before your trek
  • 50% refund if you cancel 46 to 90 days before
  • 25% refund if you cancel nine to 45 days before

No refund if you cancel zero to eight days before.

What Happens On The Day Of The Trek You Wake Up & Cannot Trek Gorillas Because Of A Sickness?

If you cannot trek the gorillas because of illness (established on site), 50% of the gorilla permit fee may be refunded to you. This is to encourage people to be more honest about feeling unwell, even a common cold can be fatal for gorillas and prevent the gorillas becoming sick.

What Happens When You Track The Gorillas And Fail To Find Them?

Your chances of seeing gorillas in Uganda are around 99%, but suppose it happens that you track the gorilla and fail to find them. In that case, the Executive Director may authorize rescheduling the permit to the following day, subject to the availability of trekking slots.

Where there are no available slot for rescheduling the permit, the Executive Director shall authorize the cancellation of the permit and a refund of 50% of the permit value upon certification/confirmation of the inability to access gorillas by the respective Chief Warden/Warden in Charge.

Are There Discounted Gorilla Permits In Uganda?

Currently, there is no discounted gorilla permits in Uganda.

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