Who is eligible to buy gorilla permits in Uganda

Who is eligible to buy gorilla permits in Uganda

Who is eligible to buy gorilla permits in Uganda : Gorilla trekking is the most sought for wildlife activity in Uganda as well as Africa and dream activity for most travelers, however only travelers that are 15 years old and above are eligible to buy gorilla trekking permits as well as participate in gorilla trekking in Uganda.

As per Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body those issues gorilla permits, only travelers above the age of 15 years can obtain a gorilla permit for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s gorilla destinations that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Reason to why gorilla permits are sold only to individuals 15 years above

Gorilla permits are only sold to travelers that are 15 years and above because they are the ones that can complete the gorilla trekking and can adhere to the gorilla trekking rules and regulations. For children below the age of 15, it can be hard to complete the trekking expedition as it needs a lot of physical experience and trekking through uneven terrains and muddy and slippery trails.

Also, children may fail to follow the rules and regulations most especially when a gorilla charges which can put their lives as well as for mountain gorillas in danger.

About Gorilla Permits in Uganda

A gorilla permit is a document a card issued by The Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda that allows any travelers above 15 years of age to trek mountain gorillas in any of the two gorilla habitats in UgandaBwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and spend 1 hour of closely observing mountain gorillas.

The gorilla permit includes two armed rangers for protection while in the jungle and a knowledgeable tracking guide to lead you to where a mountain gorilla group would be foraging.

On the day of trekking the endangered mountain gorillas, after verifying your permit at any of the trail heads in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You will be assigned a guide and a gorilla family in groups of 8 people, with armed rangers for your security against wild animals and anything that can threaten your wellbeing, you will head into the forests in search for mountain gorillas. Once you find the assigned gorilla family, your gorilla permit allows to stay close and observe the mountain gorillas for only 1 hour.

Uganda offers two kinds of gorilla permits that is gorilla trekking permit and gorilla habituation permit, gorilla trekking permits are sold to travelers interested in gorilla trekking and allows only 1 hour of closely observing a fully habituated mountain gorilla family.

Gorilla Habituation Permits are sold to travelers interested in spending more than one hour with mountain gorillas, travelers get to spend 4 hours with a semi- habituated mountain gorilla family.

Travel Tip – a trek through the forest in attempt to find the gorillas takes approximately 2 – 6 hours depending on the movement of mountain gorillas and where they spent their previous night.

How to buy gorilla permits in Uganda

Though gorilla permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority, the only way an individual can get a gorilla permit is through a tour operator.

To get a gorilla permit, you need to be sure of the dates of the month and year you want to travel first. Then contact your trusted tour operator via email with the dates of the month and the year you want to travel, your operator will then check for availability of the permits and once they are available, they will send you a bank invoice of you how you can send money (payment for the gorillas).

After you are done sending the money, you will be asked to send your passport details and your permit shall be booked. Once the booking for your permit is confirmed, you guide will send you a soft copy of your permit and you will be ready to come for a gorilla safari in Uganda.

Cost of gorilla permits in Uganda

A gorilla permit fee in Uganda (for both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park) costs differently basing on the status of the travelers (Foreigner Resident, Non- Foreign Residents and East African Citizens).

East African Community Citizens (EAC)—UGX 250,000

Foreign residents—$600

Foreign non-residents—$700

Note: the minimum age for a gorilla permit is 15 years old

Cost for gorilla permit includes a ranger guide, park entrance fees, time with the gorillas and community development fee.

The money collected from the gorilla permits is used to finance the efforts in the conservation of mountain gorillas as well as community projects around the gorilla parks in Uganda.

When to Buy Gorilla Permits?

The best time to buy gorilla permits in Uganda depends on the season are visiting for gorilla safari, travelers visiting in the dry season which is the peak season shoud book their gorilla permits 3-4 months early in advance to avoid last-minute booking disappointments and missing out.

In the dry season which is the high season, many travelers tend to visit the gorilla parks. This season attract a lot of travelers as it is characterized by little or no rainfall which keeps the trekking trails relatively dry and the vegetation cover is short offering good views of mountain gorillas. Also, the roads leading to the park are in good condition.

Travelers visiting in the rainy season of March to May and October to November can book their permits 3-4 months in advance for proper planning, but you can still get the permits a few weeks to your gorilla trekking.

   

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