Uganda Travel News

A gorilla trekking permit is a document or card issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda and RDB in Rwanda that allows one to see mountain gorillas in respective National Parks of Bwindi, Mgahinga and Volcanoes. Uganda wildlife Authority charges $700.00 for a gorilla trekking permit to see gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga. Rwanda on the other side charges $1500 per person for a gorilla permit to trek mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Uganda has a discount rate for foreign residents and East African citizens. If you are a foreigner but resident in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Southern Sudan, you will pay $600 for your gorilla permit.  East African citizens are charged 750,000 Uganda shillings to see gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris to establish which category you belong to as well as booking your gorilla permit.

Why did Uganda increase gorilla permit price from $600 to $700?

Since 2014 up to 30th June 2020, the price of Uganda gorilla permit is and will be $600 per person per trek but from 1st July 2020 to2021, the cost of Uganda gorilla trekking permit will be $700. The government of Uganda decided to add an extra $100 to reduce on the pressure of excess number of tourists who look at Uganda as a more affordable gorilla safari destination compared to Rwanda which charges $1500 per person per trek.

The increase in price is also to cater for the conservation of the once endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga. Its should be noted that Uganda has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. According to the latest census that was conducted in 2018, Bwindi alone has 450 individuals and 50 mountain gorilla families living in this dense forest.

By paying $700 to come and visit mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga located in Uganda, you will be supporting all efforts to make sure that mountain gorillas survive. This money is used to pay ranger and staff of Uganda Wildlife Authority. Another portion out of this is channeled to community projects for development purposes.

Sample Uganda and Rwanda gorilla safaris for 2020-21

3 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking tour

3 Day Rwanda gorilla trekking safari

3 Day Uganda gorilla tour from Kigali

5 Day gorilla and chimpanzee safari

Why is a gorilla permit in Uganda cheaper than Rwanda

It is very true that Uganda gorilla trekking permit is much cheaper than that in Rwanda yet the activity of gorilla trekking is the same in both countries. For example, you will spend one hours with mountain gorillas, be escorted by ranges in respective countries and get a certificate at the end of your trek. One ask why then is that Rwanda  gorilla permit to see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park is at $1500 which is more than double the price of Uganda gorilla trekking permit at $700.

One of the many reasons considered by Rwanda government to fix the price of her gorilla permits at $1500 per person is that they want to position Rwanda as a Luxury tourist destination and also to increase in conservation efforts to save mountain gorillas. Uganda on the other hand is yet un discovered by many and has not invested a lot in Marketing and infrastructure compared to Rwanda. In order to compete favorably, Uganda has decided to set a price that is cheaper than that of Rwanda.

What is included in Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking permits?

Irrespective of the price difference in Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits. If you book a gorilla trekking permit to see gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, it will include one hour with the gorillas, services of a ranger guide, security while in the forest as well as a certificate after your gorilla trek. Much as the price of these gorilla permits seem to be expensive, they don’t include transport and accommodation before and after your trek. Encounter Africa safaris organizes all inclusive gorilla safaris to Bwindi and Volcanoes National Park. Please check out our Uganda gorilla tours or Rwanda gorilla safaris here.

When should I book Uganda or Rwanda gorilla trekking permit?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is the most sought after tourist activity in the whole world. Most people who visit East Africa tend to incorporate a visit to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. This has made gorilla trekking to be very competitive. It is advised to book your gorilla trekking permit at least 4-5 months or even a year in advance in order to avoid shortage. There only 19 gorilla families in Uganda and each family is visited by 8 people per day while there is only 10 gorilla families in Rwanda.

All you need to do is to contact Encounter Africa safaris with dates and country you want to visit to see mountain gorillas. We will go ahead and check availability of permits in Uganda and Rwanda. Once we find them, we will reserve them on the system, invoice you and once payment is made, we will go ahead and buy them on your behalf and send you scanned copies of the receipts for your records and perusal.

Where to stay in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Volcanoes National Park

Encounter Africa safaris works closely with Budget, Mid Range and Luxury Lodges in Uganda and Rwanda. We are therefore in position to tailor for you a gorilla safari that suites your budget and interest. We work with selected Budget Lodges in Bwindi such as Trekkers Tervan in Ruhija, Rushaga gorilla Haven Lodge in Rushaga and Buhoma Community Camp. For those who prefer Mid Range, we will book you in Buhoma Haven Lodge, Engagi or Nkuringo Mountain gorilla Lodge. Luxury lodges include Clouds Mountain gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge among others. Please note that the choice of the lodge will depend on the permit booked for you. If at the time of booking/confirmation, we get you gorilla permits trekking in the northern part of Bwindi, we will book you in lodges located in the northern part of Bwindi. If we get gorilla permits trekking in the south, we will book lodges located in the south.

How to get to Bwindi impenetrable National Park or Volcanoes National Park

Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road from Entebbe International Airport or Kigali International Airport. If you fly into Uganda, you will land at Entebbe airport and then drive 8-10 hours but should you land in Kigali international Airport in Rwanda, you will drive 4-5 hours meaning that it is better to fly into Rwanda and trek gorillas in Uganda. Please check out our Packages that start from Rwanda and trek gorillas in Uganda. Those who prefer flying to Bwindi, daily scheduled and charter flights are available. Please contact us for fly in safaris to gorillas.

Those interested in trekking Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, it is wiser to fly into Kigali and drive 2-3 works to Volcanoes National Park for your gorilla trek. Encounter Africa safaris organizes all inclusive tours to see gorillas in Rwanda all year round.

For more information about gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, gorilla trekking age limit, what to pack for a gorilla trek, gorilla trekking for the aged and so much more, please do contact Encounter Africa safaris for details and information that you can rely on to organize a successful trek in Uganda and Rwanda. With over a decade operating in these great gorilla trekking destinations of Uganda and Rwanda, you can’t go wrong if you book with Encounter Africa safaris. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us of visit our Trip advisor and safari booking pages.

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