Uganda Travel News

Sometimes there unsold gorilla permits both in Uganda and Rwanda. In Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority is the body in charge of issuing out gorilla permits for the two mountain gorilla national park in the country. Uganda boosts of more than a half the number of global and rare mountain gorillas with over than 400 mountain gorilla individuals resident in the dense and impenetrable forest of Bwind. The other section of Uganda gorillas are in Mgahinga National Park which boarders with related national parks of the virunga in DRC and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. On the other hand, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is the body charged with Rwanda gorilla permits and anyone looking to trek Rwanda gorillas has to book directly or through a tour operator. While mountain gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda is one of the highlights of all safari activities, one needs to book his/her permit in advance in order to avoid shortage if booked at a short notice.

Background of unsold gorilla permits

Before we look at reasons why some permits are not sold, we need to know what a gorilla permit is, what it includes and how many permits are available daily both in Uganda and Rwanda. A gorilla permit is a card or document issued by the two issuing bodies of Uganda Wildlife Authority for Uganda and RDB for the case of Rwanda gorilla permits. A gorilla permit costs USD600.00 in Uganda to trek gorillas in two gorilla national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. According to Uganda Wildlife Authority, a gorilla permit for Bwindi or Mgahinga includes park entry fee, viewing mountain gorillas for one hour as well as a guide/ranger who will be with you taking you to see the gorillas in the forest. Out of the USD600 charged by Uganda wildlife Authority, part of it is used in conserving the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga, communities around bwindi also benefit through revenue sharing and the rest goes to the salaries of Uganda Wildlife authority staff. This gorilla permits guarantees you a chance to see mountain gorillas in the wild and chances of seeing these apes on any treks is 98% since the exercise is well organized. In a situation where one fails to see these mountain gorillas due to the fault of Uganda Wildlife Authority, a refund can be given depending on the cancellation policy of gorilla permits at UWA. Rwanda has over 10 habituated mountain gorillas all located in Volcanoes National Park. This means that over 80 gorilla permits are available for gorilla trekking daily. It has been argued that gorilla trekking is the highlight and the most sought after tourist activity but records indicate that there normally unsold gorilla permits in both Uganda and Rwanda. Several reasons can be instituted to explain this.

One is advised to book his/her gorilla permits at least three months in advance to avoid losing out. We normally encourage our clients to pay for gorilla permits in advance to secure them. If no permits are available, we will advise you to change the dates to where we can get you these permits.

Causes of Unsold gorilla permits in Uganda

That discussed and understood, many a time, there some unsold gorilla permits by Uganda Wildlife Authority due to several reasons. The main cause of unsold gorilla permits in Uganda is basically seasonal. Uganda has about 13 habituated mountain gorilla families and each gorilla family is supposed to be trekked by 8 people. This therefore means that about 100 gorilla permits are available daily for sell to those interested in Bwindi treks or Mgahinga gorilla trekking. Thus about 100 people can trek gorillas in one day. Situations come when some gorilla permits are un sold due to the fact that tourists tend to prefer given seasons to travel. Most unsold gorilla permits tend to be in low seasons of March, April and May due to expected rains during those seasons. Many tourists tend to avoid coming to bwindi during rainy season in fear of inconveniences such as slippery grounds, rain and so much more. Out of 100 and so gorilla permits about a half of them are un booked during wet seasons of April May and November

The above notwithstanding there several times when we have unsold gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda. There several reasons which can be looked at in trying to explain why some permits are not sold yet according to reliable sources most gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly.

Causes of unsold gorilla permits in Rwanda

Increment in the price of Rwanda gorilla permits

Rwanda used to be one of the most thought after destination for gorilla trekking and it would sometimes be very hard to get gorilla permits due to hire demand. With the recent increase in the price of Rwanda gorilla permits from USD750.00 to USD1500.00, many tourists and tour operators have been left with no option but to look elsewhere for affordable gorilla permit prices. Recent reports from Volcanoes National Park indicate that there more unsold gorilla permits and low turn ups of tourists trekking mountain gorillas due to this increment in gorilla permit price

Cheaper Gorilla permit price in Uganda and Congo

Unsold gorilla permits in Rwanda can also be related to Uganda and Congo who have mountain gorillas but the price of gorilla permits in Uganda and Congo are USD600.00 and USD400.00 per person per trek. Tourists are now looking at these two alternative gorilla trekking destinations to avoid overpaying for almost the same service and experience. More tourists are now flying into Kigali and trekking gorillas in Uganda in order to reduce on the drive time which could have been involved if they flew in through Entebbe and with the introduction of the East African tourist visa, tourists are now free to move to and from Rwanda to Uganda and as such see no reason why they should pay more for Rwanda gorilla permits if they can trek gorillas in Uganda for less.

Impact of gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga

While we are relating Rwanda unsold gorilla permits to cheaper gorilla permits in Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo, new developments in Uganda have also added to this cause that affects the sale of Rwanda gorilla permits. Uganda introduced a new gorilla product named the four hour gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga located in the southern part of Bwindi. Two gorilla families are reserved for this experience. This four hour gorilla habituation experience costs USD1500.00 which is the same amount one has to pay to spend only one hour with mountain gorillas in volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Many people are now finding it reasonable to avoid Rwanda gorilla permits for other options in the region.

Both RDB and UWA are working very hard to see that these unsold gorilla permits in Rwanda and Uganda get potential people to use them. Marketing these two gorilla destinations are always in high gear and probably we will see many tourist flocking Uganda in the near future. Encounter Africa remains your trusted tour operator for Uganda and Rwanda gorilla holidays. Contact us for information and travel advice that you can rely on.

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