Uganda Gorilla permits are an equivalent of, let’s say (for explanation purpose) an air ticket; for one to take a flight to travel to their destination of choice, they need to have purchased an air ticket. Equally, a Uganda gorilla permit is a document authorizing one to participate in a gorilla trekking tour in a given gorilla national park.
The Uganda gorilla permits’ main purpose is to allow visitors take part in trekking the endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas inhabit only two destinations in Uganda – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Both parks are located in South Western Uganda. They have lush rainforest cover and giant successive ranges of the Virunga massif.
Unlike Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation area.
Mountain gorillas in Uganda make up half of the entire mountain gorilla population in the whole world and are therefore worth trekking. Visitors are assigned a tour guide and ranger to accompany them into the jungles. A gorilla trekking permit grants visitors an hour of viewing and interacting with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. However, the trekking time may range between one hour and seven hours depending on distance traveled by a mountain gorilla family assigned to the group.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda includes hiking through rugged highlands on which the rainforests have grown for hundreds of years. Besides trekking, there’s also mountain gorilla habituation. Differentiated from trekking, gorilla habituation offers visitors more time of interaction with a semi-habituated gorilla family. It also offers a tourist a closer experience with gorillas, since habituated gorillas are regarded as more human friendly. Mountain Gorilla Habituation goes on for up to 4 hours.
How much do Uganda Gorilla Permits cost?
Gorilla trekking permit acquisition in Uganda has distinct rates assigned to different visitor categories – East Africa nationals, foreign residents and foreign non-residents. An East Africa national is charged UGX 250,000/=. A foreign resident is charged $600. A foreign non-resident is charged $700. These rates are for each single day a tourist spends trekking the mountain gorillas.
Booking Uganda Gorilla Permits
Booking Uganda gorilla permits is recommended to be done at the earliest. The justification is to avoid being pushed to undesirable periods of the year, since the peak season is always engaged with a high influx of trekkers.
Uganda Gorilla permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority. However, tourists are advised to contract local tour operators for that since it’s faster and more effective. It saves their time from the tedious processes involved in gorilla permit bookings.
How expensive is a gorilla permit in Uganda?
Uganda Gorilla permits aren’t the most expensive in the East African region. In caparison to the available services and general political stability in Uganda, the trekking permits aren’t expensive. The tourist is however advised to always look out for possible discounts that are given from time to time by tour operators.
What the Uganda gorilla permits include?
The Uganda gorilla trekking permit is inclusive of entry fees into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Acquisition of a gorilla trekking permit equally has an add-on of 2 armed rangers, guides and trackers. These accord security while trekkers are in the jungles searching for mountain gorillas. They also track the mountain gorillas which eases the trekking experience.
Rules and regulations of acquiring a Uganda Gorilla Permit.
Apart from the fees, age is an important factor for whoever seeks purchasing the gorilla permit. The trekker should be 15 years old or above. Foreign non-residents should also tag along with their passports. The details are important for record purposes by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. A tourist who opts to contract a tour operator for the permit booking will be required to avail their passport details to the operator.
Comparing Uganda Gorilla Permits with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo permits.
In comparison to Rwanda and D.R Congo, Uganda’s gorilla trekking permit costs are quite fair. Rwanda has the highest rates with each gorilla trekking permit costing $1,500. D.R Congo gorilla permits go for $400 each.
However, compared to the services offered by Uganda in contrast with the charged fee, and Uganda’s political stable environment, any person would opt for gorilla trekking in Uganda.