Cost of the Gorilla permit in Africa, Africa Gorilla Trekking
As its well known that mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas are mainly done in Africa, going on a gorilla trek safari in Africa will require you to have secured the gorilla permit for the gorilla trekking experience which can be combined with tanzania wildlife safari or climbing Kilimanjaro mountain . its the same case to all destination where gorilla trekking is done that is Rwanda( Volcanoes National Park) Uganda ( Bwindi & Mgahinga National Park) Dr congo ( Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Biega national park & maiko National Park ) in Republic of congo ( odzala National Park) for the western lowland gorillas.
Although the activity of gorilla tracking is regarded as the most expensive adventurous safari activity, it’s known as the most selling safari activity attracting a huge number of traveling whole over the world who jet in for a glance at our closest relatives. The activity is expensive but so rewarding, having a closes encounter with these few remaining giants is regarded as a moment in life very difficult to forget and it requires one to have a real time experience. The fees for the gorilla permit differ from country and park where these giants are hosted. It should be noted that owning a gorilla permit is an assurance for tracking the gorillas; no one is allowed to track the gorillas without presenting a gorilla permit in other words it’s a passport for tracking our closest relatives in their natural habitat deep into the forest.
Africa Gorilla permit
The gorilla tracking fee in Uganda is apparently at usd600 and this applies in the high season months which is from June to October and December to February for foreign non residents and USD for foreign residents, UGX250,000 for east Africa citizens, however to also give a chance to others interested in gorilla tracking , the Uganda wildlife Authority introduced discounted gorilla permits at a fee of usd450 and 150,000 for east African citizens. This fee applies in the low season months which start from March-May and September; this has given room to enable each and everyone to have a chance of participating in the gorilla tracking activity. Note: the discounted gorilla permits goes up to this year with effect of next year 2018 there will be no permits sold at discounted rate, rush and book your permit before the end of this year to stand a chance to track the gorillas on a discounted rate. Uganda gorilla permits can be obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters which are located at Kamwokya Kampala, you can get a gorilla permit direct at UWA or you can book them through a tour and travel company/agency since they have easy access of the gorilla permits than an individual they can buy them up to 2-3 months.
Gorilla permits of Rwanda are sold at the Rwanda development board in Kigali; you can also access them at the park headquarters in Kiningi. Rwanda gorilla permits were recently increased from usd750 to usd1500 per person tracking. Whereas in the Democratic republic of Congo, mountain gorilla permits costs usd400, discounted gorillas permits are at a fee usd200 during the rainy seasons which starts from march to may and November, so rush and book Congo gorilla permits, DR. Congo gorilla safaris begins from either Kigali Rwanda or Uganda, the fees for all gorilla permits includes park entrance and ranger guide fees. in case you need a porter, they are readily available at the park headquarters for hire at a fee ranging from usd10-15. Hiring a porter is not exploitative; it’s how locals earn a living from tourists. Porters will help you to carry your luggage; they will even carry you in case you are tired. You will also need to budget for visa fees costs, transfer and a local service fee approx., USD 40-50. It should be very significant to note that the governments often increases the gorilla permit fees without notice, you are recommended to always consult from your travel agency/tour and travel company organizing your gorilla tracking safari about the cost of a gorilla permit and visa fees of the country you are going to track from. Also, always plan for the highest amount so that you don’t get disenchanted on your grate memorable gorilla tour.
Having gorilla permits is a guarantee for gorilla tracking although not a guarantee for sighting, chances of coming into contact with our closes relatives is about 97% and above. in Uganda mountain gorillas are hosted in two national parks including Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla forest national park, both parks are located in the south western part of Uganda and Uganda is recorded for housing the highest number of these remaining apes, over 480 mountain gorillas live in Uganda out of 880 that remained world-wide. In Rwanda gorillas live in volcanoes national park in the northern part of Rwanda and in Democratic republic of Congo, they live in the Virunga national park. Each park allows only eight members who have fully paid the gorilla tracking fee to track in each gorilla family this is to ensure that the gorilla’s exposure to human is limited. Once the gorillas are met, you are strictly allowed only one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat, the one hour gives you the chance to come close to the gorillas, learn their behaviors as well as taking as many photos and videos with them. Uganda sell over 98 permits per day both in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park, Rwanda sells about 88 permits per days and Rwanda aprox 55 per day, and over 80% of the gorilla permits is used by government especially in Uganda to continue in the outstanding work of protecting the endangered mountain gorillas and the rest of the money is given to local communities especially those who live near the gorilla parks to improve on their standards of living
When to go gorilla tracking in Africa
All year round you can go gorilla tracking depending on your interest, although there are some specific months suitable for gorilla tracking especially the dry season months, these include June to October and December to February. During the dry seasons, the roads and gorilla paths are passable giving rooms for a successful gorilla tracking. The wet season months begins in the late March to May and November, during the wet season months, the roads and gorilla treks are impassable which makes gorilla trek difficult. Whether dry or wet season, the experience of gorilla tracking remains the same.
The actual Africa gorilla tracking experience
The gorilla tracking process starts very early in the morning after a shot briefings from the park wardens about the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas and also gets you allocated to the gorilla family to track from and the ranger guide. The ranger guide will lead you into the thick rain forest where the activity is done; you will pass through the thick, sleepy and sometimes muddy forest while searching the gorillas, some levels of physical fitness is needed as well as tracking gears. The Tracking time is unpredictable however, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours. Only one hour is allowed with the gorillas once they are met, The rest of the hours they are left free, this is to ensure that gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes, so they can easily catch human diseases.
Once the time is up, the guide will lead you back to the headquarters to receive a certificate of fully participating and completing the activity and later you will be driven back to the starting point to receive a certificate of participating and completing the gorilla tracking activity and later you will be lead back to the lodge for relaxation and lunch/dinner. All the gorilla families visited are habituated to human standards and they can be visited safely without any harm caused to human. Nobody forces them to stay with us for the selected hour, and they can fade into the forest as you disappear, if they wish to do so. Plan your gorilla safari today and participate in the conservation process of our closest relatives.