Gorilla Permit Cost and Booking Information

Gorilla Permit cost and booking information, Gorilla trekking permitA Gorilla permit gives a visitor access to the Mountain Gorilla national parks (Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes & Virunga) to see the Gorillas. The permit fee covers entry fee to the park, the trekking activity which involves an interaction with the Gorillas for a full hour, the rangers and guides for the park. It does not cater for the visitor’s transportation to/from the park, accommodation, the porter hiring fees and any other tour activities offered at the park such as birding, nature/forest walks, cultural and community visits.

Key notes/information about a Gorilla permit

  • While possession of a Gorilla permit is a guarantee for trekking and sighting the Gorillas, the quality of the trekking can hardly be guaranteed.
  • Permits are on first come first serve basis so provide the actual date for your visit to your tour operator to have them reserved in advance.
  • Gorilla permits have limited availability especially in the high and peak seasons – December, January and December, June to September. You are advised to book your tour at least 2 to 6 months in advance.
  • Gorilla permits are date specific. They are only valid for the date for which they are reserved at the date of payment. They are null and void when presented after the indicated date.
  • A permit is for an individual visitor but not a group of them. For a group, each visitor must own/hold one.
  • Gorilla permits are not issued to individuals below 15 years because they are not eligible for Gorilla trekking.

How to get or book a Gorilla trekking permit

Once you confirm your Gorilla trekking safari, the next step has to be securing a Gorilla trekking permit. You have to go through your tour operator who is licensed to secure it from the respective relevant bodies of the tracking country. Gorilla permits are not issued to individual tourists but to licensed tour operators in those countries. In Uganda, Gorilla permits are only issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and in Rwanda by the Rwanda Development Board. In Congo, permits are secured through Virunga National Park authorities. Ensure that you contact a tour operator (like Jungle Escape Africa) that is licensed by Uganda Tourism Board to purchase your Gorilla permit.

Requirements for booking and securing a Gorilla permit

  • You must be an individual of 15 years and above first of all.
  • Send the funds required for the permit purchase or a deposit for your Gorilla trip depending on an agreement you may have reached with your tour operator.
  • Provide your passport bio-data page details; passport number, nationality and date of birth.

Note: It’s not a requirement but sharing information about your physical/health status or disability is helpful in the choice and allocation of a tracking area or group. This is communicated to the park authorities to ensure that you are allocated a group that is not very far deep in the forest.

Cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo

Each Gorilla permit for Uganda is at $700, $1,500 for Rwanda and $450 in Congo. An East African national/citizen can obtain a Gorilla permit at Uganda Shs250,000 with the rest of the terms and conditions applying. Anyone interested in the Gorilla habituation experience, which is exclusive to Uganda, the permit is at $1,500. Check details about Rwanda Gorilla Permits.

Is the gorilla trekking activity worth the Gorilla permit fee?

Absolutely yes, and there is no such wildlife encounter in Africa that is as purifying and intimate as sitting or standing a few meters with a family of Gorillas and seeing your human nature reflected in all they do. Bet you didn’t know all the similarities that Gorillas and humans share!

Mountain Gorillas are endangered with their habitats being limited to the far-flung rainforests in East and Central Africa specifically in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Their conservation and that of their habitat largely depend on tourists but again whose number has to be limited to avoid habitat destruction hence the high cost of the permit. Well, paying a high price for the permit is not just about the unforgettable experience you ought to get but you will have contributed to their survival because over 70% of the proceeds go to their conservation and protection. Many visitors would want to come and see them.

Discounted Gorilla permits

Apart from Congo whose permit fee reduces to $250 in the low season (April, May, October and November) there are no discounted Gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda except for the foreigners with valid resident permits who get some $100 off the usual permit fee. In Rwanda, the African Union citizens, big groups and those touring other places in the country might get a small discount. Permit fees are uniform throughout the year regardless of the season – high or low.

Can a Gorilla permit fee be refunded? Under which circumstances?

Yes, a Gorilla permit can be refunded

Can a Gorilla permit be rescheduled to another date?

Yes, a Gorilla permit can be rescheduled to another date.

Are cash payments for Gorilla permits accepted at the park offices?

No, cash payments for Gorilla permits are not accepted at the park offices. All permits must be reserved and secured through the Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala.

Last minute Gorilla Permits

What else do you need for Gorilla trekking besides the Gorilla permit?

Gorilla trekking Tours

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