Gorilla permits are a necessary requirement for anyone wishing to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat during a tracking experience in Uganda or Rwanda. These permits allow travelers to enter the designated areas where the gorillas live and ensure that conservation efforts and rules are followed. If you are planning a gorilla tracking trip, it is important to familiarize yourself with the process of obtaining a permit and the necessary information needed. In this FAQ, we will provide you with all the information you need to secure your gorilla tracking permit and have a successful trip.
A Gorilla permit is a document or electronic card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority for travelers wishing to observe habituated mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda. In Rwanda, permits are issued by the Rwanda Development Board. These permits serve as a pass for travelers to enter the designated areas where gorillas can be observed, such as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla permits are necessary for anyone interested in participating in a gorilla tracking experience.
One of the most important considerations for travelers planning a gorilla tracking trip to East Africa is the cost of a gorilla permit. The permit fees vary from time to time and are set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda and the Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda. Currently, a gorilla permit for tracking in Uganda costs USD700 per person, while a permit for tracking in Rwanda costs USD1500 per person. It is important to be aware of these fees when planning your trip and budgeting for your permit.
A Gorilla permit includes several elements to ensure a successful and enjoyable tracking experience. When you purchase a permit, it includes the fees for park entry to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. You will also receive the services of a ranger guide, who is knowledgeable about the forest and the gorillas, and will lead you to the gorillas and provide information about them. The permit also allows you to spend one hour with the gorillas, during which you can observe their behavior, take photos and videos, and receive a certificate of participation upon completion of the tracking experience. In addition, the permit fees cover your security in the forest, which is provided by armed ranger guides and/or tourism police, to ensure the safety of all visitors.
Gorilla tracking permits can be booked at any time, but it is important to plan ahead and book your permit well in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Peak season in Uganda typically falls between June and February and is when gorilla tracking permits are in highest demand. To avoid disappointment and ensure that you secure a permit for your preferred date, it is advisable to book your permit at least 3 months in advance. While last-minute bookings can sometimes be accommodated, availability may be limited and it may not be possible to secure a permit for your desired date. If you are interested in booking a gorilla tracking permit, you can contact Trek Africa Tours for assistance.
There are several ways to book a gorilla tracking permit. One option is to contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board, depending on which country you will be visiting for your tracking experience. These government organizations manage the national parks where gorilla tracking takes place and can assist with booking a permit. Alternatively, you can also book your permit through a tour operator such as Trek Africa Tours. Simply provide your preferred tracking date and the tour operator can check for permit availability and secure a permit for you in advance. The permit will be collected on your behalf and provided to you by the guide leading your tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, or Volcanoes National Park.