Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda can be purchased in advance at the governing body of all the national parks famously known as Uganda Wildlife Authority. Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are available and the booking process is simple as one has to contact tour operators or go to UWA directly. Unfortunately, there are no online booking platforms. You can book your gorilla trekking permits in Uganda with the help of the tour operators since there is a long process through booking directly at Uganda wildlife Authority. The earlier you book the more chances you can get these permits during the high seasons. In the low seasons, the possibility of getting a permit is high since travelers are few.
The best way of checking if gorilla permits are available is by contacting a tour company or communicating with the Uganda Wildlife Authority on their online platforms by calling. You should note that it is hard to get reliable results of permits booked or being released.
In Uganda mountain gorillas are habituated from two national parks which are located in the southwest region famously known as Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahiga gorilla national park which are home of 400 individuals and other primates like the blue monkey, Golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many more.
Bwindi has four gorilla sectors and these include the Buhoma sector, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. Each sector has got the gorilla families comprising of the offsprings, head of the family known as a silverback, female gorillas. Each sector has a nice looking accommodation facility for our visitors. To visit Uganda’s gorillas, you need to have valid gorilla permits to see these apes in their natural habitats. More so, when you’re inquiring for gorilla permits it is advisable to tell the tour operator to buy gorilla permits that can match where you’re going sleeping. You may book permits for the Buhoma sector in the north and yet your sleeping to the Nkurigo sector on the south side of the park which is hectic.
Before even arriving in Uganda you need to first send in your scanned personal documents to the tour operator such as passport and Visa to process your gorillas permits at UWA. You should note this while at the park headquarters you will need to show in your passport and other forms of identification.
You should be very careful about the payments. Before even sending your money, you should be knowing the tour operator with a fully registered company, and the best way to pay in your money is by bank wire transfer.
If you did booking procedure for gorilla trekking permits by buying them directly from Uganda wildlife Authority. The only way to issue out your gorilla trekking permits is by sending them your bank payment confirmation email just to confirm.
If you decide to buy your gorilla trekking permits from the tour operator, you should know that not all the tour operators accept credit cards and if any accepts there is a surcharge between 3% and 9% to be charged.
When your tour operator has confirmed your reservation for gorilla trekking permits, they will send you a scanned copy of your gorilla trekking permits within a week. When you arrive in Uganda, the tour guide is one to give you your original permits and if you’re traveling alone you pick it from Uganda wildlife Authority offices.
To note, your gorilla trekking permits will have a serial number and your personal aspects written on it.
While trekking you will be accompanied by a UWA guide who will lead you through as you trek in a group of 8 people. When you meet the gorillas you are given 1 hour to observe the gorillas and their behaviors.
Rules to follow before engaging in Gorilla Trekking
- You should be in good health; sick people are not allowed to participate in an activity.
- If you find gorillas, you should not get close to them.
- You should stay in a tight group.
- Do not leave your rubbish in the park.
- Children under 15 years are not allowed to engage in gorilla trekking activity.
- Flash disks cameras are not allowed because that light seems to scare the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are sold at a fee of USD 600 but recently the Uganda Wildlife Authority increased it from USD 600 to USD 700 effective starting next year in July- 1st – 2020.
Accessibility of both National Parks
Both national parks can be easily accessed depending on where you’re located and since Kampala, the capital city is the main starting point of the journey. From Kampala to Bwindi it takes 8 to 9 hours by road with a tour operator. Another option you may decide to reduce on the driving hours by flying from Kajjansi Airstrip to kihihi Airstrip using domestic flight ‘Aero link Airline which takes 1:40 hours by Air.
Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park has got beautiful lodges and hotels ranging between luxury, mid-range and budget and these include Gorilla safari lodge, Silver bark lodge. Rushaga gorilla camp, Gift of nature lodge, Bwindi cultural center and many more.