GORILLA TREKKING PERMIT
Gorilla trekking permit is a small card that acts as a gate pass for all travelers that intend to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas in the wild. This gorilla trekking permit is always valid for only 24 hours and it allows a trekker to spend a minimum duration of one hour in presence of mountain gorillas within their natural habitats. A minimum number of 8 permits are issued out per gorilla family implying that a gorilla family must be visited be only 8 persons and below per day for just one hour.
There several questions asked about the the permit and these include ; the cost of the gorilla trekking permit in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC, how to obtain a gorilla trekking permit , the inclusive and exclusives on the permit, and the eligibility to obtain the permit. All these and many more questions are explained in this article.
What is the cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC?
I am sure this question has been asked frequently by several Travelers and those planning a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. Well, a permit in Uganda for the year 2020/2022 was fixed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other bodies governing the protected areas in Uganda to a cost of $700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $600 per person for foreign residents and UgX250, 000 for Ugandans and other east African community members. This fee runs from July 1st 2020 to 2022 allowing all travelers interested to engage in a gorilla trekking adventure within Uganda the pearl of Africa.
However, a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda as of now cost $1500 per person which is higher than a Ugandan permit by $800 making Uganda cheaper for gorilla trekking adventure than Rwanda.
Finally a gorilla trekking permit in DRC varies its cost depending on the season. For instance during high/peak season, a gorilla Congo gorilla trekking permit goes for $400 per person while in low seasons it goes as low as a half to $200 per person making it the cheapest gorilla permit in Africa followed by Uganda at $700 and Rwanda at $1500 all based on per person basis.
The next question is how to obtain a gorilla trekking permit.
There are many at least two different ways through which a person can obtain it. First and foremost, one can obtain a gorilla permit online by visiting the reservations website of the destination he/she intends to trek the gorillas and make an online booking and then pick the permits once they land in the country. In Uganda, the permit are obtained from the Uganda wildlife Authority, in Rwanda, they are obtained from Rwanda development Board. While in DRC, the gorilla trekking permits are obtained from the Virunga park headquarters.
The second option is to use a trusted and registered tour operator such as Achieve Global Safaris to assist in booking the entire gorilla trekking safari and even purchase the permits. This is actually the easiest way and less tiresome as all you need is to provide the accurate date, month and the year intended to trek gorillas, then send the permit money in time and find your permit ready on the trekking day.
Who is eligible to obtain a gorilla trekking permit?
To obtain a gorilla trekking permit, one MUST have a minimum age of 15 years and above thus it is not eligible to the minors below 15 years. This 15 years is taken to be the minimum age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. In case you buy a permit of a child below 15years of age, the park officials will not allow your child to trek and it will be too late top requires for permit refund. Therefore, to avoid such losses, ensure that the permits booked are for people above 15 years as they are taken to be mature and physically fit to trek gorillas.
What are inclusive and exclusives in the gorilla trekking permit?
Once you pay for a gorilla trekking permit, be sure that you have indirectly paid for the park entrance fees, the ranger fees, the security and the conservation fee thus no one will demand for entrance fees during the gorilla trekking safari. Trekkers will only be required to present the trekking permit before accessing the home of mountain gorillas. However the gorilla trekking permit excludes the porter fee, meals and accommodation. This implies that a trekkers has to hire a porter on an extra cost which is excluded from the trekking permit. Porters are important during a gorilla trekking safari in that they assist in carrying the trekkers’ backpack and even offer help during difficult trails within the jungle. Also remember to pack your own snacks and enough drinking water to keep you pushing throughout the trek.
Conclusion: Endeavor to book your permit in time especially during the high season as the permits tend to be sold off. Gorilla trekking in Africa is carried out in Uganda within two destinations including Bwindi impenetrable national park, a home to over 50 percentage of the remaining mountain gorillas in the jungle and in Mgahinga gorilla national park, a home to Nyakagezi gorilla family all in south western part of Uganda in Uganda, in Rwanda, gorilla trekking is carried out in volcanoes national park and in DRC, Gorilla trekking is done in Virunga National park. All these five gorilla trekking destinations are situated in Africa making Africa the best place to visit.