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Are you planning to visit gorillas in Uganda and you are interested in booking Gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Uganda, these are required to visit and track gorillas in their natural habitat. These permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the government body responsible for managing national parks and wildlife in Uganda.
To obtain gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, you need to follow these steps:
- Contact Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA): Get in touch with the Uganda Wildlife Authority through their official website, email, or phone to inquire about the availability of gorilla permits for your desired dates. It’s advisable to do this well in advance, as permits can be in high demand, especially during peak tourist seasons.
- You can as well book the gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks through a local tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
- Choose your preferred park and sector: Both Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks have different sectors where gorilla tracking takes place. Each sector is home to a different gorilla family, and the availability of permits can vary between sectors. Discuss your preferences with UWA and decide on the park and sector you wish to visit.
- Make a booking: Once you have confirmed the availability of permits for your chosen park and sector, you will need to make a booking. UWA will provide you with the details and payment information. Be prepared to provide personal information for each participant, such as full names, passport details, and nationality.
- Pay for the permits: Gorilla permits in Uganda come at a significant cost, as they contribute to the conservation efforts and protection of these endangered animals. Ensure you make the payment within the specified timeframe provided by UWA to secure your permits. Payment is usually made through bank transfer or online payment methods.
- Obtain the permits: After payment confirmation, UWA will issue your gorilla permits. These permits are usually in the form of a physical card or e-permits, which you will need to present upon arrival at the park.
- Gorilla tracking experience: On the day of your scheduled gorilla tracking experience, you need to present your gorilla permit to the park authorities. They will brief you on the guidelines and regulations for gorilla tracking, including the dos and don’ts to ensure the well-being of the gorillas. Accompanied by experienced guides, you will embark on an incredible adventure to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Please note that the process and pricing of gorilla permits may change over time. It’s recommended to directly contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority or consult their official website for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding permits for gorilla tracking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks.
Gorilla Permits are identifications in form of documents with different booking Identification numbers that are offered by a governing body to allow a tourist access gorilla National Parks and be able to visit gorillas. This identification number shows that one has been authorized to visit a given national park for gorilla trekking. In Uganda gorilla permits are offered by Uganda Wildlife Authority, in Rwanda by Rwanda Development Board and Congo by Virunga National Park.
There are 160 gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks available per day in Uganda. There are 20 gorilla groups available for visiting gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Parks and each family is visited by 8 people. These families are distributed based on a region that is in Buhoma there are 4 gorilla families, Ruhija there are 4 gorilla families, Rushaga there are 8 gorilla families the region with many gorilla families and Nkuringo region has only 3 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in Uganda
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for Foreign nonresidents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda has 17 habituated gorilla family groups with 16 found in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga this means 136 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda also gives you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, gorilla habituation permits costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking. Getting gorilla permits in Uganda can be done directly by booking them through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator in Uganda like Eco Adventure Safaris Limited.
What is the age limit for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi?
The minimum age limit for Gorilla Trekking is 15 years and the maximum age is 85 years depending on fitness levels. Gorilla trekking for elders is now made possible especially in Bwindi forest through provision of sedan chair carriers, these chairs are used to carry those who feel unfit and are unable to walk into the forest at the time of their trek, you will be carried by potters to and from the forest during your trek, hiring the sedan chair can done in advance or at the day of the trek and price ranges from 400-500 dollars.
What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done throughout the year and the best time to do a gorilla trekking in Africa is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown.
What to pack for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi?
During gorilla tracking you will need a comfortable, hard-wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy in the forest when it is raining. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for Gorilla trekking;
• Insect Repellent
• Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
• Wet Wipes
• Water Bottle
• Camera, lenses etc
• Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
• Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
• Sandals/strops/walking shoes
• Hat and Sunscreen
• Rain Jacket
• Binoculars (game/bird watching)
How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park
By Road; The southern sector of Bwindi Forest National Park can be accessed through the main safari circuit from Entebbe/Kampala which approximately 8-9 hours drive. You will need to turn off at Muko along the Kabale-Kisoro road you will see the sign post of Uganda Wildlife Authority which you will follow upto to your booked lodge for accommodation in either Rushaga or Nkuringo sector.
By Air; You can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala’s Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip to access the southern sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo. Scheduled and chartered flights are available and operated by domestic airline operators of Aero link and Fly Uganda. You will need to plan with your tour operator for a transfer from the airstrip to the Park
Buying gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks through Eco Adventure Safaris.
At Eco Adventure Safaris we provide personalized service with the utmost dedication to the safety and enjoyment of our clients. We are committed to the well-being of our staff and guests as well as to having a positive impact on the communities and wild places that our operations reach. On all our operations and safaris, we embrace the environmental ethic “Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Only Footprints” all our packages are eco-friendly. Contact us here about Buying gorilla permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks.