Authentic Gorilla Experiences in Africa
With only slightly over 1000 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see such a rare species. These endangered primates share over 98% of human DNA and have similar characters like humans. It can be a tough decision to decide where exactly to carry out your gorilla trek from but Uganda is the best destination in terms of experience and affordability.
Uganda shelters over half the population of mountain gorillas in its forests of Bwindi (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park). This safari park is 9 hours away from Kampala by road and just two hours by flight. If you are travelling from Kigali in Rwanda, it is just 4 hours away. So which is the best place to see gorillas in Africa? Uganda offers the best experience but requires longer hours of travelling unless you pass through Rwanda. Rwanda gorillas are much easier to access.
Volcanoes National Park is just 1 - 2 hours away from Kigali by road. The permits are the most expensive so far, costing $1500 each. Congo gorilla permits are the cheapest and cost as low as $400 each. Virunga offers a great experience as well! One that is still virgin and raw. Virunga National Park is the best park among st all the four gorilla trekking safari parks only that it is under developed and not safe. So while you consider booking a gorilla trek, consider the order above.
Why have your gorilla safaris in Uganda
Uganda has more numbers of gorillas distributed across two national parks and these include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi has four different sectors. These sectors include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Each sector offers a unique experience. The feel is always new; like you are trekking with gorillas in a whole new different place. Uganda gorilla permits cost only $600 each all year round, making it affordable for most clients.
There are so many nice gorilla safari lodges you can stay in when trekking gorillas. These range from Luxury to budget, all distributed among st the four sectors. Lastly but not least, the diversity in the Uganda Tourism Industry is great. There are so many other activities you can add on to your gorilla trekking itinerary. Some of these include the Batwa Trail, Batwa Experience, Wildlife Viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Boat Cruise on Lake Bunyonyi and more.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is apparently Uganda's smallest national park. It is located in the Virunga Conservation Area, a perimeter shared by Virunga National Park in Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The 8 Virunga Mountains are found in this area and are shared within the three countries. Mountain Gorillas roam at the foothills of these mountains. This is where the actual tracking of gorillas take place. Unlike Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga is a less common Uganda gorilla trekking destination with only 1 gorilla family and 8 gorilla permits per day.
However, the experience of climbing the mountains in Mgahinga to search for gorillas is awesome. At some points, you will get stunning views of neighboring countries. There are so many more factors that give Uganda an edge over the rest of the gorilla trekking destinations. So when thinking of meeting gorillas conveniently, comfortable and affordably, think of booking Uganda gorilla safaris.
Gorilla Trekking Permits
Uganda gorilla trekking permits cost $600 all year round. The low season discounts were removed. These permits are sold on a first come first serve basis and ought to be booked to guarantee your trip. If you do not manage to book a permit, you cannot go gorilla trekking. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the government body in charge of gorilla permits and purchases are made through them. You can either contact them and book directly or alternatively, contact us to organize them for you.
The good thing with contacting a tour operator like us is we organize for you a full package and ensure everything goes on well. You do not have to worry about any uncertainties when you arrive in Uganda. A tour operator will choose for you the best hotels, give you discounts where necessary, book a knowledgeable tour guide for you and ensure your safety through out your safari.
Gorilla permits also cost $1500 each in Rwanda and $400 each in Congo. The gorillas are the same; Mountain Gorillas, its only the experience that changes hence, if you booked a Rwanda gorilla permit, you will not see better gorillas. You will see the same type of gorillas but just in a different environment. Rwanda has discounted rates of $1100 per permit if you are visiting all the three national parks in the country.
They will also give you 1 permit free if you buy 10 of them at ago. In Rwanda, gorilla permits are printed on a paper where as in Uganda, they are printed on cards. The gorilla trekking cards have all the client or company information. It is these same cards that you present at the park headquarters before tracking and without them, you will be denied permission to see the gorillas. You have to keep this card safe always.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Price
Uganda gorilla trekking is not so expensive. However, the total price of your safari depends on so many factors like level of accommodation, number of trekking encounters, type of transportation, the company reputation, number of days in your safari, other activities and a whole lot more factors. When you choose to stay in luxury gorilla safari lodges, you will definitely spend more that you would have spent on mid-range or budget lodges. Each gorilla trekking encounter requires a gorilla permit.
If you are two persons that want to trek gorillas twice, you will need 4 permits in total (2 per day). Each Uganda gorilla permit costs $600 and that will be $2400 on permits alone. Regarding transportation, short land cruisers, long land cruisers and Hiace vans are all charged separately. Extended land cruisers are the most expensive of all ranging between $200 to $300 per day depending on your operator. Short Land cruisers are usually charged at $150 per day where as Hiace Vans are charged at $100 per day. It is all up to you to inform us on the type of vehicle that you want to use for your safari.
The tour operator you choose for your safari matters a lot. Your odds are good if you trust your gorilla tour with a gorilla trekking company. That is exactly what we specialize in much as we also offer other types of safaris. This way, we have been able to gain so much experience, knowledge and expertise in organizing gorilla experiences though the years. We assign to you tour guides who are very knowledgeable in this field and so do we have influence over choosing specific mountain gorilla families for our clients to track.
Our company specializes in organizing gorilla safaris much as we offer other types of safaris as well. It's because of this that we are able to organize very affordable gorilla safari holidays for our clients. We give you the best bargain on all your trips and ensure you get ultimate value out of it. We offer free gorilla permits in scenarios where clients book trips that are longer than 13 days. For 21 day trips, we offer 2 free gorilla permits and depending on the number of persons in your group, we could offer further discounts. If you need a reputable company that organized gorilla tours at price-sensitive rates, look no further than us.
When to Book your Uganda Safari Tours
Some months in Uganda are more busy than the rest. This is because of weather. Clients prefer to travel during the dry season and for this reason, you have to plan your Uganda safaris very well. If you are travelling from June to September or December to February, you have to book your safari at least 4 months if you are to get availability for permits and select accommodation facilities.
These are the busiest months on the year in the Uganda travel industry. Some clients book their Uganda safaris a year before to get all the availability they need. These months are also very competitive that you will find so many clients in national parks. Lodges usually increase their prices by a small percentage because of this high demand. It also become tricky to get a good vehicle for your trip. To avoid all this, book your gorilla safari in advance.
We usually request half or full payment to book your safari. This solely depends on the type of safari you are booking and how close it is. This money is used for purchasing your gorilla permits, accommodation facilities and organizing everything required for your safari. We cannot guarantee availability if you have not made any deposit for your safari. In general, the season you travel in determines how far in advance you need to book your safari.
If you intent to travel in the low season months, you can even pay for your safari a week to your arrival and still manage to get availability. However, for proper planning; we often request our clients to book their trips in advance. When you inquire with us, our tour consultants will best advise when it is appropriate to make payments for your safari and how much percentage you have to pay.