Where can I buy Mountain gorilla trekking permits for Uganda and Rwanda? Do I need to a gorilla permit in advance? when are the peak seasons?
Uganda gorilla permits can be bought directly from the Uganda wildlife authority and for Rwanda permits, you can purchase the permits through the Rwanda Development Board. gorilla permits can be purchased up to two years in advance. Travelers can also book their gorilla permits with a registered tour operator company to ensure that your booked permits are available up to your day for gorilla trekking. The advantage of booking your safari with the tour company is that they have all the knowledge of good accommodation facilities in the park and proximity of gorilla families. they have the knowledge of the remote areas and well-trained drives to drive on muddy and slippery marram roads on the country side. For the travelers who have extended trips, the tour company can help you plan all the activities and make accommodation bookings for you so you will have the best of your safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
Travelers are always advised to book their permits in advance at least six months before the day for gorilla trekking. In case you are travelling during the peak seasons, or if you are travelling in a larger group, it’s advisable to book plan your safari earlier and make all the necessary arrangements. The most important is to ensure that you have booked your permit earlier. the earlier you book, the more choices you have for example, where to track the gorillas from and the best accommodation options can be arranged for you. Last minute booking is best during the low seasons when there are few visitors tracking the gorillas you find that the permits are not sold out quickly. But the availability of a gorilla permit, is not guaranteed that they will be available most especially Uganda gorilla permits get sold out quickly due to high competition from different companies.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is only allowed to visitors who have the gorilla trekking permit, the gorilla permit allows you to visit the gorillas in their natural habitat. The minimum age required for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is 15 years and above anyone below this, is regarded as a child and he/ she is not allowed to track the gorillas. The busy seasons known as the peak seasons in Uganda are from June, to October and December to January when all the parks are flooded with visitors are there will be stiff competition for permits. Therefore, travelers are advised to book their permits earlier to avoid last minute bookings where by the permits get sold out quickly.
In order to book your gorilla permit, you will need to provide the following?
The dates you would like to track the gorillas. You will need to come up with the few dates, just in case your fist choice of date is already booked up. So that you are able to book the permits on the other days.
- Your name, Nationality and passport number. All travelers taking part in gorilla trekking, will be required to show their passports or any form of identification on the day of briefing as you head for gorilla trekking. Note that, permits are not transferable, all permits bare the names and other credentials of the person tracking.
- Payment. Travelers will be required to pay off their permit and the fee for the safari in order to confirm your bookings. The best way to pay is wire transfer, you will need to instruct your bank to deduct any transaction charges from your bank.
- In case you are buying your permits directly from Uganda wildlife A authority or Rwanda development board, you will need to send them the payment information email in order to confirm your booking.
- Confirmation of your reservation, for the travelers who booked their safari or a gorilla permit with a tour company, you will receive a copy of your gorilla permit within a few weeks and when you arrive in the country your driver guide will give you the original copy of the gorilla permit as you start your safari and if you are travelling independently, you will need to pick your original gorilla permit from the Uganda wildlife authority offices or RDB office before you set of for your trip.
- If you are buying your permit from a tour operator, once a company has your preferred dates and personal information required for a gorilla permit, they can make a temporal reservation with the authority. Note that not all tour operators in east Africa accept credit cards, for those that accept, there impose a hefty charge of about 4%-9% charge on every transaction you make.
Tips on how to purchase a gorilla permit in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, is done is all the four sectors of the park that is Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo, Buhoma, all harboring different habituated gorilla families spread all over a wide area in the park. So it’s always important to know the location you are tracking from so that you can book your accommodation nearer to the tracking location. The day of tracking, you will need to rise up early morning and head to the park headquarters for briefing about the dos and the don’ts of gorilla trekking.Thus getting accommodation nearer to the tracking site helps in time saving.
Uganda has got two national parks from which gorilla trekking can be done from i.e. Bwindi national park with the highest tourist destination and Mgahinga national park with one gorilla habituated family open for tracking and volcanoes national park in Rwanda. To reserve the gorilla trekking permits for Uganda, you will need to specify which park you will be visiting for gorilla trekking. Before tracking, Uganda wildlife Authority staff will guide on which gorilla family you will be tracking from according to your fitness and ability to trek. To purchase the gorilla permit, you can contact UWA office, Kira Road or email [email protected] or contact a tour company like advnture in the wild safaris we will check for the availability and then reserve the permits for you.
Tips on how to purchase a gorilla permit in Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla trekking is at the volcanoes national park. So, you don’t have to specify a particular gorilla family since all the habituated gorilla families are within the volcanoes national park. Rwanda gorilla permits can be purchased directly through Rwanda Development Authority or any of the registered tour companies offering safaris for Rwanda gorilla trekking. For accommodation. For accommodation, its best to look for the accommodation nearest to the park since it requires an early rise to start the activity.