WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TREK THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS?
All clients/tourists want to get the best experience and value for money for their Gorilla tours in either Rwanda or Uganda. The “Frequently Asked questions” that comes in is –When is the best time for Gorilla tracking? Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda can be tracked throughout the year, dry months of June, July, and August to early-September and then December up to February are the most preferably months. There is always no guarantee that it would not rain because Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a tropical rain forest and its climate is influenced by micro weather conditions of the area. Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Gorilla permits are at USD700. Per permit per trek well as Rwanda Volcanoes National Park are at USD1500. Per permit per trek.
HOW MUCH IS A GORILLA PERMIT IN UGANDA OR RWANDA?
A gorilla permit is a document/card that is obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda and Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda to allow you spend one hour with the mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park respectively. Currently Rwanda Gorilla permit goes for USD1500.00 for Non-residents. Uganda Gorilla permits to visit mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park goes for USD700.00 (Non-residents) USD500.00 for Foreign Residents.
ABOUT BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in the south-western part of Uganda and divided in to four Gorilla tracking sectors. Buhoma the northern sector, Ruhija the eastern sector, Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors which are both in the south. Each sector has got habituated Gorilla families specifically for Gorilla tracking. If you are going for Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park you put it in mind about a specific sector you are going to as this will affect the lodge you have to book for your accommodation, Gorilla permit and transport. Contact Great Adventures Uganda Limited for more information.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY GORILLA PERMIT?
You are always advised to book your Gorilla permit at least three months in advance due to high demand most especially in the high season. Gorilla permits also tend to sell out quickly since more tourist track mountain Gorillas in Uganda since Rwanda doubled the price of its mountain Gorilla permit to USD1500. Contact us at Great Adventures Uganda for more information.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE GORILLA PERMIT?
A Gorilla permit allows you stay for one hour with mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Included in the Gorilla permit are park entry fees for the respective parks, services of National park guide and armed rangers for your safety who will escort you to the forest Great Adventures Uganda will ensure that you secure permits in advance.
HOW LONG DOES MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING TAKE?
Mountain Gorilla tracking experience can take from thirty minutes to three quarters of the day so one needs to prepare for both and also requires a certain level of fitness. This depends on several factors that include, mountain Gorilla movements, where the gorillas stayed the previous night and the mood of the gorillas. It may also depend on the people in your group since the guides/rangers move following the slowest person in the group. Great Adventures Uganda is happy to provide all relevant advice.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR TREKKING MOUNTAIN GORILLAS?
The age limit of Mountain Gorilla tracking in Uganda-Rwanda and golden monkey trekking is 15 years. The authorities are very strict on this, so kindly make sure all clients and children are 15 or older in order to avoid any sad incidents like guest(s) kids being refused to track.
The age limit for trekking Chimpanzees in Uganda is 12 years old and children 10 years and older are allowed to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Children under 15 years are allowed to Dian Fossey’s tomb although the hike is very stiff so we do not recommend that either to children under 12-13 years old.
WHAT SHOULD I PARK FOR GORILLA TRACKING?
All what you need is to prepare very well for your gorilla trekking experience, we advise you to park long pants, long sleeved shirts or blouses, long socks to enable you tack in your trousers, garden gloves, a hat, sun glasses, hiking boots, insect repellents and some energy giving foods with a small rack sack for carrying your parked lunch and drinking water.
WHAT IS GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE?
Gorilla habituation experience is a learning process of how Gorillas are made familiar/used to human beings/people in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Uganda Wildlife Authority decided to give tourists an opportunity to have the real experience that the rangers and researchers go through when habituating the mountain Gorillas in four hours. With this four hours mountain Gorillas habituation experience you will have to pay USD1500.00 for a gorilla habituation permit. Please note, unlike Gorilla tracking where you are given an hour once you meet the Gorilla, Gorilla habituation experience and the four hours start counting when you meet the fresh trails of the Gorillas. Gorilla habituation safaris are currently taking place only in Rushaga sector located in southern part of the forest.
DOES RWANDA HAVE DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS?
Rwanda still offers discounted Gorilla permits or Low season discounted Gorilla permits in Low season months of May and November though Uganda abolished low season discounted gorilla permits in 2017. The condition for benefiting from Rwanda discounted Gorilla permits is that you have two book at least three more days in one of the Rwanda’s National Park. These National Parks include Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park. Rwanda discounted Gorilla permits costs USD1050.00 per person per trek to trek Rwanda Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. The 1050.00 includes Volcanoes Park entry fees for Volcanoes National Park, watching mountain Gorilla for one hour with habituated mountain Gorillas and services of well-trained gorilla rangers or guide.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TREK BWINDI GORILLAS TROUGH KIGALI?
It is possible to trek Bwindi Gorillas Uganda through Rwanda by flying to Kigali International airport. By flying through Kigali International Airport, one is able to reduce the drive time to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to 5-6 hours compared to if one uses Entebbe International Airport where the drive takes you 9-10hours from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. With the introduction of the East African tourist visa, one can now visit both Uganda and Rwanda without hassle. The good news also is that one can now apply for Rwanda Visa upon arrival something that is making the process of obtaining Rwanda visa easy. East African tourist visa costs USD100.00 and allows you to visit three east African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Contact Great Adventures Uganda for details about Bwindi Gorilla safaris/tours through Kigali international Airport in Rwanda.
DOES CONGO HAVE DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS?
Democratic Republic of Congo is yet another destination in the whole world that is home to the endangered and rare mountain Gorillas. The other countries with mountain Gorillas are Uganda and Rwanda. A normal Gorilla permit to trek mountain Gorillas in Congo’s Virunga National Park is USD400.00 and includes park entry fees, watching Gorillas for one hour and services of a ranger guide during your trek. Congo offers discounted Gorilla permits at USD200.00 only and can be booked for you if you book with us an all-inclusive tour/safari. For more details about Congo discounted Gorilla permits and affordable Congo Gorilla safaris, please contact Great Adventures Uganda Limited with our email.
WHERE SHOULD I BOOK RWANDA DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMIT?
Rwanda low season Gorilla permits at USD1050 are offered in the months of May and November each year and because of this discount, there is a likely hood that these permits may attract more people. It should be better to book these low season Gorilla permits at least two months in advance to avoid short notice disappointments. Feel free to contact Great Adventures Uganda about booking your low season Rwanda Gorilla permits and safaris to visit Rwanda Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
WHAT IS GORILLA TRACKING?
Gorilla trekking is an activity whereby a group of tourists/people go searching for Gorillas in the wild (not actual dictionary definition). Gorilla trekking is currently available in three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. The process of seeing these Gorillas involves hiking or trekking in the forest in search for the rare Mountain Gorillas. One needs to acquire a Gorilla permit for Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park or Virunga National Park to be able to see these Mountain Gorillas. The process of Gorilla trekking normally starts with an early morning briefing at a respective park offices, then a hike or walk into the forest following the trail used by Mountain Gorillas and once found, you spend only one hour with the Mountain Gorillas. You will then return back and be offered a certificate as a soveniour. The trek itself may take from 30 minutes to three quarters of the day but once you find Gorillas, you are allowed to spend only one hour with them.
HOW MANY PEOPLE PER ON A TREK PER GORILLA FAMILY?
A maximum number of 8 people are allowed to trek or visit a given Gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla and Volcanoes National Parks. Bwindi National park has about 16 habituated Gorilla families and thus each family is allowed only 8 people/trackers per day for one hour. Sometimes park management is forced to have more than 8 people depending on circumstances on ground. If such happens, the park authorities will explain. When it comes to Gorilla habituation, its only 4 people that are around to spend four hours with Mountain Gorillas under habituation.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF SEEING MOUNTAIN GORILLAS?
The most asked question about Gorilla trekking is the chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda. We are glad to confirm that chances of seeing Gorillas in the either in Bwindi National Park or Volcanoes National Park is 98%. Many tourists tend to book two or more Gorilla treks in the fear that they may fail to see the Gorillas on the first trek and therefore may be lucky with the second trek. The truth of the matter is that Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda has a special organized way in that there is an advanced team of trackers/National park rangers who wake up every morning to find where these Gorillas are. Once they find them, they will then communicate to the park headquarters and your ranger guide of the day of the where about of these Gorillas. You will then start your trek from where the Gorillas would have spent the previous night up to when you find them. The advanced team will keep communicating with you guide to make sure you don’t get lost. If the Gorilla family in question keeps moving very fast, communication will be made and should they feel that you cannot cope with the speed, the park authorities may decide to take you to another family.
WHEN TO BOOK GORILLA PERMITS?
Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly so it is always advised to book your Gorilla permit in advance. At Great Adventures Uganda we advise that you book your Gorilla permit 3-4 months in advance to avoid short notice disappointments. Gorilla permits tend to run out during high seasons of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February each year and because of high demand after Rwanda doubling its Gorilla permit price to USD1500 per person per trek. Please contact Great Adventures Uganda for details about availability and cost of securing Gorilla permits.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTION ABOUT GORILLA SAFARIS?
Please send us an email or call us and we will answer all your questions concerning Gorilla trekking to enable you prepare for a memorable experience with us.
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