How To Get A Gorilla Trekking Permit In Uganda
If you’re concerned about getting a gorilla permit, contacting an AUTO-affiliated Tour Operator in Uganda is the best way to go. With over 1000 Tour Operators available, you can be sure to get the correct permit for your gorilla trip. Anxious tourists should act with haste in the high season, due to the vast influx of travellers to Uganda. AUTO members are your only hope for procuring the necessary permits without any additional expenditures. Booking ahead is strongly advised to secure these passes and avoid disappointment. Steer clear of pricey permits and be wary of fraudulent operators who attempt to take advantage of travelers by offering discounted permits that aren’t legitimate. It is suggested that you avoid transferring funds to individual accounts, express payments, Western Union, and MoneyGram. Instead, utilize business bank accounts with a credit card payment system. Be wary of those who attempt to deceive and pass themselves off with the AUTO logo, don’t be taken in by them. It is important to research the background of a tour operator prior to booking with them.
Cost Of A Gorilla Permit
In Uganda, the fee for Gorilla trekking permits is $700 for non-residents from outside of the East African Community, $500 for those living in member nations of the EAC, and Shs250,000 for locals of these countries. Rwanda’s cost for a permit is $1500 per individual during peak season and $1050 in off-season. If you plan to go Gorilla Trekking, you should be aware that a permit is needed. To secure one, you must provide your name, nationality, passport number and date of birth. Please note that it is not possible to transfer the permit to another person – you will need to show your passport and ID at the pre-trek briefing. You will need to submit your payment details and the dates when you would like to embark on the gorilla trekking journey. Should those dates not be available, ask the permit organiser for the most convenient alternatives. Once everything is sorted out, you’ll eventually get a digital version of your Gorilla trekking permit, which can take up to a few days or weeks. When you arrive in the country, your Safari Company will have the permit ready for you. If not, you’ll need to pick it up from the UWA office. It will have a one-of-a-kind serial number plus all your personal information printed on it.
Gorilla Habituation Permit
As a visitor, you have the chance to join researchers in their endeavour of familiarising a particular gorilla family with human interaction. After devoting up to four hours to the mountain gorillas, you will be honoured with a certificate for your participation in the gorilla habituation experience. The gorillas that are being trained to become accustomed to people are generally unfamiliar with human presence, yet still remain secure to be near. You need a gorilla permit issued and sold by UWA to undergo gorilla habituation. This permit costs USD 1500, granting you more than three hours with gorillas in their natural habitat. It is only valid for one person on a single day. Non-Ugandan Nationals are eligible for a reduced fee of one thousand US dollars to participate in gorilla habituation.
What You Need To Know Before Acquiring A Gorilla Permit
- Going on a gorilla trek is a very demanding task; it’s certainly not easy.
- You must prepare carefully for your gorilla trekking excursion.
- By possessing a Permit, you can observe the mountain gorillas’ movements; nevertheless, this does not assure that you will witness them.
- These animals are wild and roam freely in nature. Be assured, though, that your chances of encountering them are very high – almost certain!
- Hiking to locate gorillas may take a while, as much as six hours in order to find one specific group.
- You are limited to a single hour with each gorilla group.
- To be eligible to track gorillas, you must be at least 15 years of age.
- A limit of 8 persons may take part in a single trek.
- Each group is assigned a tour guide for their Bwindi excursion, along with two armed guards and porters to carry any additional luggage.
- Upon completion of the trek, you will receive a gorilla tracking certificate.
- The busiest times of year are from June to December, with the slowest being mainly January and February.
- If you plan on taking a trip, it is wise to acquire your permit prior to arriving in order to avoid the difficulty of obtaining one when you’re here.
- They are limited and distributed according to whoever arrives first. The Gorilla permit can’t be renewed and is only valid for a particular date and geographical area.
How To Book Your Gorilla Permit
Organizing a permit to visit Uganda requires the services of a dependable and reliable tour operator. An alternative option is to get a gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority in person. Generally, using a tour operator for this purpose is more efficient than going through UWA. It is essential to be aware that tour operators may impose an additional fee of roughly $50-$100 for each permit. This supplementary fee covers the expenses and arrangements associated with acquiring the gorilla permits, such as making phone calls, collecting the permits, delivering them to you and other administrative duties. As part of a prearranged tour, a gorilla permit typically will already be included in the cost.
Dealing With A Tour Operator To Secure Your Gorilla Permit
Let your tour operator know when you are looking to track gorillas so that the planning process can be simplified. After being informed of the dates you would like to undertake this journey, they can assess whether those particular dates are available and hold them for you. Following this, payment details will be sent to you with either bank transfer or credit card payment accepted. It is important that any bank charges associated with the transaction are included in the payment, as failing to do so may result in not receiving a permit or extra costs incurring. You must also attach a copy of your passport which should include your name, nationality and number as these details are essential for registering the permit. The names will then be registered and a permit obtained. Please note that having a permit does not guarantee seeing mountain gorillas but gives approximately 95% chance of doing so.
Booking Your Gorilla Permit With Uganda Wildlife Authority
- If you’re wanting to go gorilla trekking, the first thing you need to do is determine which date(s) work for you. Then get in touch with UWA and they’ll let you know if those dates are available. If they are, proceed to the next step. If not, it’s time to pick some other dates.
- Once you have gotten the go-ahead from UWA on your gorilla permit, you can proceed to pay for it by either Visa, Credit card or EFT to the designated bank account. Make sure to secure and hang on to a receipt of the transaction. So, what’s the cost of a gorilla permit? Non-residents from abroad will fork out $700 each; Foreigners with residence status will be charged $600 each; and East African nationals only need to pay UGX250,000 (approximately $80). For more details on the price of gorilla permits in Uganda, please read our blog article.
- Send us a scan of your passport’s bio page, as well as your payment receipt. You’ll need to send those two documents via email. The most important part of your passport is the biodata page – the one with your name, birthdate, passport number and so on. UWA will make sure that payment has been made and they’ll then send you an official confirmation regarding your booked gorilla permit.
How To Cancel A Gorilla Permit Or Get A Refund
In the event of cancellation, no refund will be issued if only a deposit has been paid. Should you have already paid for your permit in full, the cancellation regulations are as follows: You will receive 75% of your money back if you cancel your permit at least 91 days before the trek. If you cancel your reservation between 46 and 90 days in advance, you will be eligible to receive a 50% refund. If you cancel your reservation between nine and 45 days in advance, you’ll receive a 25% refund. No reimbursement will be granted in case of cancellation within 0-8 days prior. It is strongly recommended that individuals who are feeling unwell (even if it’s something as minor as a cold) not trek due to the risk of potentially transmitting illnesses to gorillas. However, should an individual be unable to partake in the trek due to illness occurring on-site, they may be eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of the permit fee. This serves as an incentive for people to be truthful about any health issues they may have and help protect the gorillas from disease.
Why Should You Pay For A Gorilla Permit?
As close to humans as chimpanzees are, gorillas have also earned the nickname of man’s cousins. Tourists have flocked to view their remarkable behavior and physical characteristics. Gentle, placid, and caring for their own, a gorilla family demonstrates its commitment to the younger members through vigilant protection. Unfortunately, only around 1,000 mountain gorillas exist in the world today – so it is essential that we guard both them and their habitats. The three nations are committing 80% of the funds derived from permits to the preservation of these primates. Such efforts have not only been beneficial for conservation, but also have provided economic benefits to the local communities that receive visitors for gorilla tracking activities through employment opportunities.
How long is the Gorilla permit valid in Uganda?
When you purchase a Gorilla permit, it will remain valid until the date of your trek. Once that day has passed, the booking ID expires and the permit is no longer valid. To make sure you can take part in your pre-booked trek, it is strongly recommended to plan ahead and book as far in advance as possible. Nevertheless, due to various unforeseen circumstances, sometimes it is not possible to attend the scheduled activity. If that happens, it is advised to contact Uganda Wildlife Authority or your Tour operator at least two weeks prior and rebook for another day.