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HOW TO BOOK GORILLA PERMITS, Gorilla permits are documents issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board, or ICCN permitting persons of age to trek and spend time with the habituated gorilla families in their respective gorilla habitats. For Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority issues 168 gorilla permits daily for 21 gorilla families (20 in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks).

Gorilla trekking is one of Uganda’s most demanding tourist activities and because of this high demand, trekkers are advised to book for gorilla permits at least 3 months in advance during the low seasons-March, April, May and November and up to 6 months in advance during the peak season-June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. Each habituated gorilla family can be visited by 8 persons who have to spend one hour per day.

Booking for gorilla permits can be done directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority Head offices. Alternatively, gorilla permits can be booked indirectly through tour operators who will save you the hassle of purchasing gorilla permits. Another advantage of booking through tour operators is that they have knowledge of what accommodation facilities are close to the gorilla families you wish to trek. This is practical with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that is divided into four different sectors (Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo), each with unique gorilla families and accommodations facilities. If for instance, the gorilla family you are planning to trek is in the Buhoma sector, even the accommodation facility should be in the same sector.

When booking gorilla permits in Uganda, make sure to provide;

  • Intended date of trekking the Mountain gorillas. Provide a few suggestions on the dates in case the first date you indicated is already fully booked. After doing this, do ahead and send a scanned copy of your passport to the booking agent (tour operator) to reserve the gorilla permit.
  • Make sure that your full name, Nationality, and passport number is fully provided to avoid bureaucracy at the Park Headquarters during the briefing.
  • The next step is making payments by the bank and one thing you should not forget is ensuring that the Bank deals with cut-off bank charges to avoid low payment.
  • For persons purchasing gorilla permits directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority, please make sure that you send your bank payment Confirmation Email but for persons booking indirectly through tour operators, most of them transact with credit cards. Once the date you wish to track is available, the tour operator will reserve the permits with a certain deposit paid and be completed on the date of arrival into the country.
  • Upon receiving a notice for your payment, you will receive a confirmation and an original gorilla permit by the driver/guide on the day the safari starts but for clients only interested in buying permits, they can be picked from Company offices.

Cost of gorilla permits in Uganda

Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and Shs 250,000 for East African Community Residents. Permits for the fascinating Gorilla Habituation Experience costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and Shs 750,000 for East African Community Residents.

Best time to book for gorilla permits in Uganda

Due to the high demand of gorilla permits in Uganda, it is advisable to book at least 3-4 months during the low seasons (March, April, May, October and November) and at least 6 months in advance during the peak season (June, July, September, December, January and February).

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