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Gorilla permits are documents issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority OR Rwanda Development Board, permitting persons of age to trek and spend time with the habituated gorilla families in their respective gorilla habitats. In 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 due to high demand, trekkers are advised to purchase 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 can only spend one hour with the gorillas.

Purchasing gorilla permits can be done directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority Head offices. Alternatively, gorilla permits can be booked / purchased indirectly through tour operators who will save you the hassle. 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 as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 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. Bank charges always apply. Ensure that they are covered to avoid shortages in Gorilla permits payments.
  • For persons purchasing gorilla permits, please make sure that you send your bank payment Confirmation Email. Your tour operator will purchase the permits on your behalf as long as permits are available on your trekking date.
  • Your driver/guide will have the original copy 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 $800 for foreign non-residents, $700 for foreign residents and Shs 300,000 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.

Cost of gorilla permits in Rwanda:
Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and $200 for East African Community Residents.

Best time to book gorilla permits:
Due to the high demand of gorilla permits, 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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