GORILLA TREKKING PRICES IN UGANDA
On almost every mention of mountain gorilla trekking in Africa, these three countries come to the travelers’ minds; the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. And probably keep wondering on which one they should go to for a gorilla safari.
Beyond a reasonable doubt, Uganda is the best destination for gorilla trekking. Besides being the only county with two gorilla national parks, it’s also a home to almost three quarters of the world’s remaining total population of mountain gorillas.
The biggest hindrance that has stopped trekkers from hitting the country to see these impressive giants of the forest, is that they have always thought that it is way too expensive it being one of the most exclusive experiences one can ever have on the African continent.
Unlike Rwanda that is now a luxury destination, with its gorilla permit at 1500 USD, Uganda’s permits are almost double cheaper than that. Nevertheless, gorilla trekking still remains the most expensive tourism activity in the pearl of Africa.
Gorilla trekking prices in Uganda are constant throughout the year, each permit costs 600 USD. However, due to the different travel seasons in Uganda, a discount is given to tourists trekking the gorillas in Uganda’s low season, they get their permits at only 450 USD. Uganda’s high season runs from June to September and December to early February. And then the low season is from March to May and October to November, however, gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done all year throughout.
Note that those prices are for foreign non-residents, foreign residents living in Uganda and with working permits trek the mighty apes at only 500 USD, and for East Africans, it is 250,000 Uganda shillings. And despite such permit prices, you can still have a budget gorilla safari in Uganda to Bwindi impenetrable or Mgahinga national park.
The gorilla permit fees include the park entrance fees, tracking fees, vehicle parking fees, guiding or ranger fees, conservation and monitoring costs as well as the percentage that goes to the neighboring local community. It excludes transport to and from the trekking destination, accommodation, tips to rangers, drinks and meals and the porters’ fees to carry your bag or you yourself when too tired to make it to the gorillas.
The gorilla permit charges differ in the only three African gorilla countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Rwanda it costs 1500 USD, 600 USD in Uganda and 500 USD in DR Congo. Even though they are all gorillas to be encountered here, the experience also differs, however, whichever country you choose to trek the gorillas, it is all as thrilling as the other.
Having got a gorilla permit, all that a trekker needs are hiking boots, a long sleeved shirt and trouser, rain jacket the fact that trekking is done in a tropical forest, it can rain any time, packed lunch especially light snacks, enough drinking water; minimum of 1.5 liters, a hat, gloves, and anything else considered important for the trek.
Remember gorilla trekking in Uganda involves walking through the jungle in search of the mighty apes in their natural setting. Hiking through the thick forest, having to hold onto tree branches for support, paving your way through the forest with your hands or a hand stick and spending one magical hour with the apes, watching them play from one tree branch to the other and taking pictures. The experience is simply thrilling.