Uganda introduces more permits for gorilla tracking
UWA will now allow 17 groups to be tracked, in response to increased demand.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has increased the number of gorilla families available for tracking and viewing by two, taking the total to 17.
In a statement released by the UWA, the organisation said it had been under pressure to increase gorilla permits for tracking over the last three months after cases where tourists had travelled to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park without a guarantee that they would receive a permit.
The UWA has successfully habituated the Katwe group in Buhoma and Christmas group in Nkuringo. Dr. Robert Bitariho, Director of institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, based in Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, says habituation is the process to get gorillas used to the presence of humans. He told Chimp Reports: “The process takes about two years for the gorillas to get used to humans.”
Visitors can book tracking permits through the UWA reservations department, which recommends that tour operators avoid attempting last-minute bookings as “there is the possibility of finding out that permits are sold out”. To avoid this, UWA says: “Tour operators are requested to always liaise with our reservations office before travelling to the parks to avoid being turned away due to unavailability of permits.”
Operators who have already booked through Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park should pay at UWA headquarters in Kampala prior to arrival at the parks. New bookings must be directed through UWA Reservations, contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org or +256 414 355 403/404/405/409/410.