Gorilla permits can only be purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters in Kampala. This is the only legalized issuing body which offers gorilla tracking permits in Uganda. Any gorilla permit which is not offered by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) should be rendered an illegal permit and it does not permit you to go and track the mountain gorillas of Uganda in either of the parks.
The gorilla permits offered to you do indicate the gorilla family of group to trek. The accommodation preferred is that which must be near the gorilla group you are going to trek the next day. Booking or obtaining this gorilla permit can be through a tour agent or directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority. In both processes, you will need to either make direct calls or send emails. Expect to get instant feed backs from either Uganda Wildlife Authority or the tour and travel company which you might have chosen to book for you the gorilla permit.
During your reservations for a gorilla safari in Uganda, you will need to consider a full day of travel from Uganda’s capital Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This calls for proper planning as the journey is not short.
Depending of your travel itinerary, you will have stopovers to buy yourself food or a drink. You need to book and pay for your accommodation as you pay for your gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. When you are paying for a gorilla permit, you need to give the exact dates you intend to travel because, it’s these date which will have to appear on your gorilla permit.
How to Book Gorilla Permits
How to book for gorilla permits in Uganda for gorilla tracking and trek in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park. In Uganda each gorilla permit costs US$700 and at times US$450 for the months of 2017 April, May and November. On each particular day, up to about 96 persons can visit Bwindi gorillas, 8 persons per each gorilla family.
However because of the unreliability of the mountain gorillas of Mgahinga, most of the gorilla permits sold are for Bwindi. Gorilla permits for Bwindi can only be purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters in Kampala, either directly or through a tour agent.
Booking Gorilla Permits directly from UWA
To book your gorilla permit (from out of Uganda) you first have to contact UWA’s reservation office by email inquiring about availability of the dates you intend to track the gorillas. Note that you need to consider a full day of travel from Kampala to Bwindi after you have landed in Kampala. If the exact dates you want are unavailable, you can request UWA to let you know of the nearest dates.
You can request UWA to let you know of the nearest dates. You then reply to them expressing your intent to book those permits and requesting them to temporarily hold them as you make payment. At this time, they will advise you of their banking details, so that you can proceed to make an electronic transfer of the money.
After you have made payments, Uganda Wildlife Authority will make you a tentative booking for you until your transfer goes through. This transfer takes about 7 days. When you are wiring the money, you will instruct your bank to deduct on the money you bank off the bank charges from you so that the money for obtaining the gorilla permit is not tampered with. This should be so because if the money you sent is less then you will not be able to obtain the gorilla permit. It is a fixed pay whereby you need to pay US$700 fixed to obtain a gorilla permit.
Please remember to immediately send a copy of the transaction voucher/receipt by email or fax to UWA. The transfer should usually take not more than 3 days and UWA will keep your tentative booking for at least 7 days as they await the transfer to go through. Please ensure that instruct you bank to deduct the bank charges from you. Otherwise is the money sent is less, your permit may not be booked.
Booking Gorilla Permits through a Tour and Travel Agent in Uganda
Many intending gorilla trekkers have however found the above procedure tedious and have sought our quicker and less tedious ways of reserving their gorilla permits by working with local Ugandan tour operators. When you are booking a gorilla permit through a tour operator in Uganda you need to do it through a genuine toour company listed on this website.
The tour operator will usually charge a fee of $25 to $60 per gorilla permit but will not charge you for buying gorilla permits if you are getting other tour services (like transfers and tours) through them but if you only would like the tour operators to help you acquire the gorilla permit alone, a maximum of $35 applies on each gorilla permit we book. Tour agencies tend to speed up the process and most likely you will get gorilla permit confirmation faster.
Tracking Time Limit
Assembling for briefing from one of the park rangers at the Kinigi park headquarters starts is limited from 7:00-7:30 at least. Gorilla tracking time is limited from 8:30am to 7:00pm. All visitors are expected back at the camp ground by 7:00pm. You must be over 15 years of age to obtain a gorilla viewing permit.
After ward it is a return to the park headquarters depending on time and your energy level a village walk is an option where you will see traditional ways from the brewing of beer to remedies made from the forest. There will be some dancing and entertainment as you see the ways of the local people and it is certainly worth your while.
Lodging : Budget- moderate – upmarket
Meal plan : Breakfast – lunch – Dinner
Unlike for the republic of Rwanda, the gorilla permits in Uganda cost US$700, while those in Rwanda cost US$1500. This therefore means that the gorilla permits of Rwanda are more expensive as compared to those in Uganda. Therefore, tracking the gorillas in Uganda will make you save some money which will be used to do some other things on your African safari.
You can participate in chimpanzee tracking experience. This also means that you will you will have to obtain a chimpanzee tracking permit. This activity is widely carried out in Kibale forest national park where there are habituated groups of chimpanzees for viewing. These permits are also issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala and they have to be booked in advance.