Gorilla permit availability is one of the key features for every successful gorilla safari bookings in all mountain gorilla destinations. For this case, no traveler is allowed to see mountain gorillas without a valid permit bearing his/her names. The availability of gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo is therefore one of the frequently asked questions about gorilla trekking that all reservationists must answer before any gorilla trip inquiry is confirmed. If you are interested in knowing the status of gorilla permit availability in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, you can check with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Institut Congolais Pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in Congo. These are respective government bodies responsible for issuing out gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo respectively. Alternatively, professional travel operators especially Africa Adventure Safaris can help you check the availability of permits and book the permits hence saving travelers of all hustles associated with gorilla permit booking and accessibility.
How many gorilla permits available everyday
Altogether, 248 gorilla permits are issued out everyday in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo split in four gorilla national parks. The permits available in each park depend on the number of gorilla families in that particular park. Bwindi forest national park has the highest number of permits with 96 gorilla permits (12 gorilla groups) sold out everyday, Volcanoes national park has 80 permits (10 gorilla families), Virunga national park has 64 permits (8 gorilla permits) and Mgahinga gorilla national park has only 8 permits for one gorilla family. Each gorilla family is visited by a group of eight people hence 8 permits per gorilla group.
How do I check gorilla permit availability?
The status of gorilla permit availably is only confirmed through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and ICCN in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo respectively. Everyday, these bodies update the gorilla permit availability list, which they send to all registered travel agents to keep them update for easy gorilla tour reservations back in their offices. Upon receiving any gorilla trek probe, travel operators check the list and write back to the client informing him/her about how many permits are listed in specific sector (Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo) in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Confirming the availability of gorilla permits in each park enable travelers to adjust their schedules to avoid any disappointments. Checking gorilla permit availability can be done on ground by visiting respective offices or online by logging in into the system of UWA & RDB enter in the required information and see the availability.
How much is a gorilla permit
Before going any further, lets discuss on the price of gorilla permits. Much as mountain gorillas are similar, the experiences differ when it comes to gorilla permit prices. Each country has set its charge for a single gorilla permit and has all the authorities to increase or reduce permit prices depending on its aims and objectives. Since May 2017, Rwanda gorilla permit prices were raised to $ 1500 for a single permit paid by all travelers including Rwanda citizens. For Uganda, gorilla permit charges differ based on a travelers’ nationality. In Uganda, gorilla permits cost 600usd for foreign non-residents, 500 for foreign residents and 250,000ush for east Africa residents. Before the closure of Virunga national park, the permit there was far less at $450, which made Congo gorilla tours affordable especially for budget travelers. All travelers are required to book and pay a deposit as early as 3 months before the trekking date to ensure timely booking of permits. Advance booking guarantee travelers access to gorilla permits hence saving them of disappointments at the last hour. We help you book and reserve gorilla permits in advance saving you the hustles of booking permits for yourself.
How do I access my permit on the day of trekking?
After reserving permits and have the proof of payment, travelers are always advised to relax and wait for the trekking date. For the case of private travelers who book permits direct with tourism bodies, they are advised to arrive days before and pick them for themselves. Booking with a travel company is a great deal since travelers just sits back and wait for guides to give to submit in permits to the park officials.
Does a traveler own a gorilla permit?
No, a gorilla permits is owned by the national park even after a traveler pays for it. However, each permit comes along with a receipt bearing the names of a client to indicate that he/she is eligible to trek gorillas. After submitting the permits to the park officials on the day of trekking, a traveler is allowed to see gorillas but is not given back the permit. At the end of every trek, each traveler is given a certificate to confirm that he or she has successfully trekked the famous mountain gorillas.
In general, a valid gorilla permit is a must have for everyone intending to trek mountain gorillas should book for his/her gorilla permit in advance.