Before booking any safari to Uganda to view the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you will need to know the key changes that have taken place within the tourism industry presently. Gorilla trekking is a high end venture which needs proper planning from the start in order to ensure that you get the best out of your gorilla experience. We are here to give the main highlights on how to successfully make your booking direct and simple.
The change in the price of the gorilla permit.
As you start planning for your gorilla trip to Uganda, you have to put in mind that the price of the gorilla permit was increased from $600 to $ 700 per person. This is to start effective 1st July 2020. Those of the clients who want to track the mountain gorillas with the lower price should book their gorilla safaris before 1st July 2020. This means that you still have a chance of saving $100 in case you book your gorilla safari now.
Gorilla Habituation Experience permits were maintained at $1500
Its only in Uganda were you can spend 4 hours with the mountain gorillas under habituation. The southern sector of Bwindi is the only place where habituation of mountain gorillas can take place and those interested in this activity can pay $1500 per person to be able to spend 4 hours with the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla Habituation was introduced to allow the trekkers more time with the mountain Gorillas. This experience extends beyond watching and taking photos to engaging in activities that lead to gorillas getting used to human beings. Lake side tours and travel organizes great Gorilla Habituation experiences that are very memorable.
Uganda is considered the cheapest gorilla Trekking destination for 2021.
Since Democratic Republic of Congo is not a safe tourist destination for gorilla, the visitors are more interested in visiting Uganda due to the cheap gorilla permit, and its much lower than that of Rwanda at $1500 Per person. This means that once one decides to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda, you are in position to save up to $800 per head and this is enough to pay for a 3-day gorilla tour in Uganda.
Uganda has got the highest number of mountain gorillas
According to the previous mountain gorilla census that was carried out in Virunga and Bwindi impenetrable National Park, it was discovered that Bwindi impenetrable National Park is in position number one with over 600 mountain gorillas more than Rwanda and Congo. This means that Uganda is a better destination for gorillas than other two countries. This has been due to the much efforts to conserve the gorillas.
Bwindi Forest has got four different sectors.
Unlike other national parks, Bwindi Impenetrable national park has got four(4) key gorilla trekking regions of Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo as well as Rushaga. Each of these regions has different gorilla families as well as lodges. This means that before you book your accommodation facilities, please first let your tour operator first buy the gorilla permit.
The gorilla permit allocation is always based on regions and not gorilla family.
The trekker can only know the gorilla family to track on the actual day. When booking the gorilla permits at Uganda Wildlife Authority, these are booked per region. This means that one can book a permit of Buhoma or Ruhija without knowing the real gorilla family to be tracked. Once a client knows the region, you will then be free to request for any given gorilla family of your choice with in that region. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the body responsible for allocating the gorilla families and these will suite your interests.
You need to know that old people or people with disabilities can trek gorillas in Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park. Within Uganda, there is no maximum age limit for gorilla trekking. The older people of 100 years plus can still achieve their dreams of visiting the mountain gorillas at any time of the year. The old people can opt for sedan chairs and porters since these can help them move to all the trails to be able to track the gorillas.
Always book your gorilla permit and safari in advance.
Since gorilla trekking is the most sought after tourist activity for those visiting Uganda, gorilla permits tend to be sold out so quickly. In order to avoid missing out. We encourage you to book for your gorilla permit and tour at least 4-5 months in advance. Following the increase in price of Rwanda mountain gorilla permits to $1500, both Rwanda and Uganda tour operators compete for Uganda gorilla permits which causes scarcity most especially during the high and peak seasons.
There is an option of flying to Bwindi and Mgahinga instead of driving.
Driving from Kampala to Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga takes you about 9 to 10 hours, many people don’t enjoy these long drives much as they are filled with scenic views and lots of attractions to be seen. There are both charter and scheduled flights that are available daily from Entebbe to Kisoro or Kihihi Air strip. These flights will allow you spend 2-3 hours plus a half drive to the lodge which becomes time serving.
Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park can be accessed through Kigali instead of Entebbe.
It’s also possible to drive from Kigali and track Ugandan mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest as well as Mgahinga. This also allows you to spend about 4-5 hours on the road as compared to 10 hours’ drive from Entebbe to Bwindi. From Kigali Airport, you can opt to croass into Uganda at Chanika or Gatuna boarder and then drive to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park.
Consider the minimum age for gorilla trekking.
Before booking your tour to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda, you need to be 15 years of age and above. This is because Uganda and Rwanda have got an age restriction of 15 years and above.
Always choose the right tour operator for your gorilla trek in 2021.
It’s also easy to get a good tour operator to organize your gorilla trek to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Always select an operator who belongs to the association of Uganda Tour Operators. Trip advisor or safari bookings can also be of help when choosing a good tour operator. Lake Side Tours and travel Limited will always be available to take you on any safari in East Africa.