The costs for a gorilla trekking safari trip in Uganda
Uganda is well known as the primate capital of Africa for adventure travelers who wish to see mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and chimpanzees. without a doubt, Uganda beats the competition in offering the most affordable chimpanzee, golden monkey, and gorilla trekking costs in Africa.
Uganda has a very good and successful primate conservation program, contributing great efforts to community sustainability, and steady development of infrastructure, Uganda also has a competitive tourism market which makes the cost of chimpanzee, golden monkey, and gorilla trekking safari more affordable to all categories of travelers.
The price of a gorilla, chimpanzee and golden monkey permit makes up seventy percent of Uganda’s primates safari cost, Uganda is the most affordable primates safari destination in the region and also has the number 168 gorilla trekking tickets per day which are double Rwanda’s, gorilla permit requires to book months in advance to acquire the permit because it is on high demand.
The costs of trekking chimpanzees, golden money, and gorillas in Uganda will include the price of accommodation and meals, gorilla permit, safari car, and driver/guide, all airport transfer costs up to lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla trekking requires travelers to be physically fit so if you don’t trust your physical fitness, the irregular terrains of Bwindi forest to reach the gorillas, so those who cannot hike up and down take note of your safari costs will increase by $300 to $400 of hiring the services of porters who will carry you to the gorilla and back.
The trekking permit price is what makes the gorilla trekking safari costs higher than what most travelers expect. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $700 per person per trek (2023/2024) for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250,000 Uganda Shillings for Ugandans and other East African nationals.
Truthfully, funding gorilla conservation is one of the main key factors that makes gorilla permits so expensive. The other contributing factor to what makes gorilla permits expensive is the continuous successful primate conservation programs that need continuous financing to keep the mountain gorillas safe and healthy which includes Gorilla Doctors, researchers, trekkers, and rangers. Uganda’s mountain gorilla conservation and management system are run by a government conservation body called Uganda Wildlife Authority. 50 percent of the money collected from the gorilla permit fee goes back to finances gorilla conservation, 40 percent is retained by the government then 10 percent is shared with the local communities living around the gorilla national parks which are Mgahinga and Bwindi Forest.
The cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda includes a ranger/guide who will lead you in this trekking activity to find a gorilla family and guide you through the whole jungle adventure. You will also be in the company of two other armed park rangers for your security from the unexpected wild animal like forest elephants and forest buffalos attack.
On the day of trekking, a team of trackers/rangers will go very early in the forest to find the gorillas before they leave their nests and stick with them so by the time tourist and other visitor starts trekking the guide already knows where the gorilla is, although gorillas keep moving, the trackers will keep communicating to the ranger guides to make sure all tourists get 100 percent chance of seeing gorillas.
The standard gorilla trekking permit allows you to spend only one hour with the gorillas once you find them, however, there is another alternative for those who wish to spend more time with gorillas, with the newly introduced activity of gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga Sector-Bwindi forest, with this activity you can spend at least four hours with gorilla family that is under habituation process but this comes with an extra cost because gorilla habituation permit cost $1,500 per person which is more than doubles the standard trekking permit that cost $700 per person and you spend only one hour with fully habituated gorillas.
The age limit for both standard gorilla trekking and habituation is 15 years and above, there is no maximum age for gorilla tracking or habituation. Both habituation permits and trekking can be purchased directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala or booked through a local tour operator to purchase the permit on your behalf.
Unlike wildlife safari and city tours adventures, Uganda gorilla trekking safaris require you to book through a local tour operator to help you against the local logistical dilemmas because a local tour operator like Kisoro Tours Uganda knows the ins and outs of local travel so that you’re aware and advised of traveling times in advance and also when you book through a local tour operator, it is easy to sort things out thing that may not go as planned.
Local tour operators know the best ways of arranging and making bookings for you into the best lodges and meals with the best locations, plan your transportation with a driver/guide.
After confirming your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda through a local tour operator, there are other costs that may not be included in your gorilla safari quote, other costs include visa fees, optional activities that are not on the itinerary, buying souvenirs and other gifts, all drinks and meals that are not included on your itinerary, hiring porters and tips.