Tips on How Gorilla Permits are Allocated in Uganda
Mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is arguably the most fascinating wildlife adventure experience in East Africa, in other words for those who haven’t got the opportunity to go for gorilla tracking in Uganda it is totally a different kind of experience from the usual wildlife game drive in the Masai Mara in Kenya or Serengeti National Park and in Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania or in other Savanah national parks in South Africa and Botswana.
Mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda is more like paying a visit to our ancestors, every year thousands of travelers come to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda East Africa to see these majestic primates in their natural habitat, gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest is even more popular because Bwindi Forest is listed as World Heritage Site and also mountain gorillas are listed as endangered spices by the IUCN.
Gorilla permits allocation in Uganda? Like humans, mountain gorillas live in groups called families which about 7 to 25 individuals of the family on average, In Bwindi Forest, not all the gorilla families are open for tourism because some of the families are not habituated so it remains wild, as of July 2022 Uganda has only 21 habituated gorilla families open for tourism and only 8 people are allowed to visit/trek each gorilla family which there are only 168 gorilla permits issued per day throughout the year and also take NOTE that gorilla permits are sold on first come first sever basses so it is recommended to a book like between 6 months to one year in advance to avoid missing on the day and date you wish to see gorillas in Uganda.
Whom to book your gorilla tracking permit with in Uganda?
You can easily book your gorilla permit through a trusted local licensed tour operator like us Kisoro Tours or booked directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority at their head offices in Kampala, but it is highly recommended to book through a private local tour operator for smooth communication
As we are still on this topic of gorilla permits allocation in Uganda and whom to book with please keep in mind that advance booking of gorilla permits will enable you timely booking of other service providers and facilities like best lodges with good location in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park where you will be tracking gorillas, remember also Bwindi forest 4 gorilla trekking sector which includes Buhoma sector, Rushaga sector, Nkuringo sector and Ruhija sector, each sector has its own gorilla tracking starting point and also you cannot sleep in one sector trek in the other sector because of the distance in between so there are few things you must consider when booking your gorilla tracking permit in Uganda so that’s why we advise you to book with a local tour operator like us to guide through the whole process instead of booking directly where you will be on your own and make mistakes which can cost you lots of money.
What is the best gorilla family to track in Uganda?
There is a big question many of our clients asked us what is the easiest gorilla family to track in Uganda? Mountain gorillas leaves in the wild so they keep moving from place to place in the forest, what I can say is that the easier gorilla family to trek is determined on the day of tracking because every day they move to new locations and park rangers and trekkers know the location because there is a team of trekkers that tracks them every day so it will be good to ask on the day of tracking it is the best time to ask such question like what is the best gorilla family or the easiest gorilla family to track.
On the lack you get to track the easiest family which can take between 45 minutes to an hour to find gorillas while it may take five to seven hours to find other difficult families, gorilla families in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Forest are generally considered to be easier to track but that also depends on the lack of the day, some gorilla families can be considered easy to track but others can be difficult to find due the train where are at a given time.
No one should discourage you, mountain gorillas are wild so just because your friend or some information on the internet discouraged you from tracking a certain gorilla family what I can tell doesn’t mean that the circumstances surrounding a particular gorilla family are not still the same because it changes every day, for example, if one visited a family in 2020 without silverback in 2011 it had two silverbacks, the client wants to see baby gorillas if a month ago you visited a particular gorilla family with infants or babies next month you go you will find them including twins so no one should be discouraged thing changes every day.
How are gorilla families allocated and gorilla permits allocated in Uganda?
Gorilla permits allocation in Uganda: gorilla families are allocated or assigned to tourists and other visitors? Here are two questions, gorilla family allocation, and gorilla permit allocation, the first thing one needs to know is who allocates what, when, and where. The answer is gorilla permit is allocated at the time of purchasing at Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala while a gorilla family is allocated on the day of trekking after a briefing park ranger in Bwindi Forest.
What is the fitness level required for mountain gorilla tracking?
Mountain gorilla tracking is considered as one of the activities that require a good level of fitness because mountains live in high altitude forests of East Africa with sometimes a difficult terrain hiking up and down terrain in the thick vegetation as you flow the gorillas which can make it a little bit difficult get to the gorilla family you have allocated to track.
Therefore, the gorilla family allocation is done based on the overall fitness of the tourists because some travelers are young and fit with lost energy which is a direct ticket for them to take up gorilla family which is far or difficult while the old and those who are not very fit will be assigned nearby gorilla family, the procedure here is that if you know you have fitness issues or any other issue jute tell you driver/guide in advance so that when you reach the park he or her can explain to the park officials and your issue will be considered when allocating families to track, remember the park ranger do not have a fitness test so they will look at you and decide who should get the easier family and who should not trek. For the elderly, disabled, and those who have a health issue that doesn’t allow them to walk for long distances, we will have to hire you Sedan chairs and a group of porters who will carry you to the gorillas and back to your car which means that you will have to pay an extra of between $400 to $500 for the Sedan chairs and porters, porters are very efficient and it is 100percent safe.
What is the Age of gorilla tracking?
Gorilla permits allocation in Uganda sometimes goes with age and fitness level as factors to consider when allocating gorilla families and permits to all visitors, however, the main age limit for gorilla tracking is 15 years and above so children below 15 years will not be allowed to track gorillas in Uganda. Don’t think because young with lots of energy is a good indicator that you will complete before others, what I can tell you it is very possible for a person 65 years old to finish before the 20 years old, you just have to be fit because some old people are fitter than the young ones.
What is the best time/season of the year to go for gorilla tracking?
Uganda has two main tourist seasons which is peak season is also known as the dry season during the month of June, July, August, September, October, December, January, and February while the second low season is also known as the wet season during the month of November, March April and May, whichever the case there is no weather condition that can stop someone to travel or miss out activity because of bad weather which means that you visit Uganda any day throughout the year.
However, during the peak/dry season gorilla permits are in high demand, and difficult for the day and date of your choice because that’s the time everyone is trying to book their Uganda gorilla safari but low/wet season it is very easy to get the permit for the day and date of your choice.
How many times can one track mountain gorillas in Uganda?
You can go for gorilla tracking as many times as you want, each time you go you have to pay for another permit, and also every time you go you will be allocated a different gorilla family from the one you have tracked before, the park officials will have no choice but to allocate you the gorilla group of your choice because you have tracked before.
What is the gorilla permit cost in Uganda?
Before you talk of gorilla permits allocation in Uganda, you must first know the price, in Uganda gorilla permit cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda is $700 per person per track in either Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or in Mgahing gorilla national park, for those who wish to trek in Rwanda, the Rwanda gorilla permit cost $1500 per person per track in Volcanoes national park.
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