Gorilla Permit in Uganda

Gorilla permit in Uganda is an electronic card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to enable visitors aged 15 and above to go gorilla trekking in the forest. Uganda wildlife authority issues both gorilla trekking permits and gorilla habituation permits. 

A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda contains all the detailed information about the trekkers including the status of residence, trekking /habituation date, the sector such as Nyakagezi in Mgahinga National Park which has one habituated gorilla family for trekking, Nkuringo sector, Ruhija sector, Buhoma sector and finally Rushaga sector which is the best sector with many habituated gorilla families for trekking and it’s also the only sector that offers gorilla habituation experience in Uganda.

A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda allows visitors in presence of mountain gorillas for just one-hour learning more about their behaviors and this permit is valid for 24 hours once a trek is missed don’t expect it to be renewed for you. It guarantees one trek a day. The Uganda wildlife authority issues 8 permits per one gorilla family a day meaning only eight people are allowed to trek a particular family. Currently, Uganda has 19 habituated gorilla families that imply that UWA issues out a maximum of 152 gorilla trekking permits per day.

A gorilla trekking permit costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African community members per person. However, with effect to July 2020, the cost of gorilla trekking permit will go as high as $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents with an increment of $100 per permit whereas the permit for the East  African community members remains constant in order to attract more east African to trek the gorillas 

Whereas the gorilla habituation permit in Uganda allows visitors alongside armed rangers, habituators and guides 4 hours in the wild with gorillas learning about several habits of gorillas and teaching them how to get used to human. This gorilla habituation process takes almost two good years for a gorilla family to completely be free with human presence. The Uganda wildlife authority issues out a gorilla habituation permit at a cost of $1500 which is equivalent to a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda. However, the habituation fee excludes tips, and porter. Gorilla Habituation in Uganda is only carried out in Rushaga sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park which allows four permits per gorilla family a day 

How to obtain a gorilla permit in Uganda

A gorilla permit in Uganda can be obtained directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority but first of all one needs to first inquire for the availability of the permit and once they date need is available, never hesitate to make a reservation and book the permit because you never know how many people need that exact date.

A visitor interested in a gorilla tour has to keep in mind that a gorilla permit should be obtained at least six months in advance plier to the tour to avoid missing out this fascinating and engrossing experience of watching these mighty primates in the wild especially during the peak season as the demand for permits tend to go high and get finished very fast. The peak season is during the dry months of June to September and December to February when several visitors are flocking the park due to the fact that the parks are a bit dry with little or no rain during the tour thus offering the best and crystal clear view lots of wildlife alongside gorillas. In these months, gorilla permits especially the trekking permits tend to be sold off with nothing left in stock 

However, booking the permit requires visiting the reservations office at the Uganda Wildlife Authority which sometimes seem hard for foreign nonresident tourists thus the best solution is to use a trusted and registered operator based in Uganda such as “Achieve Global Safaris” which is registered under AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) to organize the entire tour on your behalf including reserving your gorilla permit at ease, reserving accommodations and offering the transportation means on ground throughout the tour. This is the best option and I am sure several visitors who book their permits and the entire tour with us have never been disappointed. So grab your chance to obtain your permit and trek or habituate the gorillas at your pace without setbacks.

Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda

Other permits 

Apart from gorilla permits, the Uganda wildlife authority issues out other permits to visitors to enable them to have a glance at primates in Uganda. Some of these primates include chimpanzees and golden monkeys

A Ugandan chimpanzee trekking permit goes for $150 for foreign non-residents, $100 for foreign residents, UGX 100,000 for East African community members and the chimpanzee habituation experience permit in Uganda which is carried out in Kibale national park goes for $200 per person. However, the above cost will end with the year of 2019 and with effective to January 2020, the chimpanzee permit will be at a fee of $200 for foreign non-residents, $150 for foreign residents, UgX150,000 for east African community members and the habituation permit will be $250 per permit. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority also offers relatively cheaper chimpanzee permits in kyambura gorge at a cost of $50 for foreigners and UGX 30,000 for east African community members.

A golden monkey tracking permit in Uganda costs $50 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, UGX 20,000 for Ugandans and other east African community members. Golden monkeys are only found in Mgahinga gorilla national park. However, the golden monkey habituation experience permit goes for $100 per permit which is equivalent to a golden monkey trekking permit in our neighboring country Rwanda. The golden monkey permits are also obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices or at the park headquarters in Mgahinga gorilla national park. These permits will rise effectively to 2020 with a tracking permit at $60 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, UGX 40,000 for East African community members and the Habituation permit remains constant 

Important to note:

  1. All the trekking permits mentioned above enable visitors/visitors just one in presence of the primates and 4 hours for the habituation experience. However, the time excludes the trekking time in search of the primates in the forest which can range between 45 minutes to full-day depending on the distance moved by the primate 
  2. Only eight permits are issued out daily per gorilla family so a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek a particular gorilla family 
  3. Children below the age of 15 years are not allowed to obtain a  gorilla permit and a chimpanzee permit but for golden monkey tracking permits, the minimum age is 12 years 
  4. Always remember to book your permits on time.
  5. And lastly, each permit is valid for 24 hours and it’s not renewable