Gorilla permits are issued by Uganda wildlife Authority [UWA] while in Rwanda they are issued by Rwanda development Board [RDB]. Each group have got a limited number of daily visitors allowed. If you want to visit the gorillas, you have to be with a gorilla tracking Permit. It is necessary to buy the Gorilla Permit in advance to avoid embarrassment.
A tracking permit in Uganda costs U.S. $ 450 per person per day in low season that is in months of April –May and November while the rest of the periods it is termed as High season, where the permit costs U.S. $ 600 and is varied for that specific day of tracking. Uganda has two national parks that hosts mountain gorillas that is Bwindi and Mgahinga but under one management as Bwindi and Mgahinga conservation area but Bwindi Park alone has 4 areas or site where the tracking of these gorillas starts from while Mgahinga has one family. The areas are Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the East, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south of the park.
However visitor who are interested to spend a little bit long than one hour to maximum of 4 hours, permits are available at a cost of U.S.$ 1500 only in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park called Rushaga and this activity is termed as Gorilla habituation experience. While in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park, a gorilla tracking permit costs U.S. $ 750. In both countries, these permits easily run out so an advance booking of these permits is necessary. The gorilla permit include the entrance fees for the park.
And even if there is no guarantee that you’ll actually see mountain gorillas, it’s definitely worth it! Though it is stated that there is 95% to 99% guarantee to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest Uganda, the deficit percentage is due to your own ability to track. In case of any difficulty tracking, there is availability of porters to be hired at little cost.
GORILLA TRACKING TIPS
Preparation for your gorilla tracking:
- The safety of visitors HAS highest priority. You do not have to worry about your personal safety.
- It has a tropical climate, so you can expect both Sun and rain.
- Because of the high altitude can be chilly, bring warm clothes.
- Wear long pants and a shirt with long sleeves.
- Sturdy walking shoes are essential.
- Rain gear is not always a luxury.
- Take a bottle of water and eats
- You may, in the presence of the gorillas do not eat, drink or smoke.
- You can take pictures, but not with flash.
- For a small fee to help you with porters carrying your bag or backpack.
- The gorilla tracking takes place at high altitude, Which May Cause problems for some. Walk quietly at your own pace and do not forget to drink enough water.
Gorilla tracking rules:
- To avoid transfer of human pathogens to the gorillas and vice versa visitors should maintain distance at least 7 meters from the gorillas.
- If you have a cold, flu or other contagious disease, you should not visit the gorillas.
- The actual time of the visit is limited to 1 hour once you find the gorillas.
- Maximum of 8 visitors are allocated per group.
- Minimum age of person to track gorilla is 15 years.
- The park is absolutely forbidden spitting.
- If you cough, hold your hand to your mouth and turn away from the gorillas.
- Speak softly.
- Try not to make sudden movements.
- If a gorilla fails against you, fear not, stand still, look away from the gorilla and follow the instructions or guide the carefully.
- Do not leave rubbish behind.