The cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda


The Cost of Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, gorilla trekking is a famous activity done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, tourists are given a chance to meet the endangered Mountain Gorillas on an intimate level through trekking and gorilla habituation. However trekking or habituation is only done after attaining a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority which is in charge of Tourism Industry. On addition to that only tourists about the age of 16years are allowed to trek as anyone younger might not be in position due to the terrain, time and flexibility needed to achieve the full experience both locally and international.

Trekking is the most popular at the park and is an activity that gives tourists a face to face experience with the gorillas in their natural habitats and Habituation gives primate lovers more time with the gorillas as it’s more intimate that tracking. With over 22 gorilla families to choose from, trekking is dependent on flexibility, location and personal preference. Trekking takes between 30minutes- 7hours depending on the last known location of the gorilla family being tracked, however away from Mountain Gorillas, one can also expect to see monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, different bird species and tree species. Once a family is found tourists get to observe the gorillas in their natural habitat for an hour, how they eat, feed the young ones, groom each other, play, and take photos and the naming process.

The permits require advance booking of about 3-6months to enable both Uganda Wildlife Authority and us the tour companies to properly plan and reduce the possibilities of mishaps or unavoidable circumstances like over booking or unavailability of the tourist with interest in trekking. A group of 8 tourists is allowed to trek and an hour once a gorilla family is found and 6 tourists are allowed for habituation and 4hours with the gorilla family being habituated. Each group is allocated a guide and an armed guide who will avail both information and security required by the tourists.

A gorilla trekking permit will cost up to 700$ for foreign non-residents, 600$ for foreign residents and 250,000shs for East Africans while a permit for habituation costs 1,500$ for foreign non-residents, 1,000$ for foreign residents and 750,000shs for East Africans. In case of cancellations, 75% will be refunded with 3months to the trekking, 50% with 6weeks, 25% with a month and no refunds are given to one who makes a deposit which is normally 30%. Please note that these charges do not include transport, lodging, meals and or any other activities that a tourists might want to be involved in.

Beyond Gorilla trekking, we also have the Batwa people cultural tour or experience; The Batwa are a people who lived in the forest for centuries as hunters and gatherers and depended on the forest for the basics like food, medicine and shelter. However this was before they were relocated after the forest was gazetted as a National Park and moved outside the park. So the Batwa trail takes you back to the time when they still lived in the forest with activities like hunting, gathering skills, honey harvesting and herbal medication and this normally ends with a visit to the Garama cave and some traditional music, dance and drama. Garama cave was once their home and now the Batwa have learned to thrive away from the forest and actively participate in tourism as a source of income.

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