Gorilla Permits in Rwanda
Acquiring a gorilla permit in Rwanda require planning and booking ahead of time. Visiting with mountain gorillas in Rwanda is a strictly managed operation to protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and to maintain their survival.
With only 10 habituated gorilla families available for visiting, the number of visitors who can go gorilla trekking on a single gorilla group is limited to 8 people per day, therefore, there is a total number of 80 gorilla permits available a single day.
What is a gorilla permit?
A gorilla permit is a document or card issued by ORTPN, Rwanda Development Board or Uganda Wildlife Authority that allows any traveller above 15 years of age to trek mountain gorillas in any of the three habitats – Bwindi Impenetrable national Park, Mgahinga National Park (Uganda) and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. A permit allows you to view gorillas for only one hour but the gorilla trekking itself can take a minimum of 30 minutes or up to nine hours while looking for gorillas in the forest.
Our Gorilla Permit Booking Information is aimed at providing you details to prepare well for your gorilla safari.
How much does a gorilla permit cost?
A gorilla permit in Uganda costs USD $600 per person and USD1500.00 for gorilla habituation experience permits. A single gorilla permit can only be used once (single day), by a single person and to trek Uganda gorillas in only two destinations, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National.
Buy your gorilla permits or secure your gorilla permit in Kampala (the capital of Uganda) at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters by paying USD $600.00 per person for foreign non residents, USD500.00 for foreign residents with working permits and sh250,000 for East African Citizens. Encounter Africa Safaris organizes all inclusive safaris to see gorillas including our popular 3 day budget gorilla safari to Bwindi
In Rwanda you can get permits through the Rwanda Development Board offices (ORTPN) in Kigali or Ruhengeri (near the PNV) after paying $1500.00.
What Is Included/Excluded In Gorilla Permit Cost?
Most people wonder what is included in the gorilla permit cost due its expensive nature. It’s undeniable that the high cost of gorilla permits is a reason why gorilla safari packages in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are surely luxurious. Every traveler intending to trek gorillas must posses a valid gorilla permit, which allows him/her to access and interact these endangered species in their natural habitat. This tells that anyone without a gorilla permit cannot see the gorillas. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs 600usd, Rwanda at 1500usd and Congo at 450usd which make gorilla safaris undeniable expensive. In most cases, travelers have wondered what makes gorilla permits expensive compared to other tour packages in these respective countries. Gorilla permit costs are determined by responsible tourism bodies in respective countries, which are the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda and the Institute Congolais Pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in Democratic Republic of Congo. The inclusions and exclusions of a gorilla permit include the following:
A gorilla permit is a pass to see and spend an hour with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Without a gorilla permit no traveler is allowed to access the gorillas. Within this hour, travelers are allowed to take photos, videos and records of mountain gorillas with their amazing human like characters, which make their encounter memorable indeed. It’s only these records that travelers take home for memories of their safari. For those doing a habituation experience, a gorilla habituation permit allow travelers to spend four hours with mountain gorillas undergoing habituation. However, habituation permits costs 1500usd, which is quite high, but the experience is worth paying. Gorilla training/habituation is only done in Rushaga sector Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
Unlike in savannah national parks where travelers pay park entrance fees, travelers to all gorilla national parks do not pay park entrance fees. Therefore, a gorilla permit allow travelers to freely entre Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park without any restriction.
On the actual day of gorilla trekking, travelers are assigned park rangers to guide and escort them through the jungle. The rangers are fully hired and paid by the national park (Uganda wildlife authority or Rwanda development board in Rwanda. Their salary is wholly extracted from revenues collected from the sale of gorilla permits. All driver guides allocated to travelers by respective travel operators stay at the briefing pint and wait for travelers until they come back from watching gorillas. Good enough, park rangers are equipped with guns to scare away wild animals hence assuring travelers of their safety in the jungle.
Besides, park rangers, gorilla national parks employ trackers who hike into the jungle early before the start of the actual trekking to check out the where about of mountain gorillas. After finding the gorillas, trackers call back at the headquarters to inform rangers on which directions so as to avoid off tracking saving travelers time and energy. These trackers keep following the gorillas until rangers and travelers find them. Mountain gorillas are wondrous creatures which keep moving from place to place hence require one to keep following them. Just like rangers, governments through park managers pay trackers and their salary is part of the gorilla permit cost. Interestingly, rangers and trackers go under training in defense and conservation, which ensure safety of travelers and mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Besides rangers and trackers, there is tourism police in all gorilla national parks in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo. The police patrols in the forest day and night to check or rebel groups and other wild people who may be hiding in the forest. This gives travelers assurance of peaceful and safe trekking.