One would wonder, what is this ‘gorilla permit’ that I keep on hearing every now and again? Well, a Gorilla Permit is a piece of documentation that allows a person to trek mountain gorillas in any of the gorilla destinations (Uganda, Rwanda or D.R Congo). These can be acquired in two main ways, either through the regulating authorities responsible for managing the gorilla habitats in the respective countries, or through your tour agent. For purposes of conserving the behavioral characters of the gorillas, each gorilla family can only be visited by just 8 people a day, which implies that there is a limited availability of the permit. So due to the high demand of permits especially in the peak season, we recommend trekkers to boo their permits at least 4 months before their desired day of taking the gorillas trekking safari.
- In Uganda the Gorilla trekking permit costs six hundred US dollars ($700) irrespective of whether it’s the peak tourist season or the low tourist season. These can be seen both in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.
- In D.R Congo, a permit costs four hundred and fifty US Dollars ($450) during the peak tourist months and one hundred and fifty US Dollars ($150) in the Low tourist season. These can be seen in Virunga National Park.
- In Rwanda, irrespective of whether it’s the High tourist season or the low tourist season, a permit costs one thousand five hundred US Dollars ($1,500). These can be seen in Volcanoes National Park.
The permit price comes with spending one hour with the gorillas, it pays the park rangers and the guides who lead you on the forest adventure, it caters for the park entrance fee and also pays trackers (this is a team that sets out earlier before your trek and trace the whereabouts of the gorillas. once they find them, they notify the team back at the park headquarters who will led the trekkers to the gorillas. this helps prevent hikers from tracking off course saving both time and hiking energy).