Gorilla Permit FAQs
It’s a card that authorises a traveller (above the age of 15) to trek and view gorillas for one hour.
You can purchase a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), at their headquarters in Kampala. They will need to see evidence of a passport, to make sure you’re above the age of 15.
UWA keeps a record of all purchases.
Permits are very competitive, and sometimes they sell out. Therefore, it’s recommended you buy one at least 5 months in advance. There’s a high demand in peak seasons, from December-February and June-October. For Bwindi, UWA supply 88 permits.
Gorilla trekking is guaranteed once a permit is purchased.
Originally, permits were allocated on a first come, first served basis. You would have the opportunity to specify a particular gorilla family you would like to trek.
However, since January 2014, UWA now issue permits according to the four regions within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga. Trekking is completed in groups of 8 tourists.
Please be aware, the cost of the permit does not include travel, food, or accommodation.
Permits cost $700 at time of writing.
Since July 2020, prices have increased by $100. This is to help support conversation projects, hospitals, schools, and small businesses in surrounding local communities.
Uganda offers the best rate for permits, with a high chance of seeing gorillas in their natural habitat.
Please note, there are no longer discounted permits for the low season.
Permits can only be used once, by a single person.
Once you arrive, you will be placed within a group based on your level of fitness, whether you want to see a specific gorilla family within your region, and if you want to stay with your family/friends.
It’ll be decided on the day, as it depends on the size of the group.
The trek can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 9 hours.
You will have a guide with you the whole time, who is fully trained and informed of the rules.
If you’d like to spend over an hour with the gorillas, you’ll need to purchase the gorilla habituation experience.
This permit costs £1126.66 ($1500).
The experience takes place in the southern part of Bwindi, Rushaga. You will spend four hours with trackers, and potentially researchers.
During this time, you will learn a thorough history, as well as participate in activities to encourage the gorillas to become comfortable with human presence, in order for them to be trekked normally in the future.
There’s a high demand for this permit, and only 4 are sold per day, therefore we recommend you book 3 months in advance.
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