Gorilla Permit FAQs
A gorilla permit is a card that authorises a traveller (above the age of 15) to trek and view gorillas for one hour.
You can purchase a gorilla 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 to February and June to October. For Bwindi National Park, 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 the park: Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga. Trekking is completed in groups of 8.
Please be aware, the cost of the permit does not include travel, food, or accommodation.
If you book your trip with us, all of this is taken care of for you.
Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 per person 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. In neighbouring Rwanda, gorilla permits cost $1,500 per person.
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.
If you do a gorilla trek but do not see any gorillas, the UWA will refund 50% of the permit cost. This is extremely unlikely, and we've never had someone not see the gorillas on a trek.
If you’d like to spend more than just one hour with the gorillas, you’ll need to purchase the gorilla habituation experience.
This permit costs $1500 per person at time of writing.
The experience takes place in Rushaga in the southern part of Bwindi. 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.
Popular Gorilla Trekking Tours
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
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