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.
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…
- 7 Days
Combine gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with beautiful lakeside retreats at Lake Mutanda. Tough treks and primate encounters paired with idyllic, calming lakes and oases make for an unforgettable experience in this remote pocket of Uganda.…
- 6 Days
Board a Cessna light aircraft and head into the southwestern pocket of Uganda. Trek through the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of the mountain gorillas. Retreat to luxury lodges for sundowners and delicious food. Hard days, soft…
- 4 Days
Trek the Rwenzori Mountains where forests morph into ice-clad mountain peaks, cut through jungle thickets to hang out with mountain gorillas, and finish your trip relaxing lakeside amongst the staggering beauty of Lake Mutanda. This is Uganda.…
- 15 Days
Travel to the farthest corners of Uganda where towering volcanoes mark the border between the thick jungles of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the untamed vastness of central Africa. After trekking the gorillas in Mgahinga, head inland for a couple…
- 6 Days
The quintessence of Ugandan exploration. Start your adventure in the wild Kidepo Valley in the northern tip of Uganda before weaving down to meet the gorillas in southwestern jungles. Epic landscapes, incredible safaris, and luxury lodges; this is a proper…
- 20 Days
Open top road trips looping through Uganda's epic southwestern pocket; this is the safari adventure of your imagination. Track chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, go in search of gorillas in Bwindi, cruise the savannah plains of Queens, and look out for…
- 14 Days
Thinking about visiting Uganda?
We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.
Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.
We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.