Cost of a Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda: Gorilla trekking is widely regarded as one of the most popular nature activities on the planet. Over 100,000 people travel Africa each year with the sole intention of viewing primates in the wild.
Most people who finish the exercise say it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Imagine wandering for hours through Africa’s virgin woods, witnessing birds, smaller monkeys, butterflies, forest antelopes, and unusual plants before hearing the powerful silverback’s grunt. An incredible experience, but in order to participate, you must first obtain the costly gorilla permit. Gorilla Permits in Uganda now cost $700, while Rwanda charges $1500 per person.
Gorilla Permits cost $450 in Congo. Congo is unique in that it provides possibilities to see three subspecies of gorillas. It will cost you $1500 to partake in the one-hour gorilla habituation experience in Uganda. Because of the high cost of gorilla permits, gorilla trekking is more expensive than conventional game drives, nature walks, boat cruises, cultural excursions, and other mountain climbing experiences.
Why is a gorilla permit expensive?
The cost of a gorilla permit is costly for four reasons: gorillas are unique, there is a need for gorilla conservation funds, there is a high demand for the activity, and there is a need to limit numbers to minimize habitat degradation. The gorilla is the only species that behaves and organizes its family in the same way as people do. Observing a bunch of gorillas is like traveling back in time to see how the earliest people lived. Why should you pay more to see lions or wildebeest? Second, it is crucial to understand that mountain gorillas are extremely endangered.
It is an expensive endeavor to conserve and safeguard their natural environment. The government need adequate funding to create the required infrastructure and train and pay rangers to police the national parks. Third, it is thought that one of the reasons Rwanda raised the price of permits was to control and manage the number of visitors to the primates. By limiting the number of people who may enter the parks, the government is able to keep the number of tourists under control, avoiding overpopulation and the degradation of gorilla habitat.
A specific gorilla troop can only be tracked by 8 persons in a single day. This helps to keep the primates calm and away from humans. Last but not least, the activity’s popularity and strong demand for licenses has compelled the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo to continue raising permission prices. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has eight habituated mountain gorillas available for tourism, Rwanda has 12, and Uganda has about 20 gorilla families.
This means that on a typical day during peak season, 64 persons follow mountain gorillas in Congo, while 80 do the same in Rwanda. If we include individuals participating in the gorilla habituation experience, Uganda has approximately 150 visitors seeing mountain gorillas every day. More information about gorilla trekking may be found at Rwanda vs Uganda.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking Tours in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
When organizing a gorilla journey in Rwanda, Uganda, or Congo, gorilla permit fees are not the only thing to consider. Visa fees, flight tickets, immunizations, hotel, transportation, driver charge, meals, tips, government taxes, and business profit can all be added to the total cost of a gorilla trip. We can’t talk about gorilla tours without including unanticipated personal costs (alcohol, cigarettes, and souvenirs), medical and travel insurance. It is vital to know that the cost of a gorilla safari varies depending on whether you are looking for budget or luxury accommodations.
The goal of this article is to inform potential visitors about the factors they should consider when arranging a gorilla trip so that they are aware of any hidden fees. This article assumes that the reader intends to visit the country just for gorilla trekking.
This guide will still be extremely useful if you combine gorilla trekking with other activities (golden monkey trekking, chimp tracking, wildlife drives, cultural excursions, or mountain hikes). Let’s go through the various charges in further detail:
Gorilla Permit Fees.
A gorilla permit is a paper or card that authorizes travelers to participate in gorilla trekking. This card or paperwork, along with a passport, must be shown at the park offices before monitoring may begin. As previously stated, the cost of a gorilla permit varies between the three nations.
A permit can be obtained directly from the country’s tourism/wildlife administration or through the services of a reliable tour operator. The Uganda Wildlife Authority is in charge of issuing permits in Uganda. The Rwanda Development Board is in charge in Rwanda, while the Virunga Foundation is in charge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
If you want to book your own gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda, go to their own websites and email an enquiry or follow the particular link for permits. Most travelers buy their permit as well as all other parts of their trip through a tour operator. Booking with a tour operator is especially vital when the government’s systems are out of permits. Even if the permissions appear to be unavailable, a tour operator may have them or know where to acquire them.
It is important to reserve a gorilla permit in advance, especially if you want to visit during the high season (June to August and December to March). If you are traveling during the hot season, we recommend booking your gorilla excursion 6 months in advance. Booking three months in advance is sufficient during the low seasons. In Rwanda, you may learn about gorilla permit savings.
Gorilla Trekking Packing List.
Following the gorilla permits, you must also examine the goods on the gorilla trekking packing list. These supplies include, among other things, strong hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rain coats, a cap, bug repellent, a camera, and a binocular. These components must be purchased and might be rather costly depending on the quality desired.
If you want to utilize a tour operator, the total cost of the gorilla trip should include meals. However, if you make all of your own reservations, you should be aware that, in addition to meals at the lodging facility, you will need meals while traveling or outside the hotel.
When traveling throughout the day, you may need to stop for lunch before continuing your journey or activity. Depending on the gorilla family, gorilla trekking might take anywhere from two to six hours. You must pay your hotel to have lunch or snacks packed for you. A nice supper will cost you between $10 and $40. The hotels give complimentary drinking water and soft drinks, but you must purchase wines and spirits if you are not a premium tourist.
Costs of Transport.
The majority of gorilla parks are located distant from capitals and international airports. For ground transportation, you must reserve or lease a car. Because the roads inside the national parks are not of the finest condition, it is preferable to hire a 4×4 safari vehicle.
Depending on the type, a car with petrol will cost you between $150 and $200 each day. If you book your gorilla safari with a local tour operator, the cost of the driver, vehicle, and petrol will be included in the tour fee. It is crucial to remember that if you go in a group, the cost of transportation is significantly reduced.
Because of the great distance between the airport and the national parks, some visitors opt to book internal flights as well. This is true for Uganda and Rwanda. Internal flights are a convenient but costly mode of transportation. Some chartered planes may demand a minimum number of passengers in order to travel to isolated national parks. If you are the only one booked on a certain flight, they may charge you more.
In addition to the flight, you must organize ground transportation from the destination airfield to your accommodation. Aerolink and Bar Aviation provide flights from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrips in Uganda.
The guest gets picked up at the airfield by a ground vehicle and driven to the lodge or Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks. Travelers in Rwanda may take a charter aircraft from Kigali International Airport to Ruhengeri Province, which is home to the Volcanoes National Park. If all of these bookings are too complicated, the best option is to delegate the task to a local tour operator.
Cost of Hotels and Lodges.
Gorilla Trekking necessitates spending a night or two in the nation you will be visiting. You will need to reserve a decent hotel or lodge. Each of the gorilla treks The cost of a gorilla safari countries, tourism is well-developed, and there will be no shortage of hotel options.
Accommodation options range from affordable to mid-range to luxury. The luxury accommodations provide high-end amenities but require a premium ($800 to $6000 per night).
Mid-range lodges cost between $100 and $250 a night, while budget lodges can cost as low as $40 per night. Although budget hotels provide modest facilities, they are usually of high quality and self-contained since they cater to foreign guests. Based on their contacts and knowledge, a professional tour company may assist you in selecting/booking extremely nice budget lodges.
Cost of Visa and border crossing fees.
As previously stated, visas are typically not included in the cost of gorilla permits. Tour providers do not assist with Rwanda and Uganda visa processes. You must complete this personally at the airport, while crossing borders, or before coming by accessing the various nation online visa sites.
Congo is unique, and your tour operator must assist you with the Congo Visa application if you find their web system difficult to use. If you want to visit more than one nation, you can apply for an East Africa Tourist Visa.
Gorilla trekking can be difficult, especially if the gorilla troop allocated to you lives far from the starting location. Hiking over lengthy periods of time with a big pack or equipment can be exhausting, and you may need to enlist the services of a porter.
Porters are often well-versed in long-distance trekking. They know the terrain, are tough, and can carry huge loads without difficulty. A porter can be hired for $15 per hour. Personal porters will not be included in the overall cost of the excursion. It will be your responsibility to choose and pay the porter.
Suggestions for the safari driver, Park Ranger, and other hospitality staff: The individuals that make things happen are one of the things that make a gorilla safari unique. Even if they are not highly compensated, park guides, porters, and hotel personnel will go out of their way to make your vacation unforgettable.
You may be moved by their commitment and decide to tip them. Tips are not required and should be provided only when a service is extraordinary. Tipping and gratuities are not included in the overall price of the tour. It is up to you to provide any advice.
Tour Company Profits and Government Taxes.
There are individuals to be compensated for every decent service. After subtracting all tour-related expenditures such as personnel wages and government taxes, tour operators will include a set amount of money as profit. We hope you found this post informative and that you now have a better idea of how much money you will need to spend on your gorilla trekking expedition.