With over 1000 mountain gorillas, trekking with gorillas takes place in central and East Africa in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park comprising of half the entire mountain gorilla population with 11 mountain gorilla families, the other half can be located with in the Virunga volcano mountain gorilla region including Volcanoes national Park of Rwanda with 10 mountain gorilla families and Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo with 6 gorilla groups and Mgahinga national park of Uganda with only one gorilla family.
Mountain gorillas live in families comprising of 10 – 30 member with infants, mother gorillas, juviniles and headed by a dorminant silverback gorilla. Tourists only visit selected habituated mountain gorilla groups, who have been trained and are used to seeing people visit their habitant. Visiting to see gorillas is a safe experience, and as long as tourists follow the guidelines of their guide all has to go well.
Booking and Acquiring your gorilla permit can be done through your local tour operator in with Rwanda or Uganda. Usually a tour company gives you a price quote for the entire tour, or you can choose to only book your permit. Make sure that your tour company sends you a scan of your permit as evidence of the existence of your permit. One can book a Permit directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda – Rwanda – Rwanda Development Board – Current prices of gorilla permits as of January 2016;
The Uganda Wildlife Authority offers back 50% of the gorilla permit fee if a visitor has signs of illness, and is not allowed to track gorillas. This only applies to visitors who have traveled to Bwindi national park and have been declared by park guides as ill and unfit for trekking for gorillas
In Normal situation – Fee for gorilla permits is non refundable, but one you trekking for gorillas and fail to see them, you will be allowed to go back trekking the following day, or receive refund of 75% of permit fee.
Permits are non-refundable, however visitors who track the whole day and fail to see the gorillas for whatever reason will be refunded 75% of the tracking fees.
All refunds shall be made from the UWA Headquarters in Kampala
Below is UWA’S Cancellation policy on
0 – 30 days to tracking date – no refund,
31 – 60 days to tracking date – 75% (25% refund to client),
61– 90 days to tracking date – 50%,
91 days and above to tracking date – 25% (75% refund to client).
All Purchases of gorilla permits are done directly to the Uganda Wildlife Authority
Rescheduling your permit is not can only be done 3 months prior to your actual trekking date. Otherwise, once you pay for a given date, rescheduling is not permitted. A change in the dates means cancellation and this calls for a cancellation fee of 20% and changing to another date.
Payment for gorilla permit can be done in Cash (Uganda Shillings, US dollars, GB Pounds, Euros),
Note: 1. US$ notes below $100 should be 1990 & above 2. Us$100 notes should be 1997 & above Bank Transfers (net of the bank charges)
Traveler Cheques (Present receipt of purchase at point of sale & 1% charge)
Trekking for Gorillas starts from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All visitors are expected back at the campground by 7:00 p.m.
Your Full names and passport number is require for reservation and purchasing your gorilla permit. Visitors must be above 15 years to be allowed to go gorilla trekking.