Planning a Gorilla Tour, The Price of Gorilla Permits, Gorilla Tour Cost
Every client wants to know the price for a gorilla tour and indeed this is an interesting question that has been discussed in forums such as the trip advisor and lonely planet. This is Encounter Africa Safari opinion and view which should just act as a guideline and should you have any questions please do contact some of our experienced tour consultants for details.
For a successful gorilla trekking tour, you need to have a gorilla permit, book and pay for your accommodation and then pay transport to and from Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Virunga National Park. Depending on where you wish to trek gorillas, the minimum days for a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda is three while for Rwanda, it can be two days.
What is the Price For a Full Gorilla Tour
Price and Cost of Gorilla Permits.
In your budget, your number one item should be a gorilla permit. It is a gorilla permit that gives you permission to view the endangered mountain gorillas for one hour per person in Rwanda Uganda. Currently, each gorilla permit costs USD 600 and you can contact us for your gorilla permit pre-purchase. Uganda offers low season discounted gorilla permits at USD 450.00 in April, May, and November. Rwanda gorilla permits cost USD 1500.00 per person. Gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala on a fast come first serve basis while Gorilla permits for Rwanda are issued by Rwanda Development Board. Please contact Gorilla Adventure Tours for the availability and booking of Gorilla permits at Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board.
It is advised that you pre-purchase your gorilla permits 3-5 months in advance to avoid shortage most especially during high seasons of June, July, August, and September then December, January and February. Uganda Wildlife Authority sometimes offers discounted Gorilla permits in low seasons of November, April, and May but these have to be announced at a given date.
Cost and Price of Transport.
You will need to budget and plan transport to and from Volcanoes National park. The minimum days to Volcanoes National Park by road is three days. Therefore you need to budget for three days. The first day is for leaving Kigali to Nyungwe and the next day is for moving around Volcanoes National Park. You need a Vehicle to transfer you to and from the starting point of your gorilla trek and the third day is to drive back to Kigali. Thus you need to budget for a vehicle with guide per day and then fuel to cater for the long distance from Kigali to and from Volcanoes National Park. Please do contact us for the rates of the vehicle hire. You can as well plan to fly to and from Volcanoes National Park as some companies such as Rwandacars operate scheduled flights to and from Kigali which is the nearest Air Field and as such, you need transfers from the Airstrip to your lodge.
Cost and Price of Accommodation
You will have to budget for your accommodation for at least two nights. The first night is when you arrive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the second night is after your gorilla trek. It is possible to trek gorillas and depart on that same day depending on how long it takes you and your group to find the gorillas. Remember, the trek usually lasts for about 30 minutes – 6 hours depending on the current location of the gorilla family you are to visit.
Cost and Price of Accommodation
You will have to budget for your accommodation for at least two nights. The first night is when you arrive in Volcanoes National Park and the second night is after your gorilla trek. It is possible to trek gorillas and depart Bwindi on the same day but it is advisable that you plan to stay an extra night as you will never tell whether your gorilla trek will take a shorter time or a long one. You, therefore, need night after your gorilla trekking. Most accommodation properties offer accommodation and meals on full board. Depending on the type of accommodation, both sides of Nyungwe National have budget, mid-range, and upmarket properties so depending on your taste please do contact us for more information.
Cost of Porters on a gorilla tour
We encourage all our clients to take porters for their gorilla trek for several reasons. They carry your bags and when you are approaching gorillas, they will remain with your packed lunches and all items that you might not need. They will give you a push or a pull during your trek in the forest. This extra effort is to enable you to achieve your dream of viewing these endangered mountain gorillas. The other significance of taking a porter is that by doing so, you are contributing to community development since most of this porter are school going boys and girls and this chance was only given to students to work and get money to for their school fees. By paying for a porter, you are contributing to community development indirectly
Cost of Tips
Tips are an appreciation of good service rendered to you by your safari guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters and porters. It is not a must that you have to do this. As a responsible Tour Company, we recommend that you put some small funds aside for tipping.
On top of the above costs, the company puts between 10-20% of the total cost as fixing or service fee. This is part of our profit as well as helping us to book all services such as gorilla permits, accommodation and making telephone calls to check availability and make sure that all is in order.