Uganda Gorilla Permits
A Gorilla Permit is a special pass issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda. Rwanda Tourism Board (RTB) and Institut Congolais Pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in Rwanda and Congo respectively. The Gorilla Permit allows any traveler above 15 years to engage in gorilla trekking and habituation activity in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park, Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park respectively.
In Uganda Gorilla Permits are issued by UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) marketed or got through credible tour operator like Engagi Safaris. Gorilla permit booking is required at least three months to the actual trekking date to ensure timely allocation and planning .The validity of the gorilla permit an hour after tracking which it is claimed expired. The one hour does not include the time spent in forest searching for the gorillas but is counted from the time trekkers meet the gorillas. A gorilla permit can only be used once (single day), by a single person and to trek Uganda gorillas in only two destinations, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National parks. Gorilla permit inclusions are park entry fees for the parks, National Park guides/rangers service fees, and the gorilla trekking guides escort you to the forest.
On 7th August 2019 the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) informed the tourism Stake holder’s about the changes in its conservation tariff. Among the changes, is the increment in the price for the permit to track the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park from $600 which has been charged for the last 4 years for both foreign non-residents (NFR) and $500 Foreign residents (FR) going forward (effective 1st July 2020) all foreign non-residents and foreign residents intending to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda will pay a fee of US$700 and US$600 per person respectively.
The East African Citizens rate will not change from the current 250,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) and there was no mention of any changes in the US$1500 charged for the mountain gorilla habituation.
Despite the $100 price increment for the gorilla permit, Uganda still offers a much more affordable gorilla trekking experience compared to its close counterpart Rwanda who increased from $750 in 2017 to $1500 to track the same gorilla species (the fee is also charged to their own citizens); which is US$900 more expensive than Uganda.
The increase in Gorilla permit will enable the Authority to collect enough funds which will be used in the efforts to conserve these endangered species of great apes as well as the aggregate contribution to the local community in UWA’s revenue-sharing scheme.