Uganda is very well known for the great apes. The ‘Pearl of Africa’ as the country is often referred to is home to more than fifty percent of all the mountain gorillas in the jungle. Gorilla trekking is the major activity and there is an impending increase in gorilla trekking permit price of late.
Home to the Largest Population of Mountain Gorillas
Uganda shares the world’s largest primates population with other two neighboring countries. These are Rwanda to the South West and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
In this great lake country, the great apes can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These two parks are located on the south-werstern edge of Uganda around the virunga volcanoes.
The main tourism activity that takes quite a number of tourist to this two forests is Gorilla trekking in Uganda. Actually, Uganda safari is synonymous with gorilla trekking.
Uganda gorilla trekking is the hallmark of tourism in Uganda. However, due to the changes in government policies, rising conservation costs and demand, there will definitely be an increase in Uganda gorilla trekking permit prices.
Increase in Gorilla Trekking Permit Price
Rwanda made the changes in June 2017 and it is only a matter of time before Uganda followed suite. The increase in Rwanda gorilla trekking permit went up by one hundred percent from US $ 750 to US $ 1,500.
It is expected that Uganda may increase the gorilla trekking permit cost by US $ 400. This is a speculation as the official figure has not been given yet. Gorilla trekking permit are now at US $ 700 from the year 2019.
With such an increase expected, a much bigger dent will surely be done to many pockets. Planning and re-planning will definitely be necessary for those Planning for an African safari to Uganda.
Changes is African Safari Tour Plan
When the increase will be effected, many decisions will have to be done and many bucket lists redone. You do not need to cancel your gorilla trekking safari though because of the increase in gorilla trekking permit cost. There are steps if you take, the cost will e easily absorbed.
What you need to know is how to enjoy your Uganda gorilla safari trekking cheaply and counter the increase in gorilla trekking permit. Just follow the below and you will save a penny.
5 Ways to beat the Increase in Uganda Gorillas Permit Price
- Join a Group on Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari
The major component of your African safari tour cost is the cost incured on transportation. It takes nearly half of any safari cost and Uganda gorilla trekking safari is not an exception.
The fewer you are on a safari vehicle, the higher the cost is per person, Therefore, rather than using a customized safari vehicle for one or two people only, you are better off joining hands and traveling together in a group of four.
A group of six will be much cheaper as you will share the transport cost amongst yourselves. With this you may end up cutting down your overal cost by nearly 40%.
It would be easy to travel with people you know hence get to inquire among your friends relatives and/ or colleagues before you make a group inquiry with your tour operator. Otherwise, you will have to inquire with the tour operator if there is a group to join.
In the case og gorilla trekking, getting a group is normally hard. This is because of the reservation of gorilla permits.
There are only 8 people allowed to trek a gorilla family in a day. This means that you are better getting a people trekking the same family or in the same region.
- Type of Vehicle to Use
Mainly there are two types of vehicles that are normally used for safari in Africa. There is the safari minivan that is normally cheaper to maintain and the Land cruiser. The latter is a fuel guzzler and quiet costly when it comes to operations and maintenance.
By going for a safari minivan you will be making some savings. Don’t worry about its ability to tackle the rough African terrain, they are customized for Africa and are 4 X 4.
They range from 6 seater to nine seater and come with open roof hood that can be used for game watching.
The two above vehicles work well if you are combining your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda with the big game. This is where game drives are involved.
In cases where you are only going on a gorilla trekking tour, you may opt for other 4 X 4 vehicle. We have had clients hiring 3 door Rav4 or 5 door short chasis land cruisers.
With Rav4 you are looking at cutting the transport cost with more than 45%. Un hooded land cruisers wil let you save up to 30% on your transportation costs.
- Choice of Accommodation
Accommodation contributes another major part of your travel cost. However, this cannot be compared to the transport cost.
There are different types of accommodation that are in existence when on your Uganda gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks.
The type of accommodation in the two gorilla parks vary from the extreme luxury like the Gorilla Forest Camp to the luxury like Trackers lodge.
We also have the mid – range to the budget like the bandas and camping and basic budget.
The basic camping is however rare as the vegetation here and the weather makes staying in them quite difficult.
For those who cold is their second name, one can come with his or her own tent and just pay for camping site and meals that can be as low as US $ 20 per person per night.
It is also important to know that you can get several great properties with great service at a good deal. Just do your research, ask around and you will get the info.
- Travel in a Public Service Vehicle
This is for the more adventurers and who are willing to learn the ways of life of the locals, live among them and and interact with the locals.
Making use of public service vehicles will greatly reduce your costs as you may end up spending less than US $ 20 to and from Kampala when it is not festive seasons.
This is best if you will be trekking gorillas from the Kisoro side of Bwindi. This is because there are several buses to Kisoro that includes Swift, Trinity coaches, Post Bus and several others.
What you would need to do is get is a taxi from Kisoro to whichever tracking base you will be headed to. This would probably cost around $60.
If its on a market day and looking to more adventure, jump on the lorries heading there and you will probably have a ride of lifetime and a super save definitely.
You may also spend your day and overnight and organize for your next days transport to the briefing point. You need to be there by 0700 Hrs otherwise you will miss your trek.
- Watch out for deals
Time and again you will get deals from different tour operators including your African Safari Tour Holiday Vacations expert.
They vary from special offers to last minute deals to trek Uganda gorillas. Be on the look out for such as they will let you travel at a discount and have an adventure of a lifetime.
Over the last 4 years the Uganda Wildlife Authority have been offering discounted gorilla permits in April and November. With this you could be looking at saving $100 per permit.
It is our hope that this offer will still run in 2018 to help you save on your next Uganda gorilla trekking safari tour.
Now that you know how to travel cheaply and counter the rise in Uganda gorilla permit prices, what are you waiting for? You can start by making that important inquiry now.