Though we have been talking about gorilla life, gorilla tracking safari packages, packing list, gorilla tracking rules and tips, this time lets talk about gorilla trekking budget. This is going to help help anyone planing to visit wild gorillas in Africa!
Whether you are traveling on tight budget, mid range or luxury spender, you need to read this and know how much you need to plan your gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
Prices of gorilla permits
A gorilla permit is your pass to allow you go gorilla tracking. Gorilla permits can be obtained from Uganda wildlife Authority in Uganda and Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda. Each country has different prices for gorilla permits.
However for convenience, you are advised to book your gorilla permit through credible travel agents / tour operators in Uganda or Rwanda.
In Uganda, each gorilla permit costs USD500, but expected to increase to USD600 from January 2014. Uganda has promotions in low seasons where each gorilla permit costs USD350 in April, May and November every year. This is for foreign non residents. Foreigners leaving in East Africa pay USD475, while Ugandans pay only 250.000 Uganda shillings, equivalent to USd100.
Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost USD750 each and there no promotions. Foreigners leaving in any of the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi pay USD450, while Foreigners leaving in Rwanda pay USD350 for each gorilla permit.
Despite the fact that gorilla permits are expensive, their demand is extremely high throughout the year! You are therefore advised to book your gorilla permit early at least 2 moths in advance before the tracking date especially for high seasons such as Mid June, July, August, September, October, December, January and February.
Accommodation while on a Gorilla safari
For proper budgeting for your safari, you should consider where to stay. Several accommodation options available around different gorilla parks in Uganda and Rwanda, at different prices. We categorize these into budget / basic lodges and camps, Mid-range / Deluxe lodges, luxury lodges and Super luxury. Basic lodges /camps range from USD40-120 per night for a double room and single from $25-$80, Deluxe or Mid range lodges range from USD150-200 for a double room and single from USD100-150, luxury lodges range from USD150 – 200 for a single and a double from USD180-USD350. Super luxury lodges range from USD400 – 1000 and above for a double room, a single room from USd300-800 or more.
Transport while on a gorilla safari in Uganda and Rwanda
Most Tour companies offer private safari package and some few have scheduled group tours. Depending on your budget, you know where you fall. The prices for private tours are a bit higher than group tours! If you are travelling on tight budget, you can look for travel agents offering group tours. Here you will share the vehicle, tour guide and accommodation (separate beds).
For private tours, car and accommodation are private. However, when it comes to activities such as gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking and boat cruise, you will join groups of 8 persons maximum. You are the one to choose your convenient travel dates but also depends on availability of gorilla permits.
If the group tours available to not suite your travel interests, budget and time, you can use public means to the gorilla parks. For instance, from Kampala, you can board post bus to Kabale or Kisoro, traveling daily and costs between 25000-35000 Uganda shillings (Less than USd15). The journey takes about 10hrs. Several accommodation options available in Kabale and Kisoro towns. From here to can hire a private vehicle to to Bwindi or Mgahinga National parks. This costs less than USD140 including car, driver and fuel. You can always negotiate for better prices.
From Kigali, public buses available from Ruhengeri on the edges of Volcanoes national park, a home to mountain gorillas in Rwanda. From Ruhengeri, you can hire a vehicle to Volcanoes N.P for less than USD100.
For more information and tips about planning your budget gorilla trekking safari package in Uganda and Rwanda, send us an email at email@example.com