Budget travel for an African safari including gorilla trekking has a non-negotiable cost which is the gorilla trekking permit. Whether gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda the cost of gorilla permit is universal per person per trek. In Uganda the gorilla trekking permit cost if $700 whereas in Rwanda the gorilla permits costs $1500.
To cut your budget you have options with other components of the gorilla trekking safari which include joining a scheduled group, travelling with friends, staying in a low budget accommodation facility, carry own gorilla trekking gears, travelling in shoulder season and much more.
Such decisions help you cut gorilla safari costs you would incur as solo traveler. Many dare to take public transport from either Kampala or Kigali for gorilla trekking safari but the bus’s arrival time is unknown because of the untimely stops made on the way. Chances of a bus breaking down on the way are high so we do not recommend public transport. Buses also do not reach the park premises so you need connecting private transport
Book a Gorilla trekking Permit in Advance
No gorilla trekking safari is confirmed without a gorilla trekking permit. Whether in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable National park in Uganda, you need to reserve your gorilla permit. The cost of a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is $1500 per person and in Uganda gorilla permit price is $700 per person per trek.
You can reserve the permits as early as a year in advance and this can also help you plan the rest of the safari component costs and save money for your trip. As your draw close to gorilla trekking day, your gorilla permit card is printed by Uganda Wildlife Authority for Uganda side,
In Rwanda the gorilla trekking permit receipt is issued by Rwanda Development Board after fully paying for it.
Booking your gorilla permit may be possible but getting through to the Authority is quite difficult because of the long queue of calls they receive daily.
Many companies plan scheduled gorilla trekking safaris all year round you just need to enquire about your preferred dates. Most of the scheduled gorilla safaris have terms and conditions which you must abide with like no children allowed, have minimum and maximum numbers.
Scheduled gorilla trekking tours depart and stop on a particular day set by the company, only activities included in the itinerary are catered for in the total cost, accommodation is based on per person sharing and so much more.
Travel with friends for Gorilla trekking experience
The more the merrier so involve some friends in the plans to travel with for gorilla trekking. This breakdown the budget further since you have to share cost on items like gas, safari guide, vehicle, accommodation and others. You can even take the scheduled gorilla trekking trip and make it a private one if you have the minimum and maximum number.
Its fun making safari memories with friend and family because you have something in common to talk about whenever you hangout. Most of the scheduled safaris have discounted accommodation rates too.
Religiously Follow The Organized gorilla trekking Itinerary
Diverting from the flow of the gorilla trekking itinerary may call for extra costs. At times you may wish to head a different route or add extra activities not included in the itinerary. This may consume more safari time and even gas costs planned may increase. Ensure you have carried some hard cash to pay for such extras so that your trip is not cut short by deficits.
Having no planned gorilla trekking itinerary leads to back tracking. If you have a combined safari with other packages like game safaris you must have an organised plan. Some itineraries you can follow for gorilla trekking trip and beyond include
All year round gorilla trekking is open for tourists visits but the drier months are more comfortable that is June to September and December to January. The ground is not as humid as the rainy seasons when rains fall without warning. There is less sun ray penetration to dry the ground.
The shoulder seasons have friendly prices across all components of a safari like accommodation facilities at times give discounted prices low seasons. At times Rwanda offers discounted gorilla trekking permits during low seasons terms and conditions apply.
Which Park Is Best For Budget Gorilla trekking Bwindi National Park Or Volcanoes National park
A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 per person per trek but you need to hire a 4×4 vehicle to take you on the road from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi forest for about 8 hours. The way is scenic because of the mazing Kigezi highlands and abundant vegetation that you pass-by.
In Rwanda a gorilla trekking permits costs $1500 per person per trek but the drive from Kigali airport to Volcanoes National park takes about 3 hours.
Whether trekking gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National park or Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, the chilling feeling of standing face to face with the gorillas in a life changing experience.
Although mountain gorillas live in pristine thick forests, these forests are well protected by the governments of each country. In Uganda or Rwanda or D.R.Congo, no gorilla trekking activity starts without an escorting ranger guide.
Early morning briefing at the ranger station takes you into how to behave while in forest or rules to follow during gorilla trekking.
Deviating from any of the rules of gorilla trekking may land you into trouble like provoking the mountain gorillas may anger them causing them to beat there chests and move into hiding.
Which other Activities To Do with Gorilla trekking
Game drive through close by parks like in Uganda early morning and evening game drives in Queen Elizabeth National park may give you chance to see lions, leopards, African herds of buffaloes, elephants, topis, duikers, waters bucks and bush bucks all in there naturel setting.
In Rwanda the Akagera National park game drive gives you chance to spend some time with giraffes zebras, buffaloes, rarely seen lions, leopards, buffaloes, beautiful green scenery
Launch trip on Kazinga channel at the bottom of the rift valley floor gives you chance to watch wildlife from the banks, flocks of birds including foreign migrates grace the Kazinga channel banks.
A boat trip on Lake Ihema in Akagera National park in Rwanda gives you a moment to enjoy green hills that Rwanda is famous for, watch water birds shower, hippos and Nile crocodiles are the star of the show.
A city tour in Kigali Rwanda gives you a brief walk into the tragic life of the Rwanda genocide that the country is trying hard to preach against, Visit Markets, Rwanda Anthological Museums and so much more
The Kampala City tour after gorilla trekking includes a visit to the Mengo Kabaka’s palace, the Uganda Museum, Namugongo Uganda Martyrs’ shrine, Makerere University the oldest institute of learning in Uganda and so much more.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park after gorilla trekking in Uganda gives you the chance to see the largest number of habituated chimpanzees in Africa. You need to book a chimpanzee trekking permit.
In Rwanda chimpanzee trekking is in Nyugwe National park places on the south western side of Rwanda. Although the chimpanzees are partially habituated, the fun of following them is unmatched.
The canopy walk in Rwanda is a party for those not afraid of heights. This 91 meters suspetion bridge gives you the best forest canopy show in Africa. The wonderful view of Nyungwe forest and elevated Virunga Volcanoes, incredible birds fly from the park.
A camera to take photos of the gorillas and there beautiful environment because its worth having a recap of the gorilla trekking safari.
Colored long sleeved shirt and trousers to protect your body from any sharps and stinging nettles.
A cap or hat to keep your hair dry from dripping water off the large leaves on the trees.
Garden gloves for a tighter grip on the way when slopes gets slippery because of the soft volcanic soils.
A spare fully charged battery to exchange with when one runs low. You don’t need to lose out on capturing any single moment because every second counts.
Energizers to give you extra boost when you get hungry while in the forest. Do not leave any plastic bags in the forest because this alters the natural setting of the forest. The forest is the sole meal provider for the mountain gorillas.
Insect repellant to keep away stinging insects living in the forest.
Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide
Book your international flights in times so that you are not left out because the plane was overbooked. You need to arrive in either Uganda or Rwanda at least a day before gorilla trekking or very early morning on the day the safari starts.
A torch for you to use when lights are put out in the lodge and you want to access your belonging.
No feeding the gorillas during gorilla trekking and so no eating while in front of the gorillas.
To keep conserving the mountain gorillas volunteer to stay behind in case you catch any communicable infection like flue, cough, covid-19 to mention but a few.
Dumping waste in the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest.
Cover all feaces beyond recognition for hygiene and prevent the mountain gorillas from excavating.
Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the gorillas during gorilla trekking to reduce on chance of spreading any infections.
Do not provoke the mountain gorillas or surround the gorillas when you meet them. This makes them feel ambushed.
After locating the mountain gorillas you have just one hours with them.
Children below 12 years are not allowed to do chimpanzee trekking Never use flash photography because chimpanzees are always scared off by the flash