The cost and availability of gorilla permits varies by country and park and currently ranges from USD $$ 465 Congo, $$600 Uganda, and $$ 750 Rwanda. You will also need to budget for visa fees (costs vary), transfer and a local service fee (approximately US $60 – 75) and to renew your Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo. The government often increases the permit and transfer costs without notice, so we ask that you budget for the highest amount, so that you don’t suddenly have to find additional money to partake in this wonderful experience. We recommend you budget a total of $1000.
The reason that the permits are so costly is because each park only issues 64 permits per gorilla family per day, to ensure that the gorilla’s exposure to humans is limited. 100% of the gorilla permit cost is used by the government to continue in the excellent work they do in protecting and promoting these wonderful animals.
Uganda Gorilla adventure is not in control of the price of gorilla permits and therefore cannot be held responsible for any increase in fees. If the political situation in this region should change, there is the chance that the itinerary would be amended and an alternative scenario advised prior to departure if possible. The trek starts in the early morning and after border formalities you are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and as close as is allowed to a gorilla family. The rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and are therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point. Clients considering joining this trip should realize the demands and unpredictability of the areas visited. These factors may contribute toward restricting or delaying our trip and viewing of the gorillas. Often, the trek through thick, dense jungle can be somewhat strenuous and due to the nature of the gorillas and their habits, viewing cannot be guaranteed.