Gorilla Trekking On A Budget (Cheapest way to see gorillas)

Mountain gorilla trekking involves walking and trekking through the thick forests or searching for mountain gorillas. The activity can be demanding and draining still nonetheless very fascinating and daring. The trek provides a golden opportunity to view a diversity of scarce bird species, plants, flowers, and other wildlife. The gorilla trekking activity is uncommon around the world reason being the few surviving mountain gorillas can only be sighted in East Africa. To be more specific, mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries namely; Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Uganda, the mountain gorillas are habituated in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park which are both located in South Western Uganda.  In Rwanda, mountain gorillas can be seen at Volcanoes National Park while in Congo, they can be sighted at Virunga National Park although it is still a growing destination.

The gorilla trekking activity is costly compared to other tourist activities for several reasons. One of them is the cost of acquiring a gorilla permit nevertheless we should also take into account the cost of transportation, meals, air tickets, and visas among others. What is a gorilla permit? A gorilla permit is a formal document that permits you to encounter the gorillas. Tourists are highly advised to make their gorilla permit bookings not less than 6 months ahead since the gorilla permits are in very high demand and are also purchased on a first come first serve basis. In Rwanda, single gorilla permits cost $1500, in Uganda a single gorilla permit costs $800 while in Congo it costs $450.

You might be there wondering the reason as to why the gorilla permits are this pricey. Well, this is an effort to safeguard the endangered species by minimizing the number of tourists paying a visit to the gorilla families to not more than 8 people per gorilla family per day. The income revenue generated from selling the gorilla permits is the only avenue to acquire the finances needed for the gorilla conservation programs. Furthermore, gorillas are scarce animals that share 99% of their DNA with humans. The increasing worldwide interest in gorilla trekking has brought about an increase in the prices of gorilla permits.

Cheapest way to see gorillas

Even though gorilla trekking is generally costly, still you can plan to participate in the activity at a relatively low cost. Let us show you how. As discussed earlier, the cost of gorilla permits cost varies in the three countries that offer this service. Rwanda is positioning herself as a luxury gorilla trekking destination and for that reason, the price of gorilla trekking safaris is high. The best destinations where you can go for gorilla trekking on a budget are Bwindi impenetrable and the Mgahinga national parks in Uganda. These two destinations offer magnificent trekking experiences. Alternatively, clients can opt to trek gorillas at Virunga National Park which is known for mountain gorillas, and Kahuzi Biega National Park which is a home of lowland gorillas.

Numerous tourists stay away from Congo because of the ongoing war in the areas surrounding the gorilla parks. Are you aware that Rwanda offers discounts on gorilla permits for individuals traveling to Rwanda for conferences, individuals traveling in big groups, and African residents?

It is wise for a tourist intending to do gorilla trekking on a budget to take on the group trip arrangement. This is very good because it helps cut down some costs like transport, accommodation, and fuel among others. In addition to that, a group experience in the wild is quite thrilling and adventure-filled.

One of the cheapest ways to go for Gorilla trekking in Uganda is by booking cheap Lodges. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest consists of four gorilla trekking sectors namely; Rushaga, Ruhijja, Buhoma, and Nkuringo. All these sectors have accommodations ranging from budget, mid-range, and luxury. You can reserve and book budget accommodation to reduce your expenses on a gorilla trekking trip but you keep in mind that the Buhoma sector has the most luxurious lodges.

An additional way of trekking gorillas on a budget is cutting down on the number of days of the trek. For instance, supposing that your initial plan was doing a trip of five days, you can reduce the number of days to three or even a 1-day gorilla trekking adventure. Clients are also advised to book lodges that are close to the national parks so to avoid missing out on the briefing before the trek. The briefing is always done early in the mornings and the purpose of the briefing is the clients know the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking. There are several fantastic yet budget-friendly lodges around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Lastly, tourists traveling on a budget can go for budget-friendly gorilla trekking tours during the low season. During the low season, clients can easily acquire the best accommodation discounts in lodges. During the low season, the gorilla permits are discounted hence making them more affordable. In the low season, the trekkers get to enjoy exclusive gorilla trekking where by few people get to trek a gorilla family and this makes you have the entire mountain gorilla family to yourself without much congestion.

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