Top 9 Mistakes To Avoid When Booking Gorilla Trekking Permits In Uganda, Rwanda And Congo

Reserving gorilla permits begins the planning procedure for the unforgettable and remarkable gorilla safari in Rwanda and Uganda. The permit is the password you need to get guided entrance to the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Apart from the passport, a gorilla permit is an essential travel document for the gorilla safari.

The logistical procedure of reserving the permit can be discouraging for many tourists since it requires back-and-forth interaction and exchange of money. It is very possible to make many errors and inaccuracies but when you hire a tour operator, the errors can be minimized.

For that reason, we have spotted some of the most common errors you can stay away from when reserving gorilla permits in both Rwanda and Uganda to have a consistent planning process.

At A Glance: 9 Mistakes To Avoid When Booking Gorilla Trekking Permits

  1. First book a gorilla permit before planning the gorilla safari.
  2. Avoid booking gorilla permits at the last minute.
  3. Avoid buying the permits yourself.
  4. Ensure you give the correct names to the reservation officer.
  5. The gorilla permit price is not negotiable
  6. A gorilla permit money is nonrefundable once it is purchased
  7. Don’t ignore gorilla permit allocation in Uganda.
  8. You cannot book a specific gorilla family.
  9. Avoid these mistakes when you book with us
Booking Gorilla Trekking Permits

Detailed: 9 Mistakes To Avoid When Booking Gorilla Trekking Permits

  1. First book a gorilla permit before planning the gorilla safari.

Gorilla trekking is a thoroughly overseen tourist activity in Rwanda and Uganda, permitting a limited total number of tourists to visit each gorilla family daily. This means that the total number of permits available for sale daily is limited compared to the number of interested visitors.

Reserving your accommodation, vehicle, flights or anything else that needs to be booked before the trip starts date before confirming the availability of gorilla permits is Booking your accommodation, flights or anything else on the trip before confirming availability of a gorilla permit is greatly forbidden highly because you may have to change your reservations.

  1. Avoid booking gorilla permits at the last minute.

Making gorilla permit reservations at the eleventh hour may miserably frustrate you. As hinted at initially, gorilla permits are very scarce, especially during the high season when many travelers are hoping to travel to Uganda and Rwanda to trek the gentle giants.

Permits could be completely sold out as early as six months ahead, so book your gorilla permits three to twelve months in advance to avoid disappointments and disturbance in planning your gorilla trekking safari.

  1. Avoid buying the permits yourself.

Even though some tourists would rather book permits by themselves, we firmly advise tourists to use trusted and registered tour companies. Tour companies can strongly safeguard you from the frightening local logistics involved. They will also assist you and reschedule the permit to another date in case of unforeseen eventualities.

To abstain from this common mistake, tourists must book gorilla permits through a trusted tour company (registered with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators and Uganda Tourism Board) that can plan your entire trip, including transport, accommodation, meals, tour guides, and other activities.

Jim Jam Safaris is trusted by many travelers and registered to provide such services. Please send us an email with your correct names and travel dates to help you book your gorilla permits in Rwanda and Uganda.

  1. Ensure you give the correct names to the reservation officer.

A common mistake in reserving gorilla permits in Rwanda and Uganda is giving the reservation offices pet names instead of the names that appear on the passport and official identification documents.

The gorilla permit blends with your passport details. On most occasions, the reservation officer will ask you to share a copy of your passport bio-data page to make the gorilla permit reservation. Should they fail to ask for the passport copy, please insist on sending it to them when you reach the gorilla trekking briefing point, the office will ask for your passport to verify payment and ownership.

Supposing that the permit is in another person’s name, the office may forbid you from participating in gorilla trekking. So, make sure that the accurate names appear on your gorilla permit before you get excited about the trekking experience.

  1. The gorilla permit price is not negotiable

Gorilla permits in Uganda are set by government-appointed bodies; Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Every tourist above 15 years can purchase gorilla trekking permits from UWA and RDB or through a local tour operator at the advertised price.

Some tour companies will charge a service fee but can never change the price of the permit. In some instances, UWA and RDB may notify the public about a discounted price that everyone else will follow, but the gorilla permit price is non-negotiable.

Uganda Wildlife Authority currently sets a price of $800 per person for foreign non-residents. The foreign residents (With work permits) can get a gorilla permit at $700, and EAC nationals UGX 300,000 per person.

RDB charges $1,500 per person for a single gorilla permit and $500 for African residents.

  1. A gorilla permit money is nonrefundable once it is purchased

The owner of the gorilla permit or tour operator, on behalf of the gorilla permit owner, can reschedule the permit to the date up to 8 days before the tracking date. Unfortunately, you can not reschedule the gorilla permit after the expiry date.

A gorilla permit can be booked up to two years ahead of the trekking date and pay at least a deposit of 30% of the permit value time of price at reservation.

When you cancel the gorilla safari less than 8 days before the trekking date, you get no refund. Canceling the gorilla trekking safari for ninety days to the trekking dates attracts a refund of 50%.

You can always avoid rescheduling and canceling inconveniences by hiring a local operator to handle the permits for you.

  1. Don’t ignore gorilla permit allocation in Uganda.

Uganda Wildlife Authority is operational in five gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National and Mgahinga National Park. Buhoma Sector in the north of Bwindi, Rushaga and Nkuringo Sectors in the south, Ruhijja in eastern Bwindi, and Mgahinga headquarters. The sectors operate independently, are miles apart, and each has a regulated number of gorilla permits corresponding to the number of resident gorilla groups.

When booking gorilla permits in Uganda, don’t make the error of not knowing the right sector indicated on your gorilla permit. Or else, you will be prohibited from trekking gorillas in a sector not indicated on your permit.

Knowing the allocated sector will also guide you when making the accommodation reservations near the briefing point to make it in time for the gorilla trekking briefing.

  1. You cannot book a specific gorilla family.

Your friend or family member might have recommended a gorilla family they enjoyed seeing on their previous trip. It is instinctive to want the same gorilla family but a common mistake for many travelers is to expect the same choice. While reserving your gorilla permits in Rwanda and Uganda, you cannot select a specific gorilla family.

UWA officers allocate the gorilla family during the briefing at the trailhead in the morning before you head off into the forest. You can maybe whisper the name of your preferred gorilla family in the officer’s ear. Still, it isn’t easy to influence the choice.

The easiest thing you can do is select the trailhead where your preferred gorilla group lives and ask for a gorilla permit for that sector.

  1. Avoid these mistakes when you book with us

Booking your gorilla permits with Jim Jam Safaris helps you avoid these common mistakes and ensures a successful trip in Uganda and Rwanda.

Jim Jam Safaris is a licensed operator in Rwanda and Uganda and will also reserve your accommodations, transport between places, gorilla permits, and any other activity you would want to add to your journey.