How to Get a Gorilla Permit
Many Self-drive Travelers that wish to visit Rwanda, Uganda or Democratic Republic of Congo Seek about how to secure a gorilla permit for their gorilla trekking adventure in the Wild jungles of former Great Virunga national Park shared by three Nations.
In all three Gorilla Destination the procedure to acquire a gorilla pass is the same and it only provides for two Options.
You book Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo Mountain gorilla permits through tour operators. For Rwanda, it is done at Rwanda Development Board RDB, Uganda, Uganda Wild Life Authority UWA, Congo Virunga National Park Tourism Office.
First Option: Some Visitors opt to book themselves permits directly to those offices responsible. It is also possible and you can book on line. You just send an email.(Rwanda: firstname.lastname@example.org) ( Uganda: email@example.com) ( Congo: firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is needed is your passport Details, day of Tracking and gorilla permit payment. In Rwanda it is 750 USD per permit, Uganda, 600 USD and low season, (April, May and November) 450 USD, and Congo the permit cost 400 USD
Second Option: the stress free way of booking a gorilla permit is through a tour operator and Self-drive Rwanda ranks high in booking gorilla permits in all destination s which are going to be visited by its client. Rent a car Rwanda offers the option of just picking the gorilla permits for travelers that have booked transportation with them
Please note, Its necessary to book in advance most especially in high season. This is because gorilla permits are served on first come first serve and they allow 8 Visitors per day per gorilla Family.
Practical Information for Gorilla Trekking in All Destinations.
On the Tracking day, you’ll set off very early in the morning to track to the apes from the edge of the forest. Your driver/guide will take you from your lodge to the park headquarters. Most of the guides speak excellent English and are very good. They will be taking you to a specific group of ‘habituated’ mountain gorillas. You will be escorted by the park guide, armed rangers for protection and porters for hire at 15 USD.
You’ll be divided into parties of 8 and after a briefing on safety and gorilla trekking etiquette; you’ll be driven to the start of the trail to reach your mountain gorilla group. Your guide will then lead you along generally clear paths up into the forest, in radio communication with the trackers that stay with the group so that they can be located. The hike is tiring and can be steep in parts, taking from 30 minutes to hours.
A large silverback male gorilla can weigh up to 200kg, or three times the weight of the average man, but the apprehension usually vanishes when you see the group. Often the gorillas will be spread around a small area of dense vegetation. They’ll continue with their feeding and interactions, nonchalant about their visitors, though watching you with interest. Occasionally one, often a playful youngster, will approach you with curiosity sometimes coming so close.
You have to follow the guide’s instructions while in the forest, most especially in front of gorillas. When you are near the group, you have to leave some where the hiking sticks, not to scare the animal. After encountering the group, you spend 1 hour with them, enjoying their ways, feeding and interacting ways.
After gorilla tracking, you will be given certificates of the group you have tracked at the park headquarter which you can take at home and show your friends and relatives.
What to wear while trekking gorillas
When going to track expect to be hit by rain and traverse muddy paths, therefore carry a raincoat.
Bring layered clothes to keep you warm, wear long trousers to protect your legs from insect bites and long sleeved tops/ t-shirts.
Have a water-proof back pack to carry your camera, snacks plus drinking water. For a small price, you can hire porters to carry your backpack and assist you on the sheer slopes.