How Much Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda In 2023?
Get to know the Uganda Gorilla Trekking Cost or Uganda gorilla trekking price in 2023.
We break it down for you, from the primary fee – the cost of gorilla trekking permit, accommodation, transportation, to the extra costs like porter fees, visa fees, and tips.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda in 2023 is far cheaper than gorilla trekking in Rwanda, despite the fact that both of these East African countries offer equally fantastic gorilla watching experiences. Read more on which country is better for gorilla trekking Uganda or Rwanda
But even though Uganda is the far more affordable option, gorilla trekking in Uganda is still expensive encounter in comparison to other Africa wildlife safaris.
Roughly the cost of an all-inclusive 3-day Uganda gorilla trekking tour is between $1,200 and $2,900 per person sharing. That’s an approximation. In this article we look at some of the factors that influences the Uganda gorilla trekking cost, including:
- the cost of a gorilla trekking permit in 2023
- Other costs involved in Uganda gorilla safaris
- Other supporting safari activities
- Plus related Uganda gorilla tour packages
Factors Influencing The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Cost
Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit
Uganda has two gorilla safari destinations, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
You will not be permitted to trek gorilla families in these parks without a Uganda gorilla permit.
Permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), which is responsible for for protecting wildlife in Uganda National Parks.
The Uganda gorilla trekking permits must be purchased/booked for the park where you wish to go gorilla trekking. You must also buy a gorilla permit for a specific day.
You can book your gorilla trekking permit directly from UWA, but it is strongly advised that you book your permit through a trusted local tour operator like Kubwa Five Safaris.
As we discuss in our guide for trekking gorilla in Uganda in 2023, you need to book your gorilla trekking permit in Uganda well in advance to ensure availability. This permit cost takes the lion’s share the Uganda Gorilla Trekking price.
How Much Is Gorilla Permit In Uganda?
Currently the permit to go for Uganda gorilla trekking cost:
- US$700 for a foreign non-resident visitor
- US$600 for a foreign resident visitor
- Uganda Shillings 250000 for the East African Citizen
The cost is per person per day.
Note: The permit for trekking gorillas in Rwanda costs $1500 per person per day.
Why Is Gorilla Trekking So Expensive?
Gorilla trekking is one of the most thrilling wildlife safari experiences in Africa.
This adventure is different from a safari game drive in the Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve or South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
A trek to see mountain gorillas is special because these Great Apes look and behave like we humans. In fact gorillas are our close relatives, sharing around 97% of our nuclear DNA. And high numbers of tourist are interested in seeing these majestic primates in their their natural environment.
However, mountain gorillas are highly endangered with just over 1000 left on the planet. They are only found in Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park.
And due to shared DNA, our illness and viruses can easily spread to them.
This has encouraged the governments to raise the gorilla trekking permit prices.
It is very important to note that if the Uganda gorilla trekking permit price was reduced considerably, too many people would be attracted to visit the gorillas thus affecting the overall well-being of the few last remaining gorillas on Earth.
Also gorilla conservation require significant investments in research, infrastructure, and rangers. This requires money. Part of the revenue obtained form selling the gorilla permits is used to fund activities related to protecting these endangered giants.
Generally, 15 percent of the income from gorilla permits goes to the government, 10 percent to the local communities to limit poaching, and 75 percent to gorilla conservation.
You cannot take part in gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park without staying at least 1 night within the area. Therefore, the accommodation option you select, also determines your Uganda Gorilla trekking cost.
Because gorilla trekking is a significant Uganda tourist attraction, many private entities have invested in setting up safari lodges and camps around Uganda gorilla parks.
For every category of travelers, from budget to luxury, there are great accommodation options to choose from at the parks. Let us look at what options you have per person, per night, inclusive of meals.
- Budget lodges costs between $50 to $100
- Mid-range lodges costs between $100 to $500
- High-end lodges costs between $600 to $1500
It is also crucial to consider seasonal offers when planning your safari accommodation. It may significantly hike or lower your Uganda gorilla trekking price.
For example, during the peak season/dry months of June to September and December and February, accommodation prices usually go up because most tourists chose to travel during this time.
But, during the low/rainy season months, prices for gorilla safari accommodation may be lowered to attract more travellers. Thus, if you’re a budget traveler, you can take advantage of the low season offers to cut down your Uganda gorilla trekking cost.
Getting the best safari lodge or tented camp that fits your budget can be daunting for a first time trip to Africa. It does not have to be. Kubwa Five Safaris is locally on the ground to help you make the perfect choice for a good meal and perfect night-sleep in the pristine jungles of East Africa.
We have a list of vetted lodge choices you can choose from to help you plan your Uganda gorilla tour with minimal stress.
Tip: When choosing places to stay, always opt for those that are located not just within the national park but also in the sector where your issued gorilla permit is meant to work.
This is especially when you’re going for Bwindi Gorilla trekking tours. There are four sections including Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga
Read More: Best Lodges In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Cost Of Food
Aside from accommodation and gorilla trekking permits, you also need to consider expenses on food, drinks, and particularly water in your Uganda gorilla trekking cost. The safari lodges provide this but you’re going to need water and food while traveling or when you are out of the hotel/lodge.
Food and drinks cost you approximately USD$40 each day if you are planning the trip on your own. When you book a trip with us or any other tour operator, you won’t have to worry about meals.
We’ll make sure you’re well fed and hydrated at the hotel and on the go.
However, you may need to set aside more money if you want to purchase expensive cigars or booze, you might have to plan for them separately.
Transport Cost (Flight Tickets & Hiring A Vehicle)
Another significant factor to consider in the Uganda gorilla trekking cost is how to get to the gorilla trekking destinations. Air tickets to and from your home country might cost from $600 to $2500 depending on your choice of airline.
If you’re planning to book a domestic flight from Entebbe International Airport of Uganda to an airstrip near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you may need to part with another $450. The flight takes about one and half hours.
If you find domestic flights way beyond your budget or if you want to experience more of the Uganda’s beautiful countryside, then traveling by road from Entebbe or Kampala is highly recommended.
This road trip takes approximately 8 to 9 hours’ drive.
Car hire in Uganda will cost you around:
- US$40 – US$60 per day for small 4×4 car
- US$80 – US$100 per day for medium 4×4 car
- US$200 – US$300 per day for a safari 4×4 Land Cruiser
The price above do not include fuel for the car and the driver. In most cases, the price may include a driver guide, but you are advised to talk to your tour operator before making payment.
Maintenance, certification and insurance of the vehicle are the responsibility of the tour operator.
At Kubwa Five Safaris, we include the cost of transportation and transfers in the price of a Uganda gorilla trekking safari packages so that you do not have to hustle with pricing your gorilla trekking tour.
Gorilla Trekking Packing List Items Cost
For the great Uganda gorilla trekking experience, you need to travel with good hiking boots, camera, bug repellents,garden gloves, binoculars,and a waterproof jacket.
These are all hidden costs that you need to consider aside from the cost of gorilla trekking permit, transportation, and accommodation.
Read More: What To Wear For Gorilla Trekking
Porter Fees – Especially For The Elderly
The fees for porters also add to the Uganda gorilla trekking cost.
It is always encouraged that gorilla trekkers take porters for several reasons. First, the porters carry your bags and when you’re approaching gorillas, they’ll remain with all of items you might not need.
Second, porters will give you a push or a pull during your relatively difficult gorilla trek in the rainforest. This extra effort is to enable you to achieve your dream of viewing rare mountain gorillas.
The other advantage is that by taking a porter, you’re contributing to community development. This because most of the porters are school dropouts that need this money to finance their survival.
A porter costs a minimum of $10. You can give more if you feel generous and appreciative of their work.
Other Things That Influence The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Cost
Cost Of Tips & Gratuities
Tipping a way to show appreciation for good service rendered to you by your safari driver guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters, waitresses, and porters.
It is not a must that you have to do this. It may only be paid after a service is rendered and you are happy with it. The amount depends entirely on you. However, as a responsible tour company, we recommend that you put some small funds aside for tipping on your Uganda gorilla trekking tour.
Visas & Border Crossing Fees
Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda sometimes involves crossing the Uganda Rwanda borders. Many tourists who find the gorilla permit price in Rwanda beyond their budget can choose to go gorilla trekking in Uganda instead.
But they arrive through Kigali city to avoid traveling for 8 hours from Entebbe or Kampala. The driving distance from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Uganda gorilla trekking tours from Kigali involves paying a VISA fee of $50 at either the Katuna or Cyanika border crossing points. The East African Tourist Visa can also be acquired at a cost of $100 for those who are combing safaris in different East Africa countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
The visa adds to the Uganda gorilla trekking cost.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Card & COVID-19 Certificate
Although it may not seem significant, these are required in order to enter Uganda.
The yellow fever vaccination cards are one of the key documents asked at the Entebbe International Airport and while crossing borders. If you’re planning to travel to Uganda or most African countries, you will have to consider the cost of taking the shot.
A COVID-19 vaccination certificate has also been added to Uganda entry requirements.
It is cheaper and convenient to spend on both health certificates while still at your home country to avoid disturbances at Airports.
Supporting Safari Activities
Next to gorilla safari national parks of Uganda, there are communities that offer fascinating cultural encounters . You can explore the Batwa pygmy cultural experience that costs about USD$20 at Bwindi National Park and 80 US$ at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
You can also take an adventurous canoe ride or a relaxing boat cruise on beautiful Lake Bunyonyi at around $30. These extras activities add up to the Uganda gorilla trekking cost too.
Read More: Things To Do At Bwindi Before Or After Gorilla Trekking
Besides the above costs, tour companies like Kubwa Five Safaris puts between 10-20% of the total Uganda gorilla trekking cost as service fee.
It is part of the company profit as well as helping the company to book all services such as gorilla trekking permits, safari lodges/hotels and making telephone calls to check availability and ensure that all is in order.
Tips To Help You Save On Your Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour:
- Book your Uganda gorilla trekking safari with a local tour operator like Kubwa Five Safaris. This will save you time while planning and it will also save you from safari lodges comparison hustles.
- Travel in with other people. A group Uganda gorilla tour helps you reduce the price of transportation and accommodation, as you share the costs.
- You can begin and end your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda in Kigali city of Rwanda. This will help you save on transportation time and cost.
- Also if you want to reduce your Uganda gorilla trekking price, you can visit the county in Low season (rainy season). This is because some Uganda safari lodges tend to lower their rates during the rainy season when tourists are few.
- Avoid using chartered planes or private planes to Uganda gorilla trekking destinations.
The Uganda gorilla trekking cost can be high if you do not plan well advance. The best way to keep low the costs of gorilla trekking in Uganda low is to book with a tour company.
Time To Plan Your Uganda Gorilla Safari!
Hopefully, these guidelines will help you to figure out the Uganda gorilla trekking price. Note that hat the above Uganda gorilla trekking costs are guidelines only.
A safari consultant at Kubwa Five Safaris is an expert at maximizing your budget so you get the most bang for your safari buck. If you need more information on the cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda, Contact Us. We’ll be happy to help you decide on the best tour option.
Related Uganda Gorilla Safaris & Tour Packages
- Triangle Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi National Park
- 4 Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour
- 5 Days Wildlife Gorilla Trekking Trip
- 5 Days To Bwindi Mountain Gorillas And Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- 7 Days Of Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Tracking And Game Drives
- 8 Days Safari To Bwindi Impenetrable Forest To Track Mountain Gorilla
- 10 Days Uganda Safari Of Big Apes And Big Cats
- 12 Days To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda safari
- 16 Days Safari To Murchison Falls, Kibale National Forest And Bwindi