How to Acquire a Rwanda Gorilla Permit
Acquiring gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda require planning and booking ahead of time. Visiting with mountain gorillas in Rwanda is a strictly managed operation to protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and to maintain their survival.
With only 10 habituated gorilla families available for visiting, the number of visitors who can go gorilla trekking on a single gorilla group is limited to 8 people per day, therefore, there is a total number of 80 gorilla trekking permits available a single day.
With growing numbers of travelers going see gorillas in Rwanda each year, obtaining a gorilla permits requires to be done early enough to secure your spot.
This is especially if you plan to travel during the high seasons / Dry seasons of December to March and June to September, this period being a dry season receives big numbers of visitors and its more favorable to go hiking without too much mud and slippery terrain. The rainy seasons of April – May, and November generally are not as competitive as
Do I get the permit after booking?
No, travelers do not get hard copies of gorilla trekking permits before arriving gorilla destinations. We can only send you a scanned receipt and wait to get the permit on the day of trekking from your driver guides.
Do I own a gorilla trekking permit?
No, even after paying for it, travelers do not become the owner of the permit. In all countries, gorilla permits are permanent property of respective governments in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. a permit only allows you to see gorillas but you do not go with it. Before the start of the trek, all permits are collected at the park headquarters and returned to UWA and RDB for recycling.
Cost of gorilla permits
The cost of gorilla permits varies in each country. In Volcanoes National park, a single gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 paid by all travelers. In Uganda, gorilla trekking permit costs depend on one’s nationality.
It costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and 250,000,Shs for East African residents. Rwanda offers the cheapest gorilla trekking permits at $450 but political instabilities in the country make gorilla trekking in Virunga national park unreliable.
How early should I book for a gorilla trekking permit?
The recommended time for gorilla permits booking is at least 5 months before the actual trekking time. Early booking help to ensure timely planning and allocation of gorilla permits.
Also, gorilla trekking is one of the most done tourist activities in Uganda and Rwanda, this leads to gorilla permits shortages especially in peak season. Travelers who book in advance have high chances of getting permits since the allocation is based on first come first serve basis. Upon booking, travelers are advised to pay 30% of the total permit price as a booking fee.