Mountain gorillas live on higher elevations of the Virunga volcanoes straddling across Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. You can trek mountain gorillas and have an experience of observation for an hour or go for gorilla habituation in Bwindi national park in Uganda and spend 4 hours with the great apes.
Gorilla permits are cards issued by the governing authorities and act as passes for trekking mountain gorillas, this permits can only be given to people of 15 years and above and if illness is detected in the morning of gorilla trekking you will not be allowed to trek mountain gorillas.
Gorilla Permit Refunds In Uganda
In Uganda, Gorilla permits are issued by the Uganda wildlife authority that permits visitors to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park. The cost of gorilla permits in Uganda is $600 for trekking and $1500 for gorilla habituation experience.
The refunding of gorilla permits might take a long process and if you booked through a tour operator some might not be able to refund your money because a tour operator will have to sell your permits at a lower rate and refund you the partial amount after selling the permit.
In rare cases where you trek mountain gorillas all day and not be able to see the group, the Uganda wildlife authority will refund 75% of the money. If the client cancels their trekking due to other reasons the cancellation will be;
0-8 days to gorilla trekking – no refund
9-45 days to gorilla trekking – 25% refund
46-90 days to gorilla trekking – 50% refund
91 days and above – 75% refund
50% of the money will also be refunded to clients who get sick prior to gorilla trekking, this is because mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases. During the briefing the park warden will examine the trekkers and if any is sick or below 15 years, they will not be able to trek mountain gorillas.
In Democratic Republic of Congo
The democratic republic of Congo offers the best prices for gorilla trekking in Africa with permits costing only $400 per person during the peak season and discounted to $200 person during the low season. The cancellation policy of gorilla permits is the same as in Uganda. Gorilla permits in Congo can be booked through Virunga national park or through a trusted tour operator.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be done at the famous Volcanoes national park found in the north eastern part of the country bordering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda offers the most expensive gorilla permits with each permit costing $1500 per person.
Rwanda development board is responsible for issuing gorilla permits so you can acquire a permit by booking with Rwanda development board or use a trust worthy tour operator. 50% of the gorilla permit fee shall be refunded to clients who show any sign of illness prior to gorilla trekking in during the briefing in the morning of gorilla trekking.
In conclusion mountain gorilla permits must be booked when you are sure of travelling to Africa for the experience in order not to make loses. You can deposit 30%-50% discount to secure a gorilla permit in advance of 3-6 months before the actual gorilla trekking date because of high demand.