Saving on a gorilla safari depends on your preparation. Planning a gorilla safari without making serious research, can drain your pocket especially when you land on overcharging travel experts. However, you can greatly save when you do the following:
1. Make online research about Gorilla permits – you can contact local tour operators online or physically if the distance is favorable. Know prices of different countries and make comparison – then choose one which will enable you save (the cheapest). For example, Uganda Gorilla permit now cost US$700, Rwanda at US$1500 while that of Democratic Republic of Congo at US$400. Basing on the prices, DRC has the cheapest Gorilla pass but not secure all year round because of rebel activities. As an expert here, I recommend Uganda Gorilla safari – the country is safe and offers cheap Gorilla permit.
2. Bargain for discount – contact as many tour operators as you can to find a cheaper but reasonable option. Consider the quotation of each tour company/ expert and see who to travel with. Look at what the quotation includes and what is excluded, then decide.
3. Travel in Low season – Low season in tours and travel is that time when the country endowed with such attractions receives less or sometimes no tourists. In many countries, low season occurs in the months of April, May and November when Uganda receives fewer tourists. In low season some countries reduce the cost of accommodation, Gorilla pass, safari vehicle and other services. Travelers who wants to save always target this season to go gorilla trekking.
4. Book self-drive Gorilla safari– you will greatly save if you drive your self than having a driver/ guide. For that case you will only pay for the car and fuel – travel to the Gorilla park provided the Gorilla pass was booked in advance. The car rental company can help you book Gorilla permit in advance.
5. Form a travel group – The larger the number of travelers, the lower the cost of the Gorilla safari per person and the reverse is true. Why is it so? It’s so because of shared costs of a car, accommodation, services of the guides and so on.
6. Select only the best tour activities – Some countries are beautiful with lots of things to see and enjoy, every tourist destination looks unique and adorable but try and select out only tour activities that you are excited about. If you spending 4-5 days, look up for only main interests and avoid spending on other irrelevant tour activities. However, on free days, you can choose to engage free activities or simply relax at your accommodation.
7. Avoid unnecessary spending – Tip only where necessary to avoid losing money. If you want to booze, choose cheap alcohol or take soft drink.
8. Make your own travel plans – If you want to get your sweetest moments and memories without spending a lot, make up your own travel plan. If you consider what your friend or relative did, it sometimes becomes difficult to fit in your budget because travel times and trend change per annum. They may have visited when the cost of permits and accommodations where still low and you visit when the government and hotel owners have revised their costs.
9. Carry all your recommended gorilla trekking gear– Avoid hiring things which will hike your budget. Prepare your requirements in advance (As listed by your travel expert) and travel with them on the safari. During tracking, move with light bag carrying only necessities like bottled water for refreshment, insect repellent, packed lunch (if any) and medical kit among others. If you are fit, please avoid hiring porters but instead carry your simple bag and a walking stick.
10. Spend a few days safari itinerary – the more days you spend on the safari, the more you spend and the reverse is true. Try to look for a short trip provided its Gorilla trekking centred.