Have you ever bothered to know what things are included in a permit or those that are excluded? Perhaps a few have tried to do so! However, it is always important for one to know what his or her permit includes or excludes before making actual trip to a destination. To trek mountain gorillas, you need to travel to only Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) making them the only 3 (three) African countries worldwide where these intelligent and humble creatures live. In Uganda, you will trek them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, southwestern part of the country, Volcanoes National Park northwest of Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo.
A gorilla permit usually comes with many things and most importantly, it is a document/card which is issued to someone that permits him or her to track mountain gorillas in a destination of their choice. Currently, a permit in Uganda cost $600 per visitor, $1500 per person in Rwanda while in the DR Congo, you need $400 to secure one. When making a reservation, ensure that you know what things are included in a permit.
Your permit however covers the one (1) hour of a face to face encounter with these rare creature in wild. If you do not have a permit, high chances are that you won’t be allowed to be part of this lifetime experience. This means that a permit is one important tool if you are to track mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park or the Virunga National Park. Usually, a trek lasts for about an hour to eight hours and upon getting your habituated gorilla family, you are allowed to spend only one hour with these Great Apes in the wild, take as many photos as you can, explore their daily behavior and body gestures of which the guide will explain and interpret them to you to make you understand better.
It also covers the services of park guide or ranger. To trek mountain gorillas isn’t like nature walk in a savanna grassland park but involves hiking through the dense tropical rainforest and steep slopes of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Virunga National Park. This process will be led by one of the trained and experienced park ranger guide of which the Uganda Wildlife Authority has tasked itself and trained many ranger guides to offer the best services for clients when it comes to this adventure and also other wildlife experiences. When you book a permit, you are guaranteed of one park ranger guide services in any of the parks you intend to pay a visit for this life changing adventure. The cost you pay to secure a permit includes the park ranger fees and given the experience these people have, you realize that not only will you enjoy gorilla experiences but also they will take you other wildlife species that come your way while on a trek for instance primate species, avifaunal species a mention but a few.
It also includes the park entrance fees. Like other protected areas, a visit to Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo requires one to pay entry fees if you are to be part of the safari activities in that park. With a gorilla permit, you are assured that the park entry fees are covered.
Besides, it covers the cost of gorilla trackers services. The trackers are trained staff whose task normally to wake up early in the morning prior the next actual trek to go the forest to look and ascertain where gorilla families are located. After doing so, they communicate back to the park headquarters on whereabouts of the many gorilla groups. When you set off to the jungles to look out for these creatures, your guide and trackers will keep following their movement and also directing you till you get them perhaps when they are relaxed. It is for this reason that we always tell our clients that to see these rare creatures isn’t 100 percent.
It also includes visitors security but for a long time Uganda and Rwanda have enjoyed the prevailing peace and security unlike the DR Congo which is still recovering for political instabilities. While on a trek, don’t be surprised to see a range with a gun because it is for your own safety and protection. Besides, there are also tourism police who ensure that your trek is secure throughout. Guns are always carried by ranger just in case of wild elephants or other wildlife that may cause interruptions during your trek. They use guns to scare them away.
Conclusively, a permit is a must to have if you are to track mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo. Your permit includes mainly the above listed things and you need to book one if you are to be part of this rare and the most captivating primate adventure.