Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa that boasts of a rich diversity of wildlife, including the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla safaris in Uganda are an exceptional way to experience the natural beauty of the country and witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
However, planning and booking a gorilla safari can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers. In this article, we will guide you on how to book gorilla safaris in Uganda.
Choose the Right Time to Visit
The best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the dry season, which runs from June to September and December to February. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, making it easier to hike through the forest to find the gorillas.
However, gorilla safaris can still be done in the rainy season, but be prepared for muddy and slippery trails. It’s also essential to note that gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family per day. Thus, it’s advisable to book your permit in advance.
Book Your Gorilla Permit
A gorilla permit is a document that allows you to visit and track the gorillas in their natural habitat. Permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and can be booked online through a Uganda tourism board licensed tour operator.
The cost of a gorilla permit is currently $700 per person per trek in Uganda. It’s essential to note that permits are limited, and it’s advisable to book your permit at least 3-6 months in advance.
Choose a Tour Operator
Although you can book your gorilla trek permit directly from the UWA if you are a foreign resident or East African, it’s always best to use a trusted tour operator. Tour operators in Uganda offer a range of gorilla safari packages that include transportation, accommodation, and other activities such as game drives and cultural experiences.
They also have experienced guides who will take you through the gorilla trek, making your experience more memorable. You can choose from a variety of tour operators online or from referrals from friends who have visited Uganda before.
Choose Your Accommodation
Uganda has a range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges to budget camping sites. Choosing where to stay will depend on your budget, but it’s essential to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season. Luxury lodges provide more comfort, while camping is ideal for those who prefer an authentic experience.
Pack the Right Gear
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be a challenging activity, and it’s essential to pack the right gear. You will need to wear sturdy hiking boots, a long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, gloves, a hat, and a raincoat. The forest can be muddy and slippery, and wearing the right gear will make your trek more comfortable.
In conclusion, gorilla safaris in Uganda are a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Booking a gorilla safari in Uganda can be a challenging task, but with the right guidance and preparation, you can have a memorable experience.
Remember to choose the right time to visit, book your gorilla permit, choose a trusted tour operator, choose your accommodation, and pack the right gear. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is an activity that should not be missed, and it’s essential to follow the guidelines provided by the UWA and your tour operator to ensure the safety of the gorillas and the visitors.