A gorilla trek in Africa is almost every traveler’s dream and for those who have ever taken this maiden tour, they live to accept that it is indeed the world’s most interesting wildlife encounter. However, to many a major setback has been the expensive price of purchasing a gorilla trekking permit. This is a document that allows one to trek to the midst of a given gorilla family.
An encounter with the world’s largest and most endangered primate species in wilderness is without doubt one of the most expensive wildlife encounter not only in Africa but world over. Mountain gorillas inhabit the eastern and central region of Africa, on the rugged slopes of Virunga ranges; a region that spans 3 countries – Uganda, Rwanda and D. R. Congo.
Of these countries, Rwanda is the most expensive gorilla destination selling its gorilla permit at 1500$ per person, per trek. It is followed by Uganda at 600$ per permit and D.R. Congo as the lowest at 400$.
This however, doesn’t imply that the activity is only for the rich, but rather for those who understand the beauty and awe of meeting some of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla species in the wilderness, and the joy of being in the midst of a dynamic gorilla family is worth all the dollars paid and the strenuous hikes endured to reach the gorillas.
Discounted gorilla permit fees in Uganda
A few years ago, Uganda used to give discounts on gorilla permits especially in low season months that is May and November. During this period, permits were discounted up to 450$ per permit, up from 600$ to encourage travelers to visit the country for gorilla trekking, even in low seasons.
This was later abandoned in 2017 when demand for Ugandan permits increased rapidly following Rwanda’s permit price hike from 750$ to 1500$. Current gorilla permit discounts in Uganda apply to Ugandan / East African citizens who purchase a gorilla permit at 250,000/- (80$) and foreign residents at 500$.
There are other seasonal permit discounts, especially given by various tour operator associations, extended only to the member tour companies, who may also extend it to their clients. Always inquire to know whether there are discounts of such nature before purchasing your gorilla permit.
Discounted gorilla permit fees in Rwanda
In 2017, Rwanda double its permit fees to a controversial 1500$ up from 750$ which caused a lot of gorilla business upheavals in Rwanda and eventually an upsurge of gorilla permit bookings in Uganda, for those travelers who needed cost friendly gorilla trips.
As a way to curb this upset, a 30% discount was introduced on the price of every gorilla permit for those who visit Volcanoes national park plus any other 2 national parks in Rwanda – that is Akagera and Nyungwe national parks.
In addition to that, a 15% discount on each permit price was introduced for travelers visiting Rwanda for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) tourism. This is in a bid to boost business and conference tourism in Rwanda, a peculiar market segment that has become popular since its inception in Rwanda.
On the other hand, D.R. Congo has already affordable permits at 400$ and this has not been further discounted. Always take advantage of such seasonal and segmented offers and enjoy affordable gorilla tours to any of these three gorilla destinations.
To further enjoy affordable and less costly gorilla trips to Africa, travelers are advised to visit during low season months, between Mid-February – May and October – Mid December. During this period, you take advantage of hotel deals, tour company discounts, flight offers and generally affordable services that make an entire trip less costly.