Gorilla Permits Bookings – Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla Permits In Uganda And Rwanda

Are you planning to go for gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation in Bwindi or Volcanoes National Park Rwanda? Have you already secured a permit or you have not yet because you do not know how much it costs? Well, with a permit at hand, you are definitely on upper hand to see gorillas although this doesn’t guarantee you a hundred percent that you will see one. In gorilla trekking, one permit is equal to one habituated gorilla group by securing one in advance gives you in an added advantage. Once you are assigned to one habituated gorilla family, you will be accompanied by a trained park guide who takes trekkers through the entire trekking process in the thick forest to see the rare mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but at a moment, the DR Congo Virunga National Park is currently closed till 2019. To be part of gorilla trekking in any of the destinations, you need to have a permit at hand and in Uganda, you need $600 if you are foreign non-resident, $500 if you are a foreign resident and those within East African community you need to have shs.250000. With two more new habituated gorilla families that have been opened for this life changing adventure, over 136 permits are always available for visitors to book. You can book one through a local tour operator/company and for this case, you don’t need to look any further because we are among a few most trust worthy tour companies you can deal with and we can make your dream come true in Africa.

The other alternative is for you to book directly with a reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) whose headquarters is based in Kamokya-Kampala. However, most tourists prefer dealing with the ground tour operator why, because the process is simpler and the fact that about 80 percent of the available permits are always given to tour operators and only 2o percent remain with UWA of which the process tends to be tiresome if dealt directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority. The process for booking a permit is almost the same as that of UWA whereby you will be required to contact a reservationist to help find out the availability of permits and then book one for you once you are done making money transfer to company’s account/UWA’s account. You will also be required to submit your details especially your names, passport number, nationality and other necessary details.

For those you who may want to enhance their experiences further, there is also gorilla habituation experience which is only conducted in Bwindi National Park and only in Uganda. Permits for this extraordinary adventure cost $1500 per person for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and shs.750000 for East African community residents.

A gorilla permit is generally a license which is issued to visitors on gorilla safari and it is what offers trekkers opportunity to have a face to face encounter with these rare creatures for only an hour. A face to face encounter with these dramatic creatures is undoubtedly a magical experience of lifetime.

In Rwanda, you can secure one at $1500 through a local tour operator or through a reservationist at Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Interested visitors on gorilla safari to any of the destinations are always advised to book their permits in advance at least three to six months earlier to avoid any disappointment. Note that demand for these permits is very high and can even be worse when it is a dry season which is also a high/peak season and they can be few. Also it is important to note that only eight trekkers are allowed to track. The dry season/high season usually begins from June to September and this is normally the longest dry season and the short one starts from December to February. During this period, the demand is high and you need to book one early enough.

Conclusively, a gorilla permit is a must to have if you are to be allowed to track mountain gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda or even the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Book one in advance your dreams will be achieved in africa!

Ngiri Reserve Congo

If you are planning to spend your next safari holiday in the Democratic Republic of Congo and you are looking for the most exceptional conservation area to visit then Ngiri Reserve is the best choice that you should make and you won’t regret thereafter. The Ngiri Reserve is natural wonder of its own. It lies in the western side of Equateur province, Bomongo, Makanza and Bikoro border. A 1000 square kilometer reserve stretches to the north from the Congo River confluence and River Ubangi and its establishment is mainly to for refuge to most of its vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Initially, it was proposed to form the Ngiri triangle in 1975, an area which lies between Ubangi, Congo and Ngiri Rivers, however this was not accomplished.

But it was revived by World Wide Fund in the Lake Tele-Lake Tumba landscape project which included the Tumba Ngiri Maindombe wetland. Around 2010, the cooperation agreement between governments of the Republic of Congo and that of the DR Congo on the Lake Tele-Lake Tumba landscape offered for establishment of Ngiri reserve and the Mabali -scientific reserve to add on the Tumba-Lediima reserve in the DR Congo and Lake Tele community reserve in the Republic of the Congo. The Ngiri nature reserve was established by a decree of the Ministry of Environment in March 2011 with the engagement of the World Wide Fund (WWF).

Ngiri Reserve mainly consists of swamp forest, several streams and Rivers. Ngiri River flows from the north to south via the center of this conservation area prior connecting to the Ubangi. The large zone which surrounds the Ngiri nature reserve comprises of the changing marshy grassland savanna, swamp forests and seasonally flooded forests. The savanna is usually burnt during dry season while in some cases, it floods and the usual species of trees which grow here include the Entandrophragma palustre, Uapaca heudelotii Coelocaryon botryoides and Oubanguia Africana and Guibourtia demeusei.

The weather and climate of Ngiri reserve

Ngiri Reserve receives relative rainfall amount all year round and in average, it is about 1770 mm approximately 70 in though in most cases can be a bit heavier than that especially from August-October and lighter amount is received between April and May. Ubangi and Ngiri usually receive the highest amount especially from September-November whereas the Congo side receives its highest amount of rainfall around October and December.

Ngiri reserve features as the best breeding area for most of the aquatic birdlife specifically the African darters, reed cormorants, purple herons and in the low season, the rosy bee eaters and African river martins are attracted to this area, making it one of the best birding areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides, it is the only area in the DR Congo where you will spot the Congo sunbird. There are also African bush elephants and Allen’s swamp monkeys. The area is inhabited by few people who largely engage in fishing and hunting as a source of living. Most of the settlements are around Bomongo which also features as the only town which is near to this protected area and the capital Equateur province, Mbandaka is located in the south while the Tshuapa River enters the Congo from the east.

In conclusion, Ngiri Reserve is remarkably one of the best protected areas in the DR Congo and if you are planning for African safari, it should be a must to include in your travel plan. For bird lovers, the reserve is best for you to spot out the Congo sunbird and other bird species and not to forget variety of wildlife species that thrive within the reserve.

Ajai and Matheniko Wildlife Reserves

Ajai Wildlife Reserve

Situated within North-western Uganda in Arua district, Ajai Wildlife Reserve is the only Game/Wildlife Reserve found in the district or West Nile region and stands at an elevation of 658 meters above sea level. Historically, this Reserve was put under the personal watch and protection of a local powerful Chief named Ajai in 1937 and until 1980, it was protected as one of the few remaining populations of white Rhinos in the country that are now extinct in the Reserve but only found in one place in the country-Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

When the locals began hunting Rhinos of the Reserve, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored an anti-poaching project that was conducted in the Reserve in the 1960s much as it did not stop the poachers from hunting them until they became extinct. However in 2008, the Uganda Wildlife Authority took a step to privatize the operations of the Reserve and special consideration was offered to the Uganda Wildlife Safaris Limited, a hunting and Photographic Tour Operator.

This exceptional 166 square kilometers Wildlife Reserve is comprised of plains of grasses, swamps and woodlands offering shelter to different wildlife and bird species. Much as it was originally established to protect the white Rhinos (which eventually became extinct due to poaching), other wildlife species are inhabited in the Wildlife Reserve and they include Hippos, Antelopes (Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, Sitatunga, common duikers, Oribis, waterbucks and Lelwel hartebeests), Lions, leopards, primates (black and white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons and Vervet monkeys), Warthogs and Buffaloes. Reptiles at the Reserve also include Nile crocodiles, snakes especially Pythons. Ajai Wildlife Reserve is also a wonderful spot for bird watching.

Climate and weather experienced around Ajai Wildlife Reserve

This destination lies on the western banks of the Albert Nile and is dominated by grass and experiences a tropical climate with heavy rains received from March to May and October to November.

How to Access Ajai Wildlife Reserve?

Since it is a bit challenging to reach Ajai Wildlife Reserve due to the poor state of roads that lead to it, it is very accessible by road from Gulu district. Unfortunately, there are also no accommodation facilities within the Reserve thus tourists intending to visit the site have to either connect to Murchison Falls National Park and within Gulu or Arua Towns for overnight/s. It is about six and a half hours’ drive by road from Kampala and just few minutes flight for air transport (landing at Arua or Gulu Town). Include this Wildlife Reserve in your itinerary for Murchison Falls National Park, the closest National Park within the area to have a memorable experience during Uganda safaris.

Besides Ajai Wildlife Reserve, Uganda is known for many other Reserves across the country that include Karuma, Katonga, Bugungu, Pian Upe, Matheniko, Bokora Corridor, Toro-Semliki and Kabwoya Wildlife Reserves that can be explored during Uganda safaris.

Therefore, Ajai Wildlife Reserve is one of the numerous Wildlife Reserves in Uganda under the management pf Uganda Wildlife Authority and offers numerous wildlife species such as waterbucks, Oribis, bushbucks, warthogs, olive baboons, Hippos and common duikers as well as several species of birds.

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

On top of exploring the 10 National Parks, tourists can visit Wildlife Reserves during Uganda Safaris and one of which is the Matheniko Wildlife/Game Reserve. This spectacular site is found in the Conservation Area of the Karamoja sub-region in north-eastern Uganda and so far the 5th of the most threatened Wildlife Protected Areas in the country. Much as few tourists visit this destination, it offers exceptional wildlife and bird species as well as unforgettable wildlife experiences.

Situated within Moroto district, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is part of the corridor of Conservation Areas in the Karamoja sub-region that extend from Kidepo Valley National Park through Pian Upe and Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserves but on the north-eastern side to Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is the Uganda-Kenya border. Additionally, this Protected Area lies within the Somali-Maasai environment of semi-desert grassland with portion of it being scrubland and stands at an elevation of 1070 to 1830 meters (3510 feet to 6000 feet) above sea level.

Unlike other Wildlife Reserves within the region, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve offers shelter to fewer species of wildlife thus making it less busy compared to the others. It stretches for approximately 1520 square kilometers (590 square miles) and is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Climate and Vegetation of Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

Due to its location, the average rainfall of the Reserve is estimated at about 670 millimeters with heavy rainfall being experienced from months of March to May and also in November and its landscape is dominated by Red Acacia and the desert date (scientifically known as Balanites aegyptiacus), bush willows (combretum apiculatum),  Red spike-thorns (Gymnosporia senegalensis) and Harrisonia abyssinica. There are also a wide range of common shrubs and these are the butterfly pea (scientifically known as Clitoria ternatea) and the wooly caper bushes (Capparis tomentosa).

Attractions within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

Much as they are in small numbers, wildlife such as mountain reedbucks, Blue duikers, lesser kudus, common duikers, Roan antelopes, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Bohor reedbucks, Elands, wildcats, Bright’s gazelles, spotted hyenas, Oribis and Topis are common within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve.

Some birds are also found within the Reserve and they include Egyptian swallows, Grey Cuckoo shrike, Eastern bronze-napped pigeons, Alpine Chat, Dusky Turtle Doves, Thick-billed honey guide, Cattle egrets, Lemon Doves, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ostriches, Abyssinian ground hornbills, red-billed oxpeckers, African Hill Babblers, Black-throated wattle-eye, the mountain yellow warblers and the Pygmy Falcon among others.

Besides that, there are several Rock Paintings within Matheniko and Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserves and are said to date back to 3000 years and are said to be works of Nilotic people and Kushites.

When it comes to places to spend overnights, there are no accommodation facilities much as the Uganda Wildlife Authority has put a lot of emphasis on developing tourism infrastructures of the Wildlife Reserve in the past years where bidders were invited in a Campaign to raise funds for constructing a facility (6-roomed Guesthouse) within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve.

Therefore, Matheniko is one of the important sites you can visit within the Karamoja sub-region of North-eastern Uganda and boasts of wildlife species such as lesser kudus, common duikers, Roan antelopes, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Bohor reedbucks, Elands, wildcats, Bright’s gazelles, spotted hyenas in addition to birds such as Egyptian swallows, Eastern bronze-napped pigeons, Cattle egrets, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Abyssinian ground hornbills, red-billed oxpeckers, the mountain yellow warblers and many others.