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!

Mikeno Lodge in DR Congo

Are you planning to go for mountain gorilla safari in Congo (Virunga National Park) but you are wondering about where you spend a night before or thereafter your breathtaking adventure? Have you ever heard about Mikeno Lodge? Well, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the three only countries in the world where the rare mountain gorillas are inhabited and to realize your dreams with these special creatures while they are in their natural home has been facilitated by presence of luxury and comfortable accommodation facilities and Mikeno Lodge is one of a kind lodging facilities that shouldn’t miss out in your travel plan.

This lodge is features as a luxury facility and it is only one and half hours drive off Goma and it comes with huge bungalows and the best restaurant. Mikeno Lodge and its restaurant are situated in the forest and they present the most spectacular views of the mighty rift valley and the Nyiragongo and Mikeno Mountains. If you are a nature lover, you can as well embark on nature walks and exploration of local areas of your interest or simply sight out most of the bird species and several of resident blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, baboons and chimpanzees that come around the lodge area. The cost of accommodation goes at $330 per person for single room, $475 for double and $705 for triple including breakfast, lunch, dinner and 16 percent of government value added tax but excluding transport cost.

If you are looking for hidden natural wonders then Mikeno Lodge is one of the best options for you while on safari to Virunga National Park. The lodge’s bungalow accommodation is spacious, luxurious and offer adequate privacy that any traveler wishes to have while on safari, each of which features incredible trees or offer spectacular valley views. Every bungalow also features its own fireplace that the staff light each evening while visitors are out enjoying their dinner. The lodge features materials such as thatch, mahogany and lava stone from the Virunga Mountains that make it one of the most beautiful places compared to the rest of the lodging facilities in the Virunga National Park.

Mikeno Lodge features 12 detached bungalows all of which present comfortable atmospheres for visitors while in the jungle. Each of the bungalows features en-suit bathrooms; stone curved sinks, baths and showers. The main lodge comes with open plan communal areas where visitors can chill, share a drink and sit down for dinner. The balcony comes with stunning views of the luxuriant vegetation and the traditional African structure with a thatched roof where communities gather for outdoor meals and get togethers. The lodge has professional chefs that make about 3 (three) course meals in the onsite restaurant using the lodge’s very own vegetation garden and this offers you opportunity to have a taste of fresh products. There is also a fully deigned room and stocked bar for you to relax in the evening.

The lodge is strategically located in away that visitors can engage in mountain gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking in the Virunga National Park. It is just within a walking distance of the Senkwekwe center at Rumangabo that takes care of orphaned gorillas. You can also take a cultural walk to the nearby local communities and coffee plantations and visit the Widows Workshop-a project operated by the park that assists rangers’ widows learn significant skills that they can support their families.

Also, children are also welcome to have a stay at Mikeno Lodge however certain adventures have limitation especially hiking the Nyiragongo Mountain which requires persons above 12 years and for mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, you have to be 15 years and above. However, there are some activities that can be organized for children as well as parents embark on strenuous mountain hike at Nyiragongo or mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking.

In conclusion therefore, Mikeno Luxury Lodge is not only for visitors to have comfortable accommodation but also a place for one to have the most exciting and interesting experiences while on mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee adventures, hiking Mountain Nyiragongo, nature walks, bird watching and many more.

Interesting Things To Do Within Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park is situated within south-western Uganda and stretches for about 34 square kilometers, making it the country’s smallest Conservation Area but everything it offers is beyond its size. This site is where silver meets Gold because it’s the only place in Uganda where both the Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are found.

As small as it is, Mgahinga National Park is a home to three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes (the Mufumbiro Mountains) including Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura as well as the famous Batwa Trail that gives tourists an insight to the life of the Pygmies-the original inhabitants of the Forest before it was gazetted into a National Park in 1991. Therefore, the jaw-dropping activities tourists who visit this Park can enjoy include;

Gorilla trekking

One of the reasons why Mgahinga National Park is popular is because of gorilla trekking tours and is part of the extensive Virunga Conservation Area that also comprises of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is so far only one habituated gorilla family known as the “Nyakagyezi family”, thus only 8 gorilla permits are available daily. Participants are required to wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots and cotton socks and carry backpacks, snacks, drinking water and walking stick on the day of trekking.

Golden monkey tracking

Mgahinga National Park is the only place in Uganda where Silver meets Gold because it’s the only Park where both Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are found. The endangered Golden monkeys are also habituated (for at least two years) thus are able to be seen by tourists without them shying or running away. They are characterized by their golden bodies, cheeks and tails with black limbs and beautiful crowns on their heads and tail-ends. Unlike mountain gorillas that are found on the upper slopes, Golden monkeys occupy the Bamboo forests thus are easier to track but are more playful thus sometimes difficult to have clear sightings.

Nature walks or Hiking

Nature walks around the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes offer tourists with the once in a lifetime opportunity to see numerous bird species, dense vegetation, Rugezi Swamp and the spectacular views of the surrounding Lakes and Agricultural villages as well as farmlands.

The Batwa Trail

The Batwa were the original inhabitants of the dense forests of Mgahinga and lived as hunter-gatherers before they were displaced after it was gazetted into a National Park in 1991.  They depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine but now live at beggars at the edges of the Forest and the only time they enter the Forest is when taking tourists during the Batwa Trail. During this activity, they introduce tourists to their ancient lifestyles such as constructing of grass-thatched houses, making fire by rubbing sticks, obtaining herbal medicine for treating ailments and climaxed with a visit to the sacred Garama Cave where sorrowful traditional songs are sung by the local women.

The Batwa Trail

Mountain or Volcano Climbing

As earlier mentioned, Mgahinga National Park is a home to three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes (Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura) and all of them can be climbed by tourists, with each of them lasting a full day. The Peaks of these Mountains reward climbers with the jaw-dropping views of the other Virunga Volcanoes as well as Lake Edward, the Rwenzori Mountains and the lush mist-covered Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Bird watching

Much as it is the smallest Park in the country, it rewards birders with magnificent views of over 117 species of birds and most of the trails take tourists through the Park’s most spectacular scenery especially in the valley between Sabinyo and Gahinga Volcanoes as well as through the dense Bamboo and montane forests where the outstanding Rwenzori Turaco can be spotted.

Other bird species you are likely to see in the Park include the Red-faced woodland warblers, Pin-tailed Whydah, Paradise flycatcher, Double-collared sunbirds, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed coucal, Kivu-ground thrush, black-headed waxbill, Doherty’s bush shrike, Dusky turtle Dove, Rwenzori nightjar, Grey-capped warblers, Chubb’s Cisticola, the streaky seed-eater, Black kites and the Cape robin-chat among others.