Permits to view gorillas in Uganda are on high demand, with only 40 permits available per day within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. A percentage of the permits in Bwindi are sold in advance to members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, and the rest are sold three months prior to trekking to any individual.
Clients who are interested in gorilla viewing should book as early as possible. However, we can always try to secure permits at short notice for clients to track in Rwanda.
There are four family groups available for trekking in Rwanda, with a total of 64 permits per day being available. These may be pre-booked, but with so many permits available daily, the chances of securing a permit (even at short notice) are quite high. However, during the prime season (July and August) pre-booking is preferred.
1. Booking Office
Booking for all gorilla permits in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is done at UWA Headquarters in Kampala.
Permits as of July 1st 2015 are US$600 per person
Trekking permits for Rwanda are US$700.
2. Long Term (Two Years in Advance) Booking Allocations
Advance booking shall be allowed up to two years as long as a deposit of 30% is made and the balance shall be paid 91 days to the tracking date.
80% of all the gorilla permits in each month can be booked for two years in advance by the Association of Uganda Tour Operations (AUTO) members only. Foreign tour operators must book through local tour operators.
Each tour operator (AUTO) shall book up to only 20 permits for that particular month on the day the booking opens, which is the first working day (Monday to Friday) of the month.
3. Short time booking (six months in advance)
Individual trackers can buy from Uganda Wildlife Authority not more than 2 permits for the month. There is no guarantee, which dates or how many per day will be available. Booking can be done on the day the booking opens, which is the first working day of the month.
UWA shall refund the full tracking fee, if the visitor fails to track due to illness, this will be at recommendation of the Warden in Charge and this clause only applies to visitors who have already tracked BINP or MGNP.
Visitors who have tracked the whole day and failed to view the gorillas for one reason or another will be refunded 75% of the tracking fee. All refunds shall be effected through the Reservation Office at UWA Headquarters in Kampala.
The tracking time is limited from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All visitors are expected back at the campground by 7:00 p.m.