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While gorilla trekking seems more costly than other wildlife safaris, an encounter with Uganda or Rwanda mountain gorillas is the ultimate wildlife experience. Yes, Rwanda/Uganda gorilla trekking permits are expensive, but an hour spent with mountain gorillas is priceless!
The permit fee is high because a majority of the money raised goes into conservation efforts, such as paying park rangers, promoting the work of gorilla doctors who ensure the apes’ perfect health, and inspiring the local communities.
A gorilla permit costs US Dollars 700 in Uganda, US Dollars 1500 in Rwanda, and US Dollars 450 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Because of the many numbers of people who want to see gorillas and since there is only a specific number of people allowed to see a given gorilla family per day, Mountain gorilla permits tend to sell out because there are only around 1000 mountain gorillas left in the wild and therefore, it is also necessary to obtain a gorilla permit for at least three months before the gorilla tracking date.
Equally, it’s important to note that Uganda is home to more than half of these mountain gorillas, with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo sharing the other half.
Mountain gorillas are classified as endangered by organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to their low population worldwide.
When it comes to gorilla safaris in Uganda or Rwanda, the debate about which country is better for a gorilla safari is based on personal opinion (even bias) and continues without resolution. Each country has advantages over the other, in our experience running gorilla and wildlife safaris, the choice of where to go gorilla tracking is entirely yours.
Some of our gorilla safari clients choose to visit the gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda in order to learn more about the variations in tracking mountain gorillas in these two fascinating countries.
Aside from regular gorilla tracking, mountain gorilla habituation is a two-year phase that helps Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to become accustomed to human presence. This helps a group of mountain gorillas to remain with or near humans without being aggressive or escaping.(Unless they are provoked). Around 20% of mountain gorillas in Uganda are habituated.