Uganda commonly known primate experience gorilla chimp trekking21/06/2016
Gorillas and what to see in Uganda and Rwanda-Kisoro Tours21/06/2016
Planning affordable gorilla tour/safaris Uganda Rwanda
Planning affordable gorilla tour/safaris Uganda Rwanda, Gorilla trekking is one of most sought after tourist activities that can be done in either Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Gorillas do exist naturally in Bwindi Impenetrable National park located in south western Uganda sharing districts of Kabale, Kanungu and Kisoro, in Parc Du Volcanoes located in the Northern part of Rwanda and in Virunga National park in DR Congo
While planning for a gorilla trek, one does not need to spend excessively. If you are not aware of what you need to do please contact a tour operator as most of them will give you advice. They will definitely charge you service fee/markup for their service but remember they do have contract fees with accommodation properties and other service providers which will be extended to you if you book through them.
Three most important things that should be taken care of include the price of gorilla permits, transport to and from the gorillas and then accommodation which should ideally cater for your meals.
Save on gorilla permits?
Gorilla permits cost USD600.00 in Uganda, USD750 in Rwanda and USD400 in DR Congo. This is based on 2016-2017 prices which are likely to be adjusted come 2018. This price applies to high seasons of June, July, August, September, October, December, January and February. However, Uganda has effectively introduced discounted gorilla permits/low season gorilla permits for 2016 at USD450.00 per person per trek in months of April, May and November every year. You can therefore take advantage of this discount on gorilla permit to plan an affordable gorilla trekking tour by seeing gorillas during the above mentioned months. By doing so, you stand to save USD150.00 per permit.
Save on Accommodation?
If you travel during low seasons of April, May and November, you stand to benefit from Low season accommodation rates offered by different lodges in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Most Lodges tend to reduce their prices by at least 10% off the normal high season prices. Thus by traveling in low season, you save on gorilla permits and accommodation.
Besides the above, if you choose to travel in high season, make sure that instead of traveling alone, bring along your friend or partner so that you share a room. Sharing a room reduces on the cost of accommodation as you will not be subjected to single room supplement costs. In Bwindi still, you have Budget accommodation, Mid Range and upmarket Accommodation properties. Lodges like Buhoma Community Rest Camp in the Northern Part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Nkuringo Gorilla Camp can give you value for money if you book them. You need to do a lot of research on different types of accommodation and their service to know who charges how much etc. You can as well contact a tour operator who will advise you accordingly.
Know the region you will be trekking gorillas?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four regions that you should consider while planning an affordable gorilla trekking safari. By choosing certain regions then know that it will influence the cost of transport and accommodation choice. In the northern section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Buhoma UWA headquarters that is approximately 8hour drive from Kampala. This region is the most popular with tourists and has three gorilla families that can be trekked from this side. These include Mubare Gorilla family (the first gorilla family to be habituated), Habinyanja gorilla group and Rushegura gorilla family. Accommodation properties include (Up Market) Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Volcanoes Lodge, (Mid Range) Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Kitandara Tented Camp then Budget Properties include Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Bwindi View Lodge. Because of its easy accessibility compared to other regions, Buhoma gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly so you need to book them way in advance. Buhoma can as well be accessed by public transport (Buses) that leave Kampala via Mbarara, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Kihihi and then Butogota. From Butogota you can take a motor bike which is likely to cost you from 4 to 5 Dollars to Buhoma (not recommended thought).
In the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Ruhija Section that has three gorilla familes which include Oruzogo gorilla family, Bitukura and Kyaguriro gorilla groups. This section is accessed through Kabale town or Buhoma region. If you use the Buhoma route, then from Buhoma to ruhija is approximately two hours drive. With this section, you can stay in Kabale town where a variety of accommodation properties do exist in town and around Lake Bunyonyi, the deepest lake in Uganda. If you stay in Kabale, you will need to wake up early to hit the ruhija road which can sometimes be slippery more especially during rainy seasons. It takes you approximately two hours from Kabale to Ruhija park head quarters. You can also choose to stay in Buhoma and track in Ruhija but an early wake up is also required as there is a two hour drive from Buhoma to Ruhija. The best option however is to stay in Ruhija as there exists accommodation properties such as Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Mist camp, Cuckland and others.