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Uganda is a home to approximately half of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population, and gorilla habituation in Uganda is one of the most incredible wildlife experiences on the continent. “A life-changing experience” This is what most tourists say after they visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We totally agree since we spend many days in a year taking tourists to see gorillas each day is exciting, and discoveries happen all the time

Gorilla trekking is an outdoor activity where tourists are allowed to see mountain gorillas for one hour while gorilla habituation is the process of taming a group of extremely wild gorillas and getting them to be less aggressive to human visits. Upon the discovery of gorillas, human interest to visit and see them (up close) was birthed. However, because wild gorillas can be very aggressive, a plan to slowly get them accustomed to human visits (Habituation) was necessary before humans could risk being attacked and killed by the gorillas.

Cost of a Gorilla Permit

Mountain Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $800 Non – Foreign residents, $700 Foreign residents, 250,000 UGX for East Africans and US$500 for Rest of Africa.

The price of gorilla habituation permits in Uganda varies based on residence status as indicated below;

  • Non- residents (Foreign tourists) $1500 per person
  • Residents (expats) $1000 per person
  • East Africans (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi) UGX 750,000 PER PERSON

If want the tour operator to only assist you to buy the gorilla permit, then they will add an extra service fee charge of between 50$ – 100$ per permit. Otherwise if you are buying all-inclusive gorilla tour, then they will not charge extra on the purchase of permit since it will be one cost for organizing your entire trip.

Only 8 People are allowed to trek one Gorilla group in Uganda, there are 18 habituated gorilla families that can be visited on a daily basis. This implies that 144 people go for gorilla trekking per day throughout the 4 Gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Forest. Mgahinga Gorilla national park on the other hand is home to only one Gorilla family and therefore 8 people visit the Nyakagezi habituated gorilla family in Uganda daily.

Visa and Immigration

You need to apply for and obtain a tourist visa online before heading to Uganda. Standard tourist visas last for three months.


  1. Tourism
    • Passport copy (bio-data page) with at least 6 months validity
    • Tour plan
    • Travel itinerary / booking
    • Recent Passport-size Photograph
    • Vaccination Certificate (Yellow Fever)
    • Hotel booking or reservation (if any other accommodation, provide an address)
  2. Business (meetings, conferences)
    • Passport copy (bio-data page) with at least 6 months validity
    • Letter of invitation with clear address and clearly stating business in Uganda
    • Recent Passport-size Photograph taken in the last 6 months
    • Vaccination Certificate (Yellow Fever)
    • Immigration status of host if individual

Fees: The visas cost USD 50.

  • Visa Fees are non-refundable and all payments are subject to a bank charge.
  • Language; all documents attached should be in English.
  • Other documents may be required during the process


Suppose you’ve acquired a Uganda gorilla permit. In that case, you’ll be transferring 490 km (304m) from Entebbe International Airport (The only entry point) to southwestern Uganda into Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park. The highways are perfectly paved for a regular 4×4 car to ride to the gorilla parks smoothly.

It is important to know that Gorilla trekking takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park and getting to both places is not a smooth ride all through. The longer parts of the journeys are all smooth on tarmac roads but you will most likely need a 4×4 vehicle to get to the parks and more so, the trekking points where your gorilla trek begins.

You can go by road 10 -12 hours drive or take a small flight from Entebbe to Kisoro (1 hour) and then drive another 1-3 hours to your gorilla safari lodge.

Bwindi itself has four sectors in which the trek takes place that is: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo and each of them has different challenges in terms of roads.

Travelers interested in trekking in the Nyakagezi gorilla family in Mgahinga national park can be accessed either by road or by air. Starting your journey from Kampala city to reach the park estimates 8 to 9hours drives. Then to those are interested in air transport can take scheduled flights from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip and lands in Kisoro Airstrip where you can be picked by the park’s drive or the guide and drives you to your respective lodge.

Vehicle requirements: Small Vehicles can be hired at $50 to $60 per day, a medium 4×4 goes for $80 to $100 per day whereas comfortable Extended Land cruisers range between $200 to $250 per day.

These prices do not include fuel for the car and the driver. In many cases, the price may include a driver/guide, but it’s advisable to talk to the operator before making payment. Maintenance, certification and insurance of the vehicle is the responsibility of the owner or tour operator.

Cost of Accommodation

After securing your gorilla permit, the next step in costing your gorilla tour is to look at some accommodation options. Because gorilla tourism is a significant tourist attraction in Uganda. For every kind of traveller, from budget to luxury, there’s are viable options to choose from at every trailhead. Let’s look at what options you have per person, per night, inclusive of meals.

Bwindi has four sectors and each one has its own accommodation and they include:

Buhoma Area: Buhoma Lodge, Engagi lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Buhoma Haven Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Rushaga Area: Chameleon Hill, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Four Gorillas

Nkuringo Area: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Safari Lodge

Ruhija Area: Bakiga Lodge, Agandi Lodge, Ihamba residence, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge

Where to stay in Mgahinga NP

Mount Gahinga, Mucha Hotel Kisoro, Travelers’ rest hotel kisoro, Kisoro Tourist hotel, Mutanda lake Resort

Budget gorilla safari accommodation $50 – $100

Mid-range gorilla safari accommodation $100 – $500

Luxury gorilla safari accommodation $ 600 – $1500

It’s also vital to consider seasonal offers when planning your accommodation; it may considerably hike or lower the price of a gorilla tour. For example, during the peak seasons (June, July, August, September, December and February), accommodation prices usually go up because there are no rains and most tourists chose to travel during this time.

However, during the low season, when the tropical rains are heavy, prices for gorilla safari lodges and camps and lowered to attract more travellers. So if you are a budget traveller, take advantage of the low season offers to cut down the cost of your gorilla safari.

Cost of a Porter

We encourage all our clients to take porters for their gorilla trek for several reasons. First, they carry your bags, and when you are approaching gorillas, they will remain with your packed lunches and all items you might not need. Second, they will give you a push or pull during your trek in the forest. This extra effort is to enable you to achieve your dream of viewing these endangered mountain gorillas.

The other significance of taking a porter is that by doing so, you are contributing to community development since most of these porters are school dropouts or continuing students that need this money to finance their education.

By paying for a porter, you are contributing directly to the local community. A gorilla trekking porter costs a minimum of $10 – $20. You can give more if you feel generous and appreciative of their work.

Tipping Guide

Tips are an appreciation of good service rendered to you by your safari guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters and porters. It’s not a must that you have to do this. However, as a responsible tour company, we recommend that you put some small funds aside for tipping.