Each safari park gets allotted a limited number of gorilla permits each season. It is therefore essential to obtain your gorilla permit when you initially book your safari.
There are 14 habituated gorilla groups in Uganda – 14 groups in Mgahinga National Park and 1 gorilla group in Mgahinga National Park. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs USD 600 and a gorilla permit can be purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority easily through a local tour operator.
There are 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda. Gorilla permits cost USD750 per permit and can be booked from Rwanda Development. It is easy to get your gorilla permit booked through a local tour operator.
In Congo gorilla permits cost USD450 and can be bought from Virunga National Park or through a loval tour operator.
More Information on Gorilla Permits
- For the gorillas’ protection (and visitors’) nobody under the age of 15 yrs or persons with illness may view the gorillas on safari treks.
- Viewing the gorillas is limited to one hour at a minimum distance of 5 metres.
- You are not allowed to use a flash when taking photos
- Video cameras are allowed.
- Every viewing group will be escorted with park rangers, trackers and guides. Follow the guide’s instructions and please abide by the park’s rules.
Avoid the temptation to break the minimal distance for viewing the gorillas. Also absolutely avoid physical contact with the gorillas. Physical contact with gorillas exposes them to human diseases (a major cause of death to wild gorillas). Remember there’re few enough of these magnificent creatures without you abetting in their extinction (albeit unintentionally)
Gorilla viewing may be denied at short notice at the discretion of the national park authorities. This may occur because of:
Park or border closure due to security reasons
Gorillas out of range (usually close tabs are kept on the where abouts of the gorillas by rangers who track them on a daily basis)
So please be aware that obtaining a gorilla permit is not an absolute guarantee that you’ll see the gorillas. If for any reason you’re unable to view the gorillas (though you paid for a permit), refunds are at the discretion of the park or the respective wildlife authority of that particular country…not your tour company