5 Reasons Why Gorilla Trekking is Expensive

5 Reasons Why Gorilla Trekking is Expensive

Mountain gorillas are some of the world’s most endangered species that have just hit a population mark of 1000 in not more than two years ago. The mountain gorillas belong to the Eastern gorilla species which are mainly found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic republic of Congo.

Of all the tourism activities in all these three countries, gorilla trekking is the most expensive of all the activities. Even though the activity can be tiresome since it involves walking for a few hours; it remains the most selling and most attractive of all tourism activities in these three countries.

Below are some of the few reasons why gorilla trekking is the most expensive tourism activity in all these three countries;


Scarcity is one of the foundational principles in economics, whenever resources are scarce; there is always a high demand for the product which leads to inflated prices as well.

Mountain Gorilla tracking is not an exception; it cannot be carried out anywhere else in the whole world apart from these three countries. This implies that you only have limited options in case you are considering tracking mountain gorillas.

Uganda; is a midrange gorilla trekking destination, Rwanda; is more of luxurious gorilla trekking destination and democratic republic of Congo for the budget gorilla trekking safaris; unfortunately due to insecurity and Ebola threats, Democratic republic of Congo is still facing stiff competition from Uganda and Rwanda.

Until Democratic republic of Congo gets back on the competition scene, the permits will still be charged expensively due to the only two secure destinations.

2. No Mountain Gorillas in Zoos

Mountain gorillas cannot survive in captivity, for this reason you cannot find any mountain gorillas in Zoos all around the world. This also means that for anyone who wishes to see a mountain gorilla at any given day can only find them in Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic republic of Congo

All the other gorillas that you are likely to find in Zoos are either western lowland gorillas or any other species that are not mountain gorillas. This gives the countries hosting mountain gorillas the liberty to charge high prices due to exclusive reasons.

3. Eco Tourism 

In most cases, when a business man finds a selling niche, they market it so much so that they can have more people buying the product. Even though gorilla tracking is one of the most marketed tourism products in East Africa, the authorities have a limit on the number of people that can visit gorilla families per year.

This is to ensure that the environment is preserved and eco systems in any given environment unaltered because of the many visits. This makes gorilla trekking one of the special tourism gems that you cannot simply experience as you please unless you take ample time to book in advance to avoid any disappointments.

Visit The Batwa People (Pygmies) in their communities

The limited tracking slots make gorilla tracking permits scarce hence the high varying prices in the different countries.

4. Long Distance To The Gorilla Park

A Uganda gorilla permit costs half the price of a Rwanda gorilla permit. So for anyone that considers saving on the permits, they will opt for Uganda’s US$700 permit as of July 2020 or US$600 before July 2020.

Though this is all it takes to access the mountain gorillas, there are several other fees involved. These include; accommodation and transport; all gorilla parks in Uganda are located at least 10 hours drive from Entebbe.

This is a very tiresome journey which also makes gorilla tracking of not less than 2 days unless you are coming in from Kigali. But still; if you are to compare the US$200-US$300 you might spend on accommodation and transport; it automatically makes the activity more expensive than a 7 days trip in some parks of Uganda.

5. Accommodation

Several complaints have been raised in regard to the cost of Uganda’s accommodation more so value for money. Most of the lodges and hotels are rated according to how the charge not the quality of the services they offer. This implies that most of the hotels in Uganda will not fit some international ratings yet charging the same fees like elsewhere in the world.

To get quality accommodation, you might have to part with reasonable sums of money that are not less than US$350 per night. If this is what you have to pay for good accommodation as an individual, then you are assured of not spending less than US$1000 on gorilla tracking as an individual.

However you can consider booking the activity as a group to reduce the expenditure. Though this might not apply for gorilla trekking in Rwanda