How to Arrange Gorilla Permits For Self Drive Tours

How to Arrange Gorilla Permits For a Self Drive Tours

Gorilla trekking is one of the main tourism activities in Uganda. Lucky enough, you won’t need a tour operator to enjoy this mysterious yet non threatening African experience.

Whenever someone gets to know that these creatures can be spotted in the forests of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo; they desire to discover how they can join the list of the few of the world’s population that have seen these creatures in their natural environment.

Unlike other tour activities in Africa, gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking require permits. This is to ensure that the number of people that visit these endangered species is limited to preserve their environment. This causes a tricky scenario; getting the permits because they are scarce in certain seasons. There are three ways you can get gorilla tracking permits; actually four.

Direct contact with Permit issuing Authority

Each country that offers gorilla trekking activities has a body in charge of issuing gorilla permits. For instance, in the case of Uganda; it is Uganda wildlife Authority. In the case of Rwanda, it is Rwanda development.  However; in some countries the bodies are not necessarily government bodies that are in charge of gorilla trekking.

In a case where gorilla trekking is not handled by the government body, for instance in Nigeria; you will have to get in charge with the specific conservation body in charge of gorilla trekking.

The unfortunate case with direct contact with the authorities that issue permits is they are more conservation minded than business minded. For this reason you might find them bending more towards the conservation bend than customer care service. This is common with unanswered mails. Though this is not the case in every country, it should not come as a surprise to you in case you encounter such an annoying experience.

However direct contact will save you from middle men which save you a lot of time! So it seems but in countries where the customer services are very poor you might regret direct contact. It is for the same reason we recommend that you read some reviews to inspire your decision on which means to use.

Tour Operators

Tour operators are the main clients of any conservation body. They are often the people they bring in the biggest business. For the same reason you should contact them to help you buy the permits in an exchange of a negotiable fee.

They are likely to be quicker in terms of response compared to the conservation authorities. However there is no standard fee for helping you buy the permits. Therefore bargain to the least rate possible

Other Peripheral Operators

The tours and travel business has very many players. These include; Hotels, Lodges, Guest houses, Restaurants, Car hire or Car rental companies, professional guides; among several other players. Now please do not just trust anyone of these with your money to buy you permits because some of them might not even know what permits mean depending on the kind of clients they might have.

Rather confirm either from their website, review or a phone call on whether they can really arrange for you the permits. Luckily some of them might be doing it at no extra cost while others might charge you surcharges and the last category might behave like the tour operators “ask for commission”.

You should make up your mind on which one you are going to go for;

Free of Charge”; there is nothing in the business world that is free of charge, if it is there, then someone might be paying for it. What you are never told in most cases is, you pay for the service under hidden fees but you are told it is free of charge. The best question to ask yourself, Why would someone offer you services for free. If they are genuinely offering it free of charge, then they cannot do it as a routine service!

If you get it free of charge and the rate of the other services is low; it must be a promotion or you might be setting yourself up for disaster. Unless you can confirm that it is not a routine free-service, then be assured that you are paying for it somewhere.

With Surcharges”; these are the kind of people who are often open to you. They do not hide the cost; they simply tell it to you the way it is. These are the people who are actually giving you the service in a manner you can call free of charge.

Since some of these operators buy permits almost on a weekly basis, you only need to give them money and they will buy you the permits. There is no need for transport refunds.

With commission” These are the kinds that make you pay for surcharges and also pay them a transport refund which in most cases they never incurred. Though they might incur transport to get you the permit; they would still have gone to pick their own permits with or without your help.

There you have it. The three ways you can get for yourself gorilla trekking permits for self drive. But which one would I recommend and why!?

I would recommend two;

  1. Get in touch with a company willing to buy you the permits free of charge but make sure it is an authentic company.
  2. Get in touch with a company that only asks for surcharges.

Those two companies can be trusted because one is trying to influence you to give them business by baiting you with a free service while another one is offering you the service at no extra cost. If you find the surcharge rate so high; you can negotiate for a lower rate.

Gorilla Habituation Experience – Bwindi National Park – Uganda

However; if you are the kind that is willing to spend some extra bucks; then you can hire one who requires commission though it is never a guarantee that they will give you exceptional services because you have paid a commission fee.

In case you are considering booking gorilla permits for yourself; please look at “the best time of the year to do a self drive safari”, “the best time of the year to reserve gorilla permits” “the best sector to track gorillas during a self drive safari”