Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Activity in Africa

Posted by on November 13, 2018

Gorilla Trekking on The Cheap? – There is no such Thing

The 1,500 USD Permits in Rwanda make Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Activity in Africa


The Huffington Post Published an Article online entitled “Gorilla Trekking on the Cheap.” A Ugandan Tour Operator promotes “Cheap Gorilla Safari.”  Here is the Reality – “The 1,500 USD Permits in Rwanda make Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Activity in Africa.”  There is nothing Cheap about Gorilla Trekking, it is the Rolls Royce of African Tourism – Cheap? 

Remember the Yugo- the cheapest and most unreliable car in the world during its time. Gorilla Trekking was cheap when Walter Baumgaertel took visitors to his Traveller’s Rest Hotel in Kisoro-Uganda in the `1950’s but today – the answer is no.

Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Activity in Africa – Expensive, yes, but where else can you see them except on a National Geographic, or BBC Wild TV Program, there are no Mountain Gorillas in a Zoo around the world, they do not survive in Captivity.  Mountain Gorillas, the largest Gorillas in the World, are only found in the Wild of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They can be Safely tracked in Stable & Secure Uganda and Rwanda.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking is on the Bucket List of many around the world who want to have the personal Gorilla Encounter in the heart of Africa where less than 900 of the Gentle Giants are found and a substantial amount of the Permit money contributes to the conservation of Mountain Gorillas plus aids the surrounding communities with infrastructure projects that benefit all.

  • Rwanda’s 1 hour with a Gorilla Family Permit (1,500 USD) costs you 25 USD per minute
  • Uganda’s 1 hour with a Gorilla Family Permit (600 USD) costs you 10 USD per minute
  • Uganda’s 4 hours with a Gorilla Family Permit (1,500 USD) costs you 6.25 USD per minute

2017 – Rwanda establishes itself as an Upmarket Safari Destination:


 May 7 – 2017 Rwanda turned the Gorilla Trekking Industry upside down and rolled the dice entering the unknown (with advice from its marketing Consultants) by doubling the Gorilla Permit Permits from 750 USD to 1,500 USD. Once again the little David of the East African Union picked a rock and slung it out at imaginary Goliath of African Tourism establishing itself as a one of kind upmarket tourism destination which is their marketing strategy for Remarkable Rwanda for the next few years, this in line with the exclusive lodges that exist or are being built in the country.

Even Rwandan operators were in a state of shock and disbelief.  Travel Communities reacted, even protested and wanted the Rwandan Development Board to rescind their decision.  The much esteemed Travel Weekly wrote that moderate and budget travelers would go to Uganda to Trek Gorillas, while well to do Visitors would make up the loss.

Today the 1,500 USD Permits in Rwanda makes Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Experience in Africa.  Add to the 1,500 USD two nights of lodging, ground transport, tips and drinks which can be from Hundreds to literally a few thousand.

If 1,500 is not enough, You can spend more, for 15,000 USD on a Private, Exclusive Gorilla Trek.  You can have a Gorilla Family to yourself for one hour along with your family or friends.  Just you and the Gorillas plus Rangers and porters and what the South African Blogger, the Fynbo Gu wrote “a Truckload of Cash.

Rwanda is taking a road less traveled – focusing on luxury – upmarket Travelers and they just might succeed


Uganda, where Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Activity in Africa becomes more affordable for most with 600 USD Permits


 Fly into Kigali Rwanda, the port of Entry not only to Remarkable Rwanda but the gateway to Southwest Uganda with its two Gorilla Parks, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Fores where you save 900 USD on a Gorilla Permit since Uganda has not increased its Permit Prices but kept them at 600 USD as Rwanda doubled its permit prices to 1,500 USD.

Gorilla Trekking – the most Expensive Tourist Experience in Africa becomes more affordable in Uganda where your Gorilla Dollars stretch a bit more with lower permit cost and lodging that especially in the luxury category is considerably lower in price by hundreds of dollars per day.

Budget, Mid-Range, and many Upmarket Travelers are choosing to come to Uganda for the second most Expensive one-day Tourist Experience in Africa – Gorilla Trekking at 600 USD Permit Prices. The Discounted 450 USD Gorilla Permits during April, May, November have been discontinued since Uganda is receiving enough of a boost by being 900 USD lower for Permits than Rwanda.

Uganda has its own exclusive plus when it comes to the Mountain Gorillas and that is the one-of-a-kind Gorilla Habituation Experience where you are for 4 hours with a Gorilla Family on an all-day Gorilla Trek.  An experience that has become very popular in the short time of its existence because Trekkers spend more time with a Gorilla Family and there are fewer Trackers since only 4 Visitors are allowed to participate instead of 8.

Uganda has chosen to market a more affordable Gorilla Trekking  – including increased Permit availability 


 Gorilla Trekking – may be the most Expensive Tourist Experience in Africa but that does not stop Gorilla Trekkers from coming to Rwanda and Uganda where Gorilla Trekking is safe and secure.  We see that with our own Clients where there has been a very noticeable increase in Gorilla Trekking Safaris and Safaris that include the Gorilla Habituation Experience.

We also have noticed that Gorilla Trekkers want more, more than one hour with the Gentle Giants of the Forest, or even the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience.  While Gorilla Trekking Safaris have seen no downturn for us, we have seen an increase of Visitors wanting to include Chimpanzee Trekking or the all-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience. 

Gorilla Trekking on the Cheap -as you can see that is a myth – it does not matter whether you are bunking in a dorm while trekking, there is still the permit cost that makes Gorilla Trekking one of the most expensive experiences in Africa. Mountain Gorilla Trekking is for most, a once in a lifetime investment in yourself as you experience the incredible close-up encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.