What makes a Gorilla Tracking Safari Expensive?
What Gives? Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari So Expensive?
Straight Talk from a Gorilla Tour Operator: A Realistic Look at the Cost of a Gorilla Safari in Uganda
Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari so Expensive? What factors contribute to the high cost of a Gorilla Trekking Safari? Where does the money invested in this activity go?
Gorilla Trekking Safaris are renowned for being one of Africa’s most expensive yet sought-after tourism experiences. It is often remarked that a considerable amount of money is required to spend just one hour with the remarkable Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat.
The reasons behind the high cost of Gorilla Trekking Safaris can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the conservation efforts necessary to protect and preserve the endangered Mountain Gorillas significantly contribute to the expenses. The funds generated from trekking permits and fees support conservation initiatives, including anti-poaching measures and habitat preservation.
Furthermore, the limited number of permits issued each day by the national park authorities adds to the exclusivity and cost of the experience. This limitation ensures that the gorillas are not overwhelmed by many visitors, and it helps maintain a sustainable balance between tourism and gorilla welfare.
The money invested in Gorilla Trekking Safaris also supports local communities living around the gorilla habitats. These funds are utilized for community development projects, education, healthcare, and other initiatives to improve the local population’s livelihoods while promoting sustainable tourism practices.
Notably, in over a decade of facilitating Gorilla Safaris, no client has ever expressed regret or dissatisfaction regarding the cost of the experience. On the contrary, many visitors desire to book additional Gorilla Treks or spend more time with the gorilla families, particularly on the more extended and immersive Gorilla Habituation Experience.
In summary, the high cost of Gorilla Trekking Safaris results from the expenses associated with conservation efforts, limited permits, and supporting local communities. However, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who have embarked on these safaris suggests that the investment is worth the incredible and unforgettable encounter with the gentle giants of the forest.
Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari So Expensive? Let us follow the Money.
The cost of a Gorilla Permit in Uganda is $700. How does this compare to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo?
You may exclaim, “Is it really $700 just for the permit?” But when compared to other options, it is pretty reasonable. It is less than half the price of a Gorilla Permit in Rwanda, which is $1,500. Additionally, Uganda’s permit price is only $300 higher than the permit price in Virunga National Park, where unfortunately, encounters with both gorillas and dangerous guerrillas are possible.
Uganda offers the best combination if you are seeking both value for your money and a safe and secure tracking experience.
So why is Gorilla Trekking relatively expensive? In Uganda, the emphasis has been on maintaining an affordable permit price while ensuring a safe and guerrilla-free Gorilla trekking experience, unlike in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By prioritizing safety and affordability, Uganda provides a compelling option for those seeking an unforgettable Gorilla Trekking adventure without compromising security or breaking the bank.
Is the permit price set to keep visitors away?
In the case of Rwanda, the answer is yes. The high permit price of $1,500 was implemented to deter budget and mid-range tourists, aligning with Rwanda’s positioning as a high-end tourism destination. This pricing strategy aimed to attract a more exclusive and affluent clientele. On the other hand, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite a relatively lower permit price of $400, visitors are deterred from Gorilla Trekking due to concerns about insecurity and government advisories.
In contrast, Uganda has taken a differentPriceoach. While the permit price in Uganda is $700, it has made efforts to meet the demand for permits during peak seasons by increasing the number of gorilla families that can be visited. This approach aims to strike a balance between accessibility and sustainability, ensuring visitors can experience Gorilla Trekking without overwhelming the gorilla populations or compromising conservation efforts.
Ultimately, permit pricing strategies vary among countriePriceiven by factors such as tourism positioning, conservation goals, and local circumstances. Each country seeks to find a balance that allows for an optimal visitor experience while safeguarding the long-term well-being of the gorillas and their habitats.
Does the demand for Permits push up the Price?
On May 6, 2017, the Rwanda Development Board made a marketing device that sent shockwaves doubling the Price of Gorilla Permits from $750 to $1,500.
The need for conservation defended the increase. However, increasing the amount given to local communities around the park was ultimately a marketing decision.
Rwanda had been the leader in gorilla tourism, and there was a demand for permits in the country, but the market did not double the price of tickets. It was a marketing move that turned the Gorilla Trekking Industry upside down by becoming a high-end gorilla safari destination.
The permit price increase led to what we called “the great Gorilla Trekker migration to affordable Uganda. Uganda became the unintended benefactor of Rwanda’s marketing decision.
Uganda resisted the temptation to raise its Price of permits. In July 2020, Uganda raised its permit price by a modest $100 to the present $700, which is in effect until the end of June 2024. The permit price was not raised in July 2022 to keep Gorilla Trekking in Uganda affordable.
Where does the Gorilla Permit Money go in Uganda?
The bulk of your permit money goes to mountain gorilla conservation. Gorilla Tourism in Uganda returns to Walter Baumgärtel–The Father of Gorilla Tourism in the country, in the late 1950s. It was revived by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in 1993 when people began to track cash-paying for gorilla conservation until now.
Today, nearly 70% of the $700 directly goes to gorilla conservation, and it also pays the salaries of the staff and rangers. The slogan of UWA is “conserving for future generations.” That is precisely what is happening, and the number of gorillas is increasing yearly. 2020 brought an unprecedented baby boom in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Gorilla Conservation includes Habitat preservation. Without Gorilla tourism, there would be no more forests. Buffer zones have been created around the parks. The permit also pays for poacher patrols. They find the snares intended to catch an antelope, which can kill gorillas.
The local communities used to be able to access the forests for firewood to gather things they needed to sustain themselves, including hunting antelopes for meat. The Batwa, the original people of the forest, became conservation refugees, and they have benefited from gorilla tourism and are allowed to return to the woods, guiding tourists.
Community support includes building much-needed community infrastructure and educating people about the value of gorillas. Funds are also used to pay for crop damage from gorillas raids into the gardens of those near the parks.
Through community supPrice community members participate in Gorilla Conservation, making it a solution where everyone benefits.
Why is a Gorilla Tracking Safari So Expensive?
The cost of a Gorilla Tracking Safari beyond the Gorilla Permits
The Cost of Lodges that are Included in a Safari:
Lodges that catPrice trekkers in or near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park cost more per night than lodges elsewhere in Uganda.
The cost of lodges is higher than a full-board hotel would cost you elsewhere in most parts of the world. There are sound reasons for that, and it costs a lot more to run a remote lodge in the wilderness than in the towns of Europe, the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.
Building a lodge in the wilderness is very expensive. Beyond that, the Price goes up because of the lack of infrastructure, complicated logistics, and a high staff-to-guest ratio. There are the added security costs and electricity, which come from an expensive solar system and water.
Activities beyond Gorilla Trekking:
Your gorilla safari will go up in price if you include extra activities in your Safari, such as hikes, cultural visits, golden monkey trekking, volcano climbing, birding, or a day to relax and chill out after the trek.
The Services of a Ugandan Tour Operator:
Using a Ugandan tour operator for your encounter with the forest’s gentle giants is economical, safe, and sure. The tour operator provides the transport, an experienced driver-guide, and knows all the ins and outs of trekking, from permits to which lodge to use.
Using a local tour operator rather than an agency in your country will save you from fifteen to twenty percent on the safari cost. Our markup is ten percent flat on top of the safari cost, and the permit price is not figured in the calculation.
If you want peace of mind about your Safari, go local. Go with us, who brings over a decade of experience taking clients on their once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
Sustainable Gorilla Tourism in Uganda
The Ugandan Tourism Community is committed to having minimal impact on the environment, the mountain gorillas, and the local culture whPriceenerating training for future employment for local people. Sustainable gorilla tourism ensures that development is a positive experience for the communities, lodges, hotels, cultural art, and the gorilla trekkersPriceselves.
Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari So Expensive? Is Gorilla tracking worth every US, Canadian, Australian Dollar, Pound, Euro, Ruble, and Randa? You cannot find it in any zoo, only in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo wild. Enjoy your time with the Gentle Giants of the forest.
The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Advantage:
Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari So Expensive?
The reasons why Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is safe and affordable for most.
- $700 Gorilla Permit Price: A gorilla Safari in Uganda costs half the price in neighboring Rwanda without compromising the quality of the experience.
- Gorilla Safaris at Half the Price or Less: A Gorilla Trekking Safari that includes midrange or Luxury Lodging will usually be half the price or less of what the same Safari would cost you in high-end Rwanda.
- More Gorilla Permits: Uganda has half of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The country has more Habituated (used to Humans) Gorilla Families, meaning Uganda has the most available permits for Gorilla Trekking.
- Safe-Secure Guerrilla-Free Trekking: Uganda is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination with no guerrilla activities in the last 20 years.
Why is a Gorilla Trekking Safari So Expensive? Now that you have seen where the money goes, you might have changed your mind and now see that Gorilla Trekking is well worth the cost.