Gorilla Tour cost inclusions and Exclusions

Inclusions in a gorilla safari cost

It’s wise to understand the inclusions and exclusions in a gorilla tour cost before confirming any trip.  What is excluded and included in a gorilla tour quite is one of the frequently asked questions by most travelers booking gorilla safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Upon any confirmation of any gorilla safari package, a traveler is given a quote by the contacted travel operator. With no doubt, a gorilla tour quote is often expensive compared to other wildlife experiences.  In most cases, the total cost of a gorilla safari is normally huge compared to other wildlife experiences but the thrilling feeling that comes with a close encounter with gorillas is worth the penny. African Jungle Adventures brings you detailed inclusions and exclusions of gorilla tour cost in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo,

Gorilla safari in Mgahinga National park Uganda

Gorilla safari in Mgahinga National park Uganda

  • Mountain gorilla permit

The number one inclusion in your gorilla safari cost is the gorilla permit. Depending on which country you will be trekking gorillas from, you must have a gorilla permit to allow you visit and interact with these endangered species. In Rwanda, a single gorilla permit cots $1500 paid by all travelers while in Congo, a gorilla permit costs $450 for foreigners and $400 for nationals. In Uganda, a single gorilla permit costs $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for Ugandans and east African citizens. Upon booking, travel operators must ensure gorilla permits are available on a travelers desired date.

  • Park Entrance Fees

More so, your gorilla safari quite entails park entrance fee to the respective gorilla park. Unlike in savannah parks where travelers are asked to pay park entrance fees, clients visiting gorilla parks are not asked to pay entrance fees. The entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks is inclusive in the gorilla safari quote.

  • Conservation fee

Your gorilla safari quote will also entail conservation fee in the respective gorilla national park. The conservation fee is majorly to facilitate personnel who ensure the well-being of the endangered mountain gorillas in the jungle. These people include the gorilla doctors, conservationists, park rangers, tourism police and park wardens who together ensure safety and well-being of the endangered mountain gorillas hence promoting sustainable gorilla safaris in Africa.

  • Full-time English speaking guide

Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by a professional driver guide from African Jungle Adventures. A traveler will not pay the driver guide unless if he or she wants to tip. Therefore, the driver guide will be paid by the company part of the money paid by a client. A driver guide is given a daily allowance depending on the number of days on a trip. The amount of a driver guide’s allowance varies between companies.

  • Accommodation and meals

Unless you are doing a private tour or self drive in Uganda, your safari quote also entails accommodation and meals throughout the trip. Various budget, midrange and luxury lodges and hotels have been established in all gorilla national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you book through African Jungle Adventures, we reserve the best accommodation services for you at negotiated prices. The cost of accommodation services depends on the standard on the lodge and the quality of services offered. However, travelers are assured that both categories of gorilla lodges in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo offer excellent food and sleeping services.

Bisate Lodge Rwanda

Bisate Lodge – Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

  • Transport to and from the airport

Your gorilla safari quote also entails transport to and from the airport or the hotel. The driver guide will pick you up on the starting day and drop you off at the end of the tour without asking you for transport money. We guarantee you safe and comfortable transfers in our 4X4 safari vehicle.

Other inclusions in a gorilla safari quote include miscellaneous, bottled drinking water and government taxes.

Exclusions in a gorilla tour cost

The following are exclusions in your gorilla safari cost in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These include:

  • International flights and Visa fees

The cost of your international flight to your desired gorilla country is not inclusive in the permit cost. You will therefore pay for your flight separately in addition to your gorilla sari quote. Similarly, travelers pay for their Visa fees in the respective countries. If you are visiting East Africa, applying for an East African Visa which allow you to move freely in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is best option.

  • Alcoholic beverages

Premium and alcoholic beverages are also not inclusive in your gorilla safari quote. Travelers are only served with soft drinks free of charge to accompany food in all lodges and hotels. Travelers are therefore reminded to bring extra income for the alcoholic beverages in case they want to take some.

  • Driver/guide tip

Tips are also not inclusive in your gorilla safari quote. Whereas its not mandatory, tipping on a safari is highly recommended. The amount to tip is the choice of a traveler depending on the quality of services he/she will have received from the driver guide. Tipping is a sign of appreciation which encourage service providers in this case driver guide to work harder and better.

  • Porter’s fee

If you hire a porter, you will pay him/her separate from the gorilla tour quote. Porters are local people who help to carry traveler’s baggage to and from gorilla trekking, Hiring a porter costs between $15 to $20 dollars for a full day.

  • Extra activities not in the itinerary

A traveler will also pay for any extra activity he/she adds in the itinerary.

Conclusively therefore, in-depth understanding of gorilla safari inclusions and exclusions is advisable for all travelers visiting for gorilla safaris in Africa.


Closure of Tourism in Virunga National Park Congo 2018

Virunga national park has for years been battling with political strife and civil insurgencies and hostility from resident rebel groups in the forest. However with the recent peace and calmness in the region, tourism had gradually picked up and the park was flourishing once again in many years. However the kidnappings of May 11th posed yet another great state of insecurity towards travelers as never before, making it the first ever direct attack targeting the tourists.

Virunga National Park

In a similar manner, 6 park rangers were robbed of their lives while on duty in the park’s most remote section when they fell in an ambush of purported militia rebels, known as Mai Mai who are known to reside in this forest.

The park authorities have then considered suspending and halting all tourism activities in Virunga national park following the 11th May kidnap of 2 British tourists, driver and the park ranger who was later killed.

The Virunga park authorities announced the indefinite suspension 3 days later after release of the tourists on 15th May 2018; however reports on when the park will reopen are still undisclosed as security conditions still remain fragile.

The kidnaps took place on Friday 11th May 2018 in the Nyiragongo territory, north of Goma and the female ranger aged 25 was shot and she died shortly after admission in a nearby hospital.

The U.S State Department listed D.R. Congo at Level 3 on their four – level travel advisory list, advising American travelers to “reconsider travel” to the central African country due to “crime and civil unrest”.

Gorilla Family Virunga Park

All travelers who had booked their trips to Virunga national park are urged to get in touch with their booking agents and discuss alternative journey or cancellation will full refund. Many travel agencies have already offered refunds to clients who considered cancellation, while others are offering alternative trips to the neighboring Uganda and Rwanda for gorilla trekking and wildlife tours.

This unexpected closure removes Virunga conservation area, one of Africa’s premier and oldest treasures from the travelers’ list. In 2014, its southern section was the first to be reopened to travelers, however security has never been fully guaranteed as rebels have continuously showed up on different occasions.

Groups of armed militia known as Mai-Mai still operate in the park’s interior, exploiting its water bodies, forests, and wildlife. Five rangers and their driver were killed in a single attack by these militia groups earlier this year in April.

Virunga National Park, also known as Parc national des Virunga is a popular protected area and Africa’s oldest and largest national park, which covers 3,000 miles, located in the Virunga region and home to an extended chain of 8 mountains spanning Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo. This park is a significant conservation area which shelters more than a quarter of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas, buffaloes, elephants and abundant bird-life.

Sliverback Gorilla in Virunga Park – DRC

Virunga national park has seen a rise in her visitor population since 2004, and for 4 years since it was reopened the numbers have been growing magically from almost none to 100,000 last year.

As a result, the park now funds its annual running costs typically from tourism revenues which amount to $10m and this covers 6 aircraft, a rapid-reaction force, 800 rangers, intelligence operation, 24 hour operation Centre and canine unit.

Travel risks in Virunga national park.

In the recent past, Virunga national park had gained significant popularity and stability, but resistance and threats posed majorly by poachers and militia groups whose target are park rangers have failed to seize.

For the last 20 years, a total 170 rangers have lost their lives in the hands of either militia groups or by poachers.

Currently, poachers are still active in the park, charcoal industry who felly trees and those interested in oil exploration.

Travelers remain vulnerable if moving without escorted transportation in region of Goma and other parts of Eastern D.R. Congo and the “risk of injury and kidnap as a result of armed groups and criminal activity remains high”.