Home Focus Focus: How to go gorilla trekking in bwindi forest Uganda on budget

Focus: How to go gorilla trekking in bwindi forest Uganda on budget

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How to go gorilla trekking in bwindi forest Uganda on budget

Gorilla trekking involves walking through the tropical rain forests of Africa in search of one of the most sought after animal species – the mountain gorillas to watch and interact with them in their natural setting. Gorilla trekking is one of the most outstanding tourism activities in Africa as thousands and thousands of tourists come to Africa to engage in it. The gorillas are very interesting and intelligent animals to watch in their habitats.  They exhibit intuitive social antics that leave the tourists perplexed and thinking the huge primates are humans but only leave a primitive life. They are four species of gorillas but we shall only look at the mountain gorillas that are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda. Bwindi is one of the few destinations in Africa with mountain gorillas and has almost a half of the world population of the mountain gorillas (about 440 individuals out of the exceeding number of 1000).

It is every eco tourist’s dream to explore a Uganda gorilla safari but this comes with no cheap cost due to the alarming rate of the gorilla permit which is at 600$ per person and will increase to 700$ come 1st July 2020. Among the gorilla destinations in Africa, Uganda offers a cheaper gorilla permit. For example Rwanda double the rate of the gorilla permit which is at 1500$. Therefore Uganda (Bwindi) proves to be a cheaper gorilla destination and it could be an ideal option for a tourist who wishes to go gorilla trekking on a budget.

Sometimes we are all yearn to do something special but the price would ward us off because of fear to strain our financial muscle. The good news for tourists who wish to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi on a budget is, there are ways to manipulate or beat around the costs of the expedition to work their way.

For starters make a direct reservation of the gorilla permits.


There is a system at the Uganda wildlife Authority where by a person who wishes to purchase a gorilla permits can make a booking directly. What a tourist needs to do is get on the official website of The Uganda Wildlife Authority get to the reservation column and place his/her booking. It will only cost the gorilla permits fees as opposed to using an agent who will charge for the additional ground handling fees or administrative fees. 

Hire a car or use public means


Instead of going for an all-inclusive safari where all the safari costs are quoted into one package at a go, try to hire a car and drive yourself to Bwindi impenetrable national park. There are very many car rental companies that offer self drive car hire services to travelers who wish to drive to different places in Uganda. These rental companies have cheaper vehicles for hire for example a Toyota Rav4 is normally hired at 40$ per day and Toyota Land cruiser Prado at 70$ per day. All what the tourist needs to do is to refill the fuel tank and drive off to Bwindi. This is a cheaper way than paying a safari driver guide and a more expensive car from a tour company. More to the tourist’s advantage, Uganda is a very small country well mapped on Google and the roads leading to Bwindi impenetrable national park are in good condition and also well stream lined with visible radars. 

Or opt for public means, there are public buses that lead to the southwestern part of Uganda where Bwindi impenetrable national park is situated.  At Kisoro town where the bus stops, there are special hires that traverse travelers direct to various gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi impenetrable national park. By public means, a tourist will use less than USD 50$ but it takes lots of time to reach the national park so a car rental is much better budget option.

Look for cheap accommodation


There are lots of lodges around Bwindi impenetrable national park and these are categorized in three groups per se Luxury, mid-range and budget lodges.  These varies in the services they offer as per the class of people they accommodate. For someone on the budget gorilla trekking safari ensure to look for a less priced lodge.  Take time on the internet and search for budget lodges that can give beatable offers but with good services. In Bwindi impenetrable national park, a tourist can find a lodge at as low as 30$. The bandas and community hostels are the ideal cheap lodges in the area

If a tourist wants a cheaper accommodation option, he/she can also take an extra mile and go for camping. Some lodges have well established camping grounds with tents at a very low price. The tourist may also hire camping gears from car rental companies as these are offered as complementary services to the rental car. The camping gears come at a cost of 10$ per day per person and these comprise of camp tents, mattress, bed cover, cooler box and cooking utilities. With the cooking utilities at hand, a tourist can also save some money on feeding since he/she has an option of cooking other than eating from a restaurant.

Book with a small tour company


Some tourists do not want to go through the tussle and hassle of booking a car and a lodge separately but would love to go gorilla trekking on a budget. These sort of travelers should search and book with a small tour company. The small tour companies or startup companies always have beatable prices for safari since they use the cheap price strategy to penetrable through the market where the big companies have dominated.  The small tour companies are always willing to give a tourist a discount on gorilla trekking safari because every inquiry to them means business.  They always make relentless effort to tie down the clients at any cost even if it means making less profits on a trip. As tourist always exploit that opportunity to go gorilla trekking on a budget.

Take a trip in the low season.


Though nowadays there is no discount on the gorilla permits in low season, this can still work for a tourist to get a gorilla trekking trip on a budget. Remember that the gorilla trekking trip does not only consist of gorilla permits cost, it is a combination of many travel items like accommodation, food and transport. These operatorsof the aforementioned travel utilities always reduce the prices since the demand for them is always low. The months of low season are October, November, March, April and May. So for a tourist who would wish to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi on a budget, take note and plan your safari in those months.

Book a Trip in Advance


This sounds like an old trick but it still works in every industry. Those who buy goods or services beforehand get them at better products at an affordable rate. If a tourist is to go for a gorilla trekking safari, he/she should make a booking one year or six month prior to the time of travel. With time on the tourist’s side, he/she is able to negotiate down with the tour operator to get a fair price on the gorilla trekking safari. With advanced booking, a tourist is also able to identify cheaper tourism auxiliary services (lodges, food and transport) to use on the trip.

When one makes a comparison among the destinations that offer gorilla trekking experience, Uganda is the most commendable one for budget travelers. Uganda is a very safe, has lots of interesting things to see other than the gorillas and also cheaper in terms of food, lodges, drinks and as wells the gorilla permit rates.