For up to five years, each gorilla group has undergone an extremely delicate process (Habituation) which has gradually accustomed them used to the presence of humans, allowing a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild. However, the gorillas are by no means tame! A typical gorilla tracking or habituation in Uganda is accompanied by an experienced guide, every trek starts with a pre-departure brief at the tracking point to equip you with information about ‘gorilla etiquette’.
Gorilla tracking is a year-round activity, whatever the weather. Tracking commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8:30am. The gorillas cover large distances overnight, and they are never constantly in one area. The guides use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts. For this reason, one group cannot be said to be easier to track than another.
During a meeting with the members of the Association of Tour Operators in Uganda on 6th August 2019, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) broke the news to the members that the tariff for gorilla tracking in Mgahinga and Bwindi will be raised from USD $600 to USD $700 beginning 1st July 2020.
In-spite the high cost of gorilla permits in Rwanda which is at USD $1,500, Uganda has maintained a low rate by increasing its permits by only USD $100 making it remain at peak demand. In a letter dated 7th August 2019 addressed to the Tourism Stakeholders new products, rates and clarity on fines of some UWA products and services were introduced.
Here is the the letter which show some of the changes made by UWA.