Great Lakes Safaris

Great Lakes Safaris

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I want to go and see gorillas in October 2012. Is Rwanda or Uganda best , or where? Is it too late? Who do I go through? I definitely want to go but will it be $750US per person for a permit?

By:
Alex
On:
04 May 2012

Answers from 11 Atta Members

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Steppes Travel Steppes Travel
Hi Alex, go to the Congo Key Selling Points • Odzala had less than 50 tourists in 2011 • Part of the world's second largest expanse of tropical rainforest • Has Africa's densest population of Western lowland gorillas • 6 habituated groups of Western lowland gorilla in a 5km by 5km area • Highest number (11) of diurnal primates of any forest block in central Africa • Central Africa's highest density of chimpanzees • Significant populations of forest elephant • Altitude is low & the terrain not mountainous making for easy access. Altitude in the Ngaga area varies between 450 - 550 mts. (highest point in Congo Mt.Berongou only 903 mts) • No gorilla permits (U$750 elsewhere) needed from Illona - Steppes Travel www.steppestravel.co.uk

On: 04 May 2012

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Premier Safaris Premier Safaris
Dear Alex, Both Uganda and Rwanda are fabulous for gorilla trekking. Rwanda is generally considered and easier trek, whilst Uganda has more to offer the visitor in terms of National Parks after or before a gorilla trek. The price for the gorilla permits in Rwanda are $750, whilst currently Uganda the gorilla permit prices are $500. That said gorilla permits are a premium and can be difficult to get hold of as they are often sold out way in advance. October is a a good time, and preferably the end of October as then the high season is coming to an end. My opinion would be that if you wish just to see gorillas then i would suggest a 3/4 day excursion to Rwanda, however if you wish for a more "complete" longer excursion I would then suggest Uganda, adding in safaris and chimpanzee trekking too. Hope this is of help Regards Jeremy Otter

On: 04 May 2012

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Dear Alex, Gorillas can be tracked in both Uganda and Rwanda and chances of seeing them are equal in both countries (99%). However, keep in mind that the landscape in Rwanda is more flat and open, while in Uganda you generally have to cut your way through the impenetrable forest and the tracking might be more challenging, depending on the location of the gorillas that day. I would say that the experience in Uganda is be more authentic and rewarding though. Gorilla permits in Uganda are USD 500 per person. In Rwanda the permit fee will increase to USD 750 from 1st June, but until 31st May the permits are still sold at the original price of USD 500. You are still in time to buy gorilla permits and we would be happy to assist you with this. For any questions or enquiries feel free to contact me. Kind regards, Miranda Bekkers Marketing Consultant GREAT LAKES SAFARIS LTD. info@safari-uganda.com www.safari-uganda.com

On: 04 May 2012

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Hi Alex, October 2012 is certainly not too late! October is a great season to visit either country as it's a quieter season which means much more flexibility in the availability of gorilla permits. Rwanda is generally considered to be an easier gorilla track in terms of the length of time spent hiking and the steepness of the terrain. It is also very suitable for shorter safaris as the park is only 2.5 hours drive from the airport. The draw back is that if you book after the 1st June 2012 your permit will cost US$750. You still have time to book before then though and benefit from the US$500 price, the price only goes up at 1st June 2012. Uganda is generally a more adventurous tracking experience, with steeper terrain and gorilla families sometimes living deep into the forest. The Bwindi forest can be reached in 5 hours drive from Kigali airport in Rwanda, however with new scheduled flights from Entebbe airport it can also be accessed from there. Uganda gorilla permits are remaining at US$500 regardless of when you book. If you have more time to spend then Uganda has many other higlights such as game in Queen Elizabeth and chimps in Kyambura Gorge or Kibale Forest. I hope this is helpful information. For more information, itineraries and ideas on accommodation options see www.volcanoessafaris.com.

On: 04 May 2012

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Pulse Africa Pulse Africa
Hi there. If you book and pay for your permit to see gorillas in Uganda you will pay $500.00 per person. After June 1st it goes up to $750.00. If you choose Uganda the price will be $500.00 as there is no planned increase there yet. As for being too late, if you can be flexible with your dates, we may well be able to get a permit for you to see the gorillas, depending how many permits you require. October is a lovely month to visit both countries; we can help you with both countries; in fact a number of our clients choose to visit both Rwanda and Uganda if they have the time - both countries having other fabulous things to see/do as well as gorillas. Kind regards Sandy Wood, Pulse Africa

On: 04 May 2012

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Sanctuary Retreats Sanctuary Retreats
Dear Alex, Good news is it is not too late to book this trip. At this point the gorilla permits for Rwanda are US$750.00 where as in Uganda they are still US$500.00. However, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, has an offer available saving you US$150 on the price of your gorilla tracking permit meaning you will only pay US$350.00 per permit when you stay a minimum of 3 nights. The offer is valid for bookings between 21 June - 31 October and 16 - 31 December 2012 and cant be combined with any other offer. You will be able to book this offer through your preferred Tour Operater. As of 15 June 2012 there will also be new scheduled flights available from Entebbe Airport to Kihihi Aitsrip which is 30km away from the camp. I hope this meets your expectations. Yolandi Scanes Sanctuary Retreats

On: 04 May 2012

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The Far Horizons The Far Horizons
Dear Alex It's certainly not too late. Permits do book out in advance but October is a less over-subscribed month and there are still permits available for both countries. Rwanda, Uganda and DRC are the ONLY places to track Mountain Gorillas. The gorillas in Congo Brazzaville are Lowland Gorillas - still an amazing experience but a slightly different species. Rwanda increases to $750 after 1st June - but anything booked and paid before then gets the permit at the old rate of $500 as long as it's for tracking before the end of the year. You don't have to pay for the whole safari by then - just wire the money to cover the permit purchase and that can be secured at the cheaper rate - as long as all this is done with time to complete the purchase in Rwanda before 31st May. Uganda is staying at $500 for now. However, bear in mind that there are often increased transport costs to get to the Ugandan gorillas (ironically it's sometimes cheaper to fly in from Kigali and cross the border overland) and as my colleagues above have pointed out, there is a more affordable flight option starting to Bwindi in June which should help ease the pocket and the journey time. In terms of differences between tracking the gorillas in both countries - there are plenty - which is why so many clients like to track in both Uganda and Rwanda. Uganda's gorillas at at a lower altitude, but the terrain is generally steeper and sometimes thicker forest to plough through en route to your hour with the gorillas. Groups get allocated in advance - it's best to get permits with a Buhoma based group or the groups at Nkuringo and Rushaga. The groups at Ruhija, whilst providing great tracking, require a very early start if, like most people, you will be staying in Buhoma. Rwanda gorillas are at a higher altitude - but with generally gentler slopes. Plus they get groups allocated on the day - so if you're exhausted from some earlier safari exertions, or just don't fancy going 8 hrs up a mountain, you can generally make sure you end up in a closer located group. Overland journey time is about 2 and a half to 3 hrs from Kigali to Rwanda Gorillas and 10-12 hours (usually broken up with a night in Lake Mburo NP or replaced with a flight) to Bwindi from Kampala/Entebbe in Uganda. There are plenty of quality accommodation options available in every location - but the recommendation would depend on your preference and budget. Good luck with your safari planning, Anne-Marie Weeden Marketing Manager The Far Horizons

On: 04 May 2012

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The Safari Company The Safari Company
Hello Alex, Thank you for your question regarding a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda or Uganda. Seeing gorillas is the same experience in Rwanda and Uganda. However in Uganda compared to Rwanda it is hard, the forest is thicker, the terrain is steeper and generally takes longer but does not diminish the experience for the guests – roughly it takes 3 to 5 hours to see the Gorillas in Rwanda compared to 1 to 8 hours in Uganda – far more unpredictable I would say. Gorilla tracking groups are allocated to guests at the time of buying the permits. One has little flexibility in choosing their preferred family of course depending on availability with any prior guarantee. Because Bwindi is bigger, gorilla tracking does not all start at the same place as in Rwanda – there are different start points in the South and in the North of Bwindi and one usually tracks the gorilla families resident in the area near the lodge they are staying. For gorilla tracking from Uganda, we prefer to do the South of Bwindi as it is more accessible – the experience, North or South, is essentially the same, neither lesser nor better. If you are a USA passport holder, you do not require a Visa to enter Rwanda. They require a Visa to enter Uganda and this can be obtained the port of entry From 1st June 2012, gorilla permits in Rwanda will charged at US$750 each and non-refundable. But if we purchase before 1st June, we shall pay US$500. We are more than happy to send you a quote once you've finalised your travel arrangements. Many thanks!! Warm regards, Richard Richard Muthaka Safari Specialist P.O. Box 1460, 00502 – Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. Personal mobile: +254 (0) 733 222422 Office mobile: +254 (0) 717 296390 Office landline / fax: +254 (0) 20 3882868 US Toll free: 1-855-90k-enya Skype: the.safaris.company2 safaris2@thesafaricoltd.com www.thesafaricoltd.com PASSIONATE ABOUT AFRICA Travel Anywhere in Africa with us…

On: 07 May 2012

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The Safari Company The Safari Company
Hello Alex, Thank you for your question regarding a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda or Uganda. Seeing gorillas is the same experience in Rwanda and Uganda. However in Uganda compared to Rwanda it is hard, the forest is thicker, the terrain is steeper and generally takes longer but does not diminish the experience for the guests – roughly it takes 3 to 5 hours to see the Gorillas in Rwanda compared to 1 to 8 hours in Uganda – far more unpredictable I would say. Gorilla tracking groups are allocated to guests at the time of buying the permits. One has little flexibility in choosing their preferred family of course depending on availability with any prior guarantee. Because Bwindi is bigger, gorilla tracking does not all start at the same place as in Rwanda – there are different start points in the South and in the North of Bwindi and one usually tracks the gorilla families resident in the area near the lodge they are staying. For gorilla tracking from Uganda, we prefer to do the South of Bwindi as it is more accessible – the experience, North or South, is essentially the same, neither lesser nor better. If you are a USA passport holder, you do not require a Visa to enter Rwanda. They require a Visa to enter Uganda and this can be obtained the port of entry From 1st June 2012, gorilla permits in Rwanda will charged at US$750 each and non-refundable. But if we purchase before 1st June, we shall pay US$500. We are more than happy to send you a quote once you've finalised your travel arrangements. Many thanks!! Warm regards, Richard Richard Muthaka Safari Specialist P.O. Box 1460, 00502 – Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. Personal mobile: +254 (0) 733 222422 Office mobile: +254 (0) 717 296390 Office landline / fax: +254 (0) 20 3882868 US Toll free: 1-855-90k-enya Skype: the.safaris.company2 safaris2@thesafaricoltd.com www.thesafaricoltd.com PASSIONATE ABOUT AFRICA Travel Anywhere in Africa with us…

On: 07 May 2012

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Go2africa.com Go2africa.com
Hi Alex Both Rwanda and Uganda are excellent for Gorilla trekking however are usually proposed depending on travellers flexibility. Rwanda is best for short trips, 4 Days average when you spend 1 night in Kigali before / and or after your 2 night stay at the Volcanoes National Park. Uganda is more diverse in terms of wildlife and therefore you can travel for a longer period of time, for a similar price taking in a wildlife and primate experience. Rwanda is the more expensive location of the two with Gorilla Permits costing US $ 750 from 01 June onwards, whereas Uganda have not increased their permit's as yet and are currently set at US $ 500 for the year for 1 hour with the Gorillas. October is still a great time to visit and permits are available for many of the Gorilla families. I suggest you start planning your trip now in order to guarantee a permit for the time period you wish to travel. There are a number of reliable travel agents who use only tried and tested operators in both Rwanda and Uganda. Best of luck! It is an incredible experience, I was visiting Uganda in May 2011 and it is still by far one of the best places in Africa I have visited!

On: 08 May 2012

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Rickshaw Travels Rickshaw Travels
Hi Alex - as mentioned, both Rwanda and Uganda are home to Mountain Gorillas. In Rwanda the hike is easier and you are guaranteed to spot the family of Gorillas you are assigned. We at Rickshaw Travels can arrange all the details for your trek. After June 2012, the permit price at Volcanoes Park increases to US $750 per person. Won't bog you with more details as our other members have already done that.

On: 08 May 2012