Why is gorilla trekking so expensive? : Gorilla trekking is the top-most thought after activity on any African safari. This is because they are not common and they’re biggest apes on earth making them so attractive to visit. Gorillas can only be found in Africa and they are in countries like Uganda, Cameroon, Rwanda, Angola, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and many others. However, the most thought sub species of gorillas is the mountain gorillas dwelling in the Virunga Mountains that are located along the Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo border.

Different national parks are located in this region, including Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks in Uganda, Virunga national park in DR Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. This is where tourists can trek the rare endangered mountain gorillas since different factors enable them to survive and inhabit this area. Among others are the cold environment since they have long fur, they also get their name from the mountainous areas that host them.

There is also another sub-species, the Eastern lowland gorillas that are found in Kahuzi-Biega national park in DR Congo. These are unique and different from the mountain gorillas in terms of size, appearance and weight. These subspecies of gorillas get their name from low land areas where they live, between the two mountains of Kahuzi and Biega in eastern D.R. Congo. They are so interesting to watch and most tourists visiting DR Congo add Kahuzi-Biega national park on their travel plan to make a full gorilla trekking safari in Africa.

Gorilla trekking is an experience where visitors spend a maximum of an hour in the presence of gorillas while learning their behaviors and characters but the overall experience can take between 2 to 5 hours while in the jungle and this depends on where the gorilla group trekked is located. Therefore, some gorilla families are located in far distant areas whereas others are located near the park offices where briefing sessions take place.

How much are gorilla permits?

Gorilla trekking permit fees differ depending on the country visited and fees are as follows;

Uganda; which has half of the population for mountain gorillas, trekking permits go for USD700, USD600 and UGX 250000 for foreign nonresidents, foreign residents and east African citizens respectively.

Rwanda; the gorilla trekking permits go for USD1500 and this includes all nationalities while for D.R. Congo, gorilla permits go for USD400 for foreigners and USD200 for residents. Gorilla permit price is high but demand for visiting gorillas is also high, implying that the economics law of demand which states that ‘the high the demand, the higher the price’.

There is also high need for funding towards their protection and conservation. This ranges from research funding, payment of workers like rangers.

In addition, gorilla permit fees are expensive because apparently governments want to reduce the number of visitors such that their habitats remain unspoilt hence sustainable tourism. All the above reasons have made gorilla trekking permits to be expensive.

Best time to trek gorillas in Africa.

Africa is a wonderful and amazing continent and gorilla safaris normally take place in East Africa. These countries have friendly climate throughout the whole year and therefore one can trek gorillas any month of their choice.

These countries experience two seasons, rainy and dry. From March to May and October to November, there is heavy rainfall. This makes the trails impassable due to mud than in the dry season which occurs from December to February and June to September.

But in the rainy seasons, gorillas tend not to move since they have abundant food and in the dry season, gorillas move to distant areas while searching for food.

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