DISCOUNTED GORILLA TREKKING PERMITS IN APRIL, MAY & NOVEMBER
Mountain gorilla trekking permits are a must have for tourists before they are allowed to view these rear primates. It should be noted that the Uganda Wildlife Authority instructed all the tour operators and the various national parks’ authorities to restrict clients without permits from seeing the gorillas and even accessing the parks where they live. It is this reason that every tourist must obtain one before going for the activity. This is the same case with Rwanda. No one in Rwanda can be allowed to track the gorillas without a permit.
In Uganda, mountain gorilla tracking permits cost USD650 and this is per person per day. This is quite a fair price when compared to Rwanda where they charge USD750 per person per day. The price is Uganda is standard and no bargaining allowed. There some clients who insist that they should be allowed to negotiate for a good price for the permits and in some cases, they try to contact UWA directly but all in vain. The prices set are standard and no one can be granted a discount even though he/she bargains. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority body came up with a standard discount on the gorilla permits. This only applies for certain months which referred to as “low season”. This is the season when the tourism industry of Uganda is not booming as it normally does. In most European countries, it’s when the winter season comes and people really travel during this time. These months include;- April, May and November and the gorilla trekking permits at this time costs USD450.This means that a discount of USD200 is applied and clients can get the permits cheaply.
Although there is this discount during the stated months, the number of tourists who come to Uganda for gorilla trekking is still low and this is attributed to the climatic changes in both Uganda and the European countries which do not favor traveling. In Uganda, it’s always a wet season making it a bit hard to access certain tourist destinations due to the muddy roads. In most foreign countries (European), its winter season and people don’t prefer traveling during this time. It’s in summer season that most of them yearn to travel and that’s the time when Uganda receives the highest number of visitors.
According to the prominent tourism experts in Uganda, cutting the prices for the gorilla tracking permits is the only reason why Uganda receives some clients during the low season. They say that some tourists especially the budget and midrange tourist prefer coming for gorilla trekking during this season as a way of reducing the costs. They find it cheaper to travel during the low season than the peak season and love to save their money.
Therefore, the whole process of discounting the gorilla trekking permits is a marketing tool aimed at attracted those people who have little money but wish to view the primates in Uganda. Although the number is small but it’s better than nothing and the country still gets some revenue and the various tour companies also benefit because if this wasn’t the case, then they would have no business during those three months.