How much does a gorilla safari cost?

Gorilla trekking is a once in a lifetime activity and remains on top of many bucket lists. Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost $700 whereas in Rwanda, a permit goes for $1,500. Yes, there are also gorilla permits for $400 in DR Congo. But the reason we mention them last is because gorilla trekking in DR Congo could cost you an arm and a leg. Literally! The eastern part of DR Congo remains unpredictable with continued insecurity in the area. Gorilla permits are expensive compared to other safaris because the forest can only accommodate a small number of gorilla trekkers given the sensitive ecological system of the gorilla forest habitats in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The opportunity to go into the wilderness can only be reserved for a small number of people in a day lest the forest face irreversible destruction. Gorilla trekking has been carried out in good balance for the past decades and the conservation of gorillas is one of the most successful conservation efforts of the last 3 decades. The limited supply of gorilla permits explains the high prices of gorilla trekking safaris.

How much does the gorilla safari cost? It depends on the following factors:

1. Gorilla Permits
We have already mentioned the cost of a gorilla permit in different countries. If one chooses to go trekking in Rwanda it will be more expensive because the permits cost twice as much in Rwanda for no apparent reason.

2. Number of Days spent on Safari

Safari is a Swahili word that means a long journey. Gorilla safari cost will thus depend on how many days you choose for safari. If one chooses a safari with more days so as to see and experience more of Uganda or Rwanda, then the gorilla safari cost generally turns out to be more expensive.

3. Transportation
Guests can either drive to the gorilla forests or fly to airstrips closer to the airstrips. If one chooses to travel by road it is cheaper though it is quite a long drive to southwestern Uganda. However, if one chooses to fly to the airstrips near the gorilla highlands then one should be prepared to pay more.
4. Accommodation Lodges/hotels
Luxury safaris cost more because guests are accommodated in expensive hotels. Lodges in Rwanda like One and Only cost $1200 – $5000 per night. Clouds Lodges in Uganda costs over $1200 a night. There are several lodge options in Uganda that cost $100 – $400 a night.
5. Safari Agents: Abroad vs Local Uganda or Rwanda Agents
Safari has always been offered by agents like Newton, Tarlton and Co Ltd since 1900. Safari was a preserve of a few wealthy elite. A lot has changed since then but some things persist top of which are the safari agents in New York, London Berlin, Los Angeles, Sydney, Amsterdam etc will charge a stiff premium but then employ locals in Uganda or Rwanda to do the safaris. The same safari will generally cost twice as much yet half of the safari cost will not reach safari countries where safari money is crucial in development and in reducing poverty. There are now many reputable agents in both Rwanda and Uganda. Gorilla safari operations by local agents in both countries are a great example of how local agent safari has played a crucial role in reducing poverty and advancing conservation. Always check the Association of Uganda Tour Operators list for top operators and the Rwanda
Buutu Safaris has a gorilla safari for everyone. Check out our various safari options from 3, 4,5,6 Day gorilla safaris to 21 Day Uganda Gorilla excursions.