Why is gorilla trekking so expensive?
Gorilla trekking is expensive because mountain gorillas are endangered and because of that many people want to see them. The high numbers of tourists interested in seeing them has forced authorities to raise the price of permits. The higher the demand, the higher the price. But demand is not the only explanation. There is need for funds to protect them which involves significant investments in research, rangers, scientists and this requires money. Part of the money collected from gorilla permits are channeled towards the protection of these majestic primates. To be more specific, 15% of the money collected goes to the government, 10% to the local communities and 75% to gorilla conservation. It is important to also note that if the prices for permits were reduced considerably, there is a likelihood that there would be too many visitors to the parks hence affecting the overall wellbeing of the few habituated gorilla groups. Gorilla trekking is possible only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, mountain gorillas can be tracked in Mgahinga and Bwindi National Park.
It is important to note that the price of gorilla permits is just a fraction of the overall cost of gorilla trekking. You still have to consider transportation, accommodation, food, VISAs, air tickets, packing lists, porters and tips for the Guides.
If you are planning to do gorilla trekking in Uganda, you will need to acquire a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit is a document that allows you access to the gorillas. In Uganda, gorilla permits cost $700, in Rwanda $1500 and Congo $400. If you are East African national, you can obtain a gorilla permit in Uganda for 300,000 shillings.
What is included in a Gorilla Permit Cost? A gorilla permit includes interacting with the gorillas for one hour, park entrance, Ranger fees and advance trackers.