Rwanda has doubled the price of gorilla permits from $750 to $1,500.
A member of my facebook group Every Passport Stamp shared the news. If this is the kind of travel topic of interest you you, join up.
Gorilla trekking is the most memorable wildlife encounter of my travels. Whatever the pro and cons of the permit fees, the reality is $750 was already prohibitve for many travelers, $1,500 will exclude even more. Those wanting a private experience can pay $15,000 to visit a gorilla family.
Rwanda is a popular choice to see the mountain gorillas for comparative logistical ease and perceived relative safety of the country.
Seeing the horrific sites of the Rwandan Genocide and contemplating the world community’s failure to help is an important experience for any thinking person.
The alternatives are Uganda and D.R. Congo.
Permits currently are $600, discounted to $450 in April, May and November. The main park is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Compared to Rwanda the logistics involve more overland from the nearby major airports, and reportedly, often longer hikes in tougher conditions for the trek itself.
If you read past the header D.R. Congo, then you may be willing consider a visit.
Booking through Virunga National Park is a breeze compared to the options in the other countries. They arrange visa on arrival at Goma for many nationalities and pick you up at the immigration post. I was able to arrange my permit and visa with just a week advance notice.
The permit is $400. It gets more expensive than that because you almost certainly will rely on their ground transport, for practicality and security.
Virunga’s lodges are excellent, though you can save money by staying at a guest house in Goma.
See Virunga’s videos and the Netflix documentary Virunga to learn more.
I count gorilla trekking and Mt Nyiragongo among my top travel experiences.