Yes, you can reschedule your gorilla trekking date in Uganda to the desired date. Travelers and tour operators booking gorilla permits to Bwindi forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks have a chance to reschedule the date of gorilla trekking. Rescheduling is normal and is accepted due to different reasons that can call for a change in the initial gorilla trekking dates. In case of any rescheduling, Uganda wildlife Authority encourages travelers to change the dates as early as 3 weeks to the desired trekking date. Late gorilla permit rescheduling calls for a fine of 25% of the total gorilla permit fee. In other words, those applying for a late gorilla permit rescheduling are ought to pat $175 equivalent to 25% of $700 for a single gorilla permit.
Reason for a penalty of late gorilla permit rescheduling
Well, the Uganda Wildlife Authority put the policy to penalize late gorilla permit rescheduling. The major purpose was to ensure the smooth flow of gorilla permit reservations and avoid last-minute pressure on UWA reservation team, which can lead to errors and mistakes. Also, gorilla permits tend to sell out on certain dates. Therefore rescheduling to a fully booked date does not make sense but rather brings confusion to those in the reservation department.
If you want to reschedule gorilla permits to a different date, you must apply for rescheduling with Uganda Wildlife Authority. Gorilla Trek Africa helps apply and do all the procedures. If you are booking a Uganda gorilla tour with Gorilla trek Africa, just inform us in time about your change of date and we shall do the rest for you.
Anyone rescheduling a gorilla permit is advised to write a formal letter to the Executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting for a change of date. The letter must have the name of the company rescheduling, the reasons for rescheduling, the previous date, and the desired date. Also, indicate the number of gorilla permits whose dates you will be rescheduling and the gorilla sector if it’s in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
You can physically take the letter to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offices or attach the letter in an email. Make sure you follow up with UWA to confirm that your dates are changed. Depending on the situation on the ground, the permission to change the gorilla permit date will be granted or denies. It's therefore not a guarantee that UWA will accept your gorilla permit rescheduling. Once UWA accepts to reschedule your dates, those in charge will automatically change the dates in their system. You will then receive a renew receipt and ID indicating new dates.
NOTE: You must have fully paid for the gorilla permits to zero balance before rescheduling is allowed.
Permit booking in Uganda
Booking gorilla permits in Uganda is encouraged at least 3 months in advance. This is to ensure timely planning by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and avoid last-minute pressures. On booking, travelers/tour operators are required to pay 30% deposit and top up to zero balance 90 days to the actual trekking date. The tendency of paying balance a few days to the trekking date was prohibited. Anyone who fails to finish the payment before 90 days risks to lose his/her permits plus the deposit money. In other words, UWA removes permit from the system and outs them back on sale once one fails to pay the top-up.
Gorilla Permit Cancelation in Uganda
You may need to cancel gorilla permits that you already booked to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest/Mgahinga gorilla national parks. A cancelation may call for a refund or not depending on when it’s done. All tour operators and travelers booking gorilla permits are advised to read carefully and understand the cancellation policy for gorilla permits before making any cancelation. You must be ready to face any challenge or loss that comes along. Gorilla Permit cancellation policy in Uganda is as follows.
• 91 Days and more calls for a 75% refund
• 46-90 Days calls or 50%
• 8- 45 Days equals 25%
• 0-8 Days calls for no refund
Permits that call for a refund are those that have been paid for to zero balance. In other words, permits still on deposit do not call for any refund in case of cancellation.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
After successfully booking and reserving your gorilla permit, keep in mind the following rules that guide gorilla trekking in Uganda:
1. Avoid direct eye contact with gorillas
2. Do not use flashlight cameras
3. Children below 15 years are not allowed to trek
4. Do not trek when sick
5. Strictly an hour with gorillas
6. Do not litter in the gorilla park
7. Must have a valid gorilla permit
8. Keep 7 meters away from gorillas
Generally, gorilla permit booking is vital for all travelers coming to see the gorilla in Uganda. Contact Gorilla Trek Africa for general advice about cancellation and rescheduling of gorilla permits, avoiding any disappointments and ensuring a memorable gorilla encounter.
To book a wildlife safari in Uganda and Rwanda,