Cancelling a gorilla trekking ticket in Uganda – Can I be refunded? cancellation terms and refund policy

The gorilla trekking permit or ticket is central to a safari in Uganda that includes the popular gorilla trekking or tracking activity. Without the gorilla trekking ticket/permit you cannot take part in this once in a lifetime experience, and yet the tickets are limited in number as only 8 are issued per day for each gorilla family that is available for the gorilla trekking tour. In fact, before confirming any other arrangements of the safari trip to Uganda, confirming the date of the gorilla trek and buying the ticket is the priority.

The gorilla ticket is purchased many months in advance before the gorilla tour and one becomes tied to the trip because of it.

However, a concern for many travelers is what happens if they cannot make it for the trip or trek due to unforeseen issues? Is the gorilla permit/ticket refundable? Can it be rescheduled? Can I resell it?

Below I discuss about cancelling the gorilla tracking permit

Can the gorilla trekking permit in Uganda be refunded? Yes, the gorilla trekking permit/ticket can be refunded.

Here is the cancellation and refund policy by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which is body of the gorilla trekking tickets in Uganda:

Cancel less than 8 days to trekking date – no refund at all

Cancel 9 – 45 days to trekking date – 25% refund

Cancel 46 – 90 days to trekking date – 50% refund

Cancel 91 days and above to trekking date – 70% refund

What happens I travel for the gorilla trek and on the day of the trek I wake up and cannot trek because of a sickness or injury? Do I lose it all?! No you don’t lose it all

If on the day of the trek you are unable to join the gorilla tracking because of the an injury or a sickness, especially if you catch a contagious disease that can put the gorillas at risk, you can be refunded 50% of the ticket.  You will have to report to the park office a day before or early in the morning of the trek. You will be required to present a doctor’s report for processing your refund.

Can I instead reschedule a gorilla trekking ticket and come another time?

Once you have bought a permit, you are allowed to reschedule it once to a new date as long as there is availability on the new date.

Can I resell the gorilla tracking permit?

This may be the best option if you are cancelling and planning to come another time. You can resell your permit if there is demand on your dates. However, this option is easier if you have booked your ticket or tour through a local tour agent who would easily sell to another tour agent or would know if someone is looking for a ticket on your cancelled dates.

A big five safari in Uganda – What are the chances of seeing the big five (5) animals in Uganda?

Nearly every traveler’s dream is to tick off all the famous Big 5 animals (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo) on their safari trip in Africa. Uganda is one of the countries that offer this possibility, having all these animals in many parks and wildlife reserves. And, being home to the mountain gorillas, a safari in Uganda gives you the chance to see the Big Five and the famous Mountain Gorillas – two of the biggest highlights of an African safari holiday.

However, one wonders what the chances are of seeing the big five animals in Uganda and which destinations have the best chances to see particular animals

The Big Five in Uganda and best places to to see them

Rhinos in Uganda

The Rhino is the least widespread of the Big Five and the most endangered mostly because it is highly poached for its horn.

The rhinos in the wild in Uganda are found in only one destination, that is, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The sanctuary was started in 2015 as a program to reintroduce the rhinos back into Uganda’s wilderness after they were poached and wiped out during the insurgencies of the 1970s. The fate which befell many rhinos in Africa. The rhinos have been thriving on the sanctuary and from the 13 White Rhinos that were originally introduced have since multiplied to more than 30 rhinos.

The sanctuary offers a guided rhino tracking activity for tourists to see the rhinos on foot. You therefore are guaranteed to tick off the rhinos in Uganda when you visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Note, there are NO Black Rhinos in Uganda at the moment.

Lions

A safari is not complete without seeing the “King of the Jungle”, the Lion. It is therefore the most sought after Big Five animal.

You can see lions in three savannah park of Uganda – Murchison Falls Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Kidepo Valley national park.

If you ask which park will give you the best chance of seeing lions in Uganda? First of all, none of the parks guarantees seeing the lions on a normal game drive. But if you visit at least two of the parks there is a high probability you will see them at least in one of the two parks.

Murchison Falls National Park offers slightly better chances to see the lions. The park is also located in the same direction and close to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, so the shortest tour to see the all the big five in Uganda is combing these two destinations in a 3 days Murchison Falls tour with rhino tracking.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for the tree climbing lions and is one of the few parks in the world where lions have developed this unique capability to climb trees like leopards. Queen Elizabeth National Park also offers a lion tracking activity where tourists join researchers to monitor collared lions. You should include lion tracking in your itinerary if you want to guarantee seeing the lions during your safari vacation in Uganda.

Leopard

Leopards are arguably the most widespread of the big five and yet the most difficult to find. They live in most of the parks and wildlife reserves across Uganda. They are very solitary and stealth, and a sighting is by pure luck. The savannah parks have provided the best chances to see leopards in Uganda, and one park in particular is the Lake Mburo Park which is the smallest of the savannah parks. For better chance to see the leopard you should do the night drive when leopards are most active. All savannah parks allow a night game drive.

Elephants

You sure cannot miss seeing the Elephants in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park all have plenty of elephants.

Buffaloes

Buffaloes are a constant sighting in all the savannah parks in Uganda.

Big Five Safari trips in Uganda

3 days Murchison Falls tour with rhino tracking

6 days Murchison Falls and Kidepo park safari

12 days Best of Uganda wildlife safari

Kidepo Valley National Park fees – pricing for park entry, activities & accommodation

Kidepo Valley National Park is the undiscovered safari gem of Uganda. Because of its location in the far north eastern corner of Uganda that was previously very difficult to reach and is surrounded by what are perceived as a hostile people, the Karimojong, very few people have taken the trouble to go and discover this beautiful wilderness. Most people would rather take a tour to Murchison Falls Park – Uganda’s biggest & most popular park which is great for wildlife safaris, but with little more endurance on a longer drive farther north east they will discover an unspoiled wilderness with no crowds but lots of wildlife including that which cannot be seen in other parks of Uganda such as the cheetah and ostrich in addition to common wildlife such as lions, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, etc…

Below are the entry fees for Kidepo Valley National Park and the pricing for the activities and park accommodation.

Tourist entry fees (per person)

Entry fee USD UGX
International visitor (Foreign Non Resident) – Adults 40  
International visitor Children 5 – 15 years 20  
Foreign Resident 30  
Foreign Residents children 5 – 15 years 10  
East African citizens   20,000
East African citizens children 5 – 15 years   5,000

Children below 5 years do not pay entry fees

Park entry fee is valid for 24 hours from the time of payment.

The opens at 7am and closes at 7pm. Beyond that no one is allowed in the park, unless they have booked a night safari drive with the park.

Car entry fees

Type of car Foreign Ugandan Registered
USD UGX
Saloon cars 40 20,000
Minibuse, Omni-buses 50 30,000
Pick-ups 50 30,000
Tour Company vehicles & 4-wheel drive 150 100,000
Buses & Lorries 200 30,000
School buses 50,000

Car entry fees are valid for 24 hours from the time of entry.

Pricing for activities in Kidepo Valley National Park

Activity FNR FR EAC
USD USD UGX
Day self-game drive per private car (with no park guide) 10 10 10,000
Day guided game drive per private car (with a park guide) 20 15 20,000
Night guided game drive per person (using park guides is mandatory for night drives) 30 20 50,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Day game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 30 25 30,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Night game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 40 35 40,000
Day nature walk – per person 15 10 10,000
Kidepo Lonyili Hike 50 40 50,000
Mt. Morungole hike & IK cultural tour      
Birdwatching 30 25 20,000

Fees are per person

Activity fees exclude park entry fee

Hiking fees do not include hiking equipment.

Fines and Penalties in Kidepo Valley National Park

Offence Penalty
Off-tracking driving fine $150 (per person in the vehicle, to be incurred by the driver)
Over speeding (speed limit is 40km/hr) UGX 100,000 per incident
Animal accident fee (road kill) $500
Littering in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Hooting in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Sitting on top of the vehicle $100 per incident

Customized tours to Kidepo Valley National Park

5 days safari trip to Kidepo Valley National Park

5 days Fly in safari to Kidepo Valley National Park

6 days Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls safari

 

Lake Mburo National Park fees – pricing for entry and things to do in Lake Mburo Park

When one thinks of a wildlife safari in Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is not one of the places that comes to mind for many travelers. For most people the only way to enjoy a wildlife safari in Uganda is by taking a tour to Murchison Falls National Park – Uganda’s biggest park.

Lake Mburo National Park is actually an overlooked gem of a safari destination. It is a small park that is easy to explore even on a self-drive. Available animals are in plenty, it has fewer predators which has allowed other animals to thrive in big numbers. The scenery is one of the best you can experience. There are many activities to do. But the biggest advantage of all is that it is the closest park to Kampala and Entebbe, about 3 – 4 hours drive, meaning you could even visit it in one day, or can arrive in Uganda in the afternoon and immediately go to the park.

Lake Mburo National Park can also be a nice stopover point on the gorilla trip to Bwindi National Park, to break down the journey as you enjoy a nice short nice bush experience before taking on the gorilla jungle.

Below are the entry fees for Lake Mburo National Park and the pricing for the different activities you can do in the park.

Tourist entry fees (per person)

Entry fee USD UGX
International visitor (Foreign Non Resident) – Adults 40
International visitor Children 5 – 15 years 20
Foreign Resident 30
Foreign Residents children 5 – 15 years 10
East African citizens 20,000
East African citizens children 5 – 15 years 5,000

Kids below 5 years to do not pay entry fees

Park entry is valid for 24 hours from the time of entry into the park.

The park opens 7am and closes at 7pm

Car entry fees

Type of car Foreign Ugandan Registered
USD UGX
Saloon cars 40 20,000
Minibuse, Omni-buses 50 30,000
Pick-ups 50 30,000
Tour Company vehicles & 4-wheel drive 150 100,000
Buses & Lorries 200 30,000
School buses 50,000

Like tourist entry fees, car entry fees are also valid for 24 hours from the time of entry.

Pricing for activities in Lake Mburo National Park

Activity FNR FR EAC
USD USD UGX
Day self-game drive per private car (with no park guide) 10 10 10,000
Day guided game drive per private car (with a park guide) 20 15 20,000
Night guided game drive per person (using park guides is mandatory for night drives) 30 20 50,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Day game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 30 25 30,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Night game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 40 35 40,000
Boat cruise on the Lake Mburo 30 25 30,000
Day nature walk – per person 15 10 10,000
Cycling 30 25 30,000
Birdwatching 30 25 20,000
Sport fishing permit 15 for 1 day,

25 for 4 days

Fees are per person

Activities exclude park entry fees

Cheap accommodation run by Lake Mburo National Park (Uganda Wildlife Authority)

Type UGX
Bandas – Rwonyo Single 35,000
Double 40,000
Family banda 60,000
Guesthouses – Rwonyo Per room (Double) 130,000 per room
Extra person in room 65,000 per person
Tents Single 35,000
Double 60,000
Dormitory Adults 25,000
Students (within a group) 5,000
Children 10,000

Fines and Penalties in Lake Mburo National Park

Offence Penalty
Off-tracking driving fine $150 (per person in the vehicle, to be incurred by the driver)
Over speeding (speed limit is 40km/hr) UGX 100,000 per incident
Animal accident fee (road kill) $500
Littering in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Hooting in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Sitting on top of the vehicle $100 per incident

Short safari trips to/with Lake Mburo National Park you book

2 days safari trip to Lake Mburo Park

3 days Lake Mburo wildlife safari and Ankole cow tour

4 days Lake Mburo Wildlife and Bwindi gorillas safari

Queen Elizabeth National Park fees – pricing for things to do in the Queen Elizabeth Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second biggest park in Uganda. It is a popular safaris destination for tourists who want to explore the savannah and see the much sought-after animals like lions, hyenas, elephants, hippos, etc… It is the other safari destination tourists normally consider if they do not go to Murchison Falls National Park, the biggest park in Uganda. Read this article which compares Murchison Falls National Park versus Queen Elizabeth National Park if you have not decided on where to go.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is located on the edge on the Albertine rift valley which attributes to the incredibly beautiful landscape characterized by lush hills and beautiful crater lakes

Entry fees and things to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park and the respective pricing

Tourist entry fees (per person)

Entry fee USD UGX
International visitor (Foreign Non Resident) – Adults 40
International visitor Children 5 – 15 years 20
Foreign Resident 30
Foreign Residents children 5 – 15 years 10
East African citizens 20,000
East African citizens children 5 – 15 years 5,000

Children below 5 years do not pay entry fees

Park entry fees are valid for 24 hours from the time of entry into the park. So, you can enter the park at any time from 7am to 7pm within the 24 years, irrespective of whether your accommodation is located within the park boundary or outside the park boundary, you can exit and get back in.

Car entry fees

Type of car Foreign Ugandan Registered
USD UGX
Saloon cars 40 20,000
Minibuse, Omni-buses 50 30,000
Pick-ups 50 30,000
Tour Company vehicles & 4-wheel drive 150 100,000
Buses & Lorries 200 30,000
School buses 50,000

Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park and pricing

Activity FNR FR EAC
USD USD UGX
Day self-game drive per private car (with no park guide) 10 10 10,000
Day guided game drive per private car (with a park guide) 20 15 20,000
Night guided game drive per person (using park guides is mandatory for night drives) 30 20 50,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Day game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 30 25 30,000
Hiring the park game drive car for Night game drive – per person (Minimum 3 persons in car) 40 35 40,000
Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel 30 25 30,000
Day nature walk – per person 15 10 10,000
Mongoose tracking 30 25 30,000
Hippo Census 100 80 100,000
Lion tracking 100 80 100,000
Chimp tracking (Kyambura Gorge) 50 40 30,000
Birdwatching 30 25 20,000

Fees are per person

Rates do NOT include entrance fees and other activity fees

Accommodation run by Queen Elizabeth National Park management (UWA – Uganda Wildlife Authority)

Dormitory UGX
Adults 25,000
Students (within a group) 5,000
Children 10,000

Fines and Penalties in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Offence Penalty
Off-tracking driving fine $150 (per person in the vehicle, to be incurred by the driver)
Over speeding (speed limit is 40km/hr) UGX 100,000 per incident
Animal accident fee (road kill) $500
Littering in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Hooting in the park UGX 100,000 per incident
Sitting on top of the vehicle $100 per incident