Booking the permit to see the Gorillas.
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 20, 2012 2:09 PM Last Post By: hamidah
Aug 15, 2012 2:08 PM
Booking the permit to see the Gorillas.Hi out there,
I am planning to go to East Africa in dec-jan. First time in this area. Have travelled a lot independently in Asia.
And I am used to book things as they come along. Apparently Africa is different - specially to see the gorillas.
Have read in the Lonely P. and also on the Thorn Tree forum that one can arrange a gorilla trip by oneself (try
to avoid organized prearranged package tours). "just make a booking through the RDB tourist office in Kigali".
Well, how is this done? Have looked on their web.side but couldn´t find any booking-form, wrote an e-mail:
no reply. Phone? Prepayment? Is the whole thing working..? Or should one take a "package tour" after all?
Is there anyone that can give me some advice about this? That would be great.
Aug 15, 2012 8:09 PM
1I've gone to all three countries at one point in time or another to see the gorillas - and NEVER would pay all the extra fees by using a package tour. I used to make reservations by e-mail, and although it took a while, I eventually did get a response. However, more recent travelers advise calling them as they don't answer e-mails anymore. I also used to be able to pay when I got to Rwanda or Uganda, but again, they now require you to wire them the cost of the permit in advance. So the next time I go, I will call the office using one of the numbers from their official website, give them the date I want to go, and if they have an opening for that date, get the information to make a bank transfer for the cost of the permit. Keep the receipt and document the call and ask them to e-mail you confirming the transfer.
I always checked in at the ORTPN Office in Kigali. Then, public transportation from Kigali to Rhuengeri - use a matatu - takes about an hour and a half and costs about $4 US. Hotels are a little pricey, at least compared to Uganda, but there is a good variety to choose from in Ruhengeri. Check at the ORTPN Office at the far end of town and get info on transportation to the Park HQs - sometimes they will throw you in a vehicle with their guys and sometimes you can hook up with other people heading to the HQ. Otherwise you will have to make arrangements for a private taxi to take you there and to the trailhead where you begin your trek to see the gorillas - costs about $100 U.S.
You can also contact some of the travel agencies in Rwanda and have them get you a permit. I believe they usually charge $50 US for this service. Then, go to Rwanda and use public transportation as stated above and save a ton of money rather than using their package tour.
Enjoy - I've gone 4 times and will do it again in the near future!
Aug 18, 2012 2:10 AM
2A friend of mine called RDB offices at the beginning of this month to inquire about the availability of gorilla permits. The permits were available but he was asked to book through a local Tour company to purchase the two permits and this is what he did exactly.
He asked the reservationist the reason why he could not purchase those permits directly from RDB him self but they insisted he uses a tour company to buy the gorilla permit.
Unless you show up physically at the RDB OFFICES, you will use a local tour company to purchase the permit.
Aug 18, 2012 2:23 AM
3Back in April I booked my gorilla permit via email - they got back to me within a day or two. I found the address on the ORTPN website (I'm on my tablet computer, so I can't easily get the email address to give you) and didn't go through a company, I'm doing it all on my own, and so far haven't had any problems. I wired them the money, they emailed a receipt. I'll be in Kigali on Monday to pick up the permit itself. The only thing I have left to figure out is transportation :)
Aug 19, 2012 5:02 AM
Aug 19, 2012 10:50 PM
5the email address I used was: email@example.com
Here's the signature at the bottom of the emails:
Please visit: http//www.rwandatourism.com website
Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
Boulevard de l'Umuganda, Gishushu, Nyarutarama Road.
P.O. Box 6239 Kigali, Rwanda
Monday-Friday: 7am to 5pm
Week end: 8am to 12 noon
Office Numbers:+250252573396 and +250252502350
Aug 20, 2012 2:40 AM
Aug 20, 2012 1:12 PM
7Thanks everybody for your information - even though it´s a little bit confusing. What will work in the end??
I called the office in Kigali last friday. There was no phone no. on their website. Luckily one has the LP. A woman answered. I told that I wanted some information about booking the permit. "what´s your name" she said. I tried to spell it and saying "I havn´t done any booking yet, but I need to know how to do it, bankacount and so on". "Just wait a few minutes" she said and hang up. I never heard anything more...Opinions?
I am also planning to see the gorillas in Uganda. Starting my East Africa trip there. Just send an e-mail to the
UWA office there asking for information. Has anyone some information about booking the permit in Uganda?
Sometimes I think or have the feeling that these govermentoffices have some kind of "aggrements" with the travelagencies. Not making it easy for independent travelling.
To be continued...
Aug 20, 2012 2:09 PM
Kochi (Cochin)Book now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$4.89 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$25.00 per night
Ko ChangBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$51.49 per night