As we may all well know, online booking of gorilla permits has been one of those controversial matters that ever arouse in the tourism sector between Local Tour Operators and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) the body that manages Uganda’s National Parks after UWA resolved to push gorilla permits booking online which did not go well with the local tour operators whose genuine fear was that foreign tour operators would throw them out of business. The system has been that foreign tour operators rely on the local tour operators to the purchase of the gorilla permits and if the permits are to be reserved online, then Local tour operators would literally be displaced. This battle went on and on until finally the two parties had to meet themselves halfway on the way forward. UWA broke down to the level of the local tour operators and realized that in as much as they would want to measure up to the technological era by availing gorilla permits on, this would terribly hurt the private sector. They resolved to pursue the goal of going online with the gorilla permits but restricted access to only registered Uganda tour operators.
These are the guidelines
Visibility, buying, and bookings will be done exclusively by registered local tour operators
Registered Uganda tour operators will have access to the data base where they can view the gorilla permits and make tentative reservation which will be valid for a very short period unless confirmed with payment. The validity of the reservation is yet to be agreed on.
Paper permits are no longer to be issued rather electric cards will be used. The cards will have the payment and usual client’s details i.e Full Names, Passport numbers, Nationality. These cards will be presented at the tracking stations.
Gorilla permits will no longer be sold based on the gorilla families rather based on the tracking areas i.e Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga & Nkuringo. On the day of tracking, visitors will be assigned to specific gorilla families depending their fitness and age.
The new system is projected to best serve the clients and improve on the customer care service and enable efficiency. The management though has to ensure that the system is superbly secure, running at all the times and fast enough. Local tour operators are equally looking forward to be trained on how to use the system, when this is done I guess we will be good to go.
The disturbing question still rings in my mind, will the management honor the tentative reservations made online?, all these need to be agreed on to avoid inconveniences. We presume that gorilla & Chimp booking guidelines are equally bound to change to match with the new changes introduced and as soon as this happens, we will keep you posted.
Do not hesitate to contact us should you need us to book your permits or a Uganda safari. Inquire