Thinking of choosing a tour company for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda? This is the best way to go and i always advise tourists about it. There are a lot of downs involved planning your own gorilla holiday. I will discuss this later in the article. If you want a reliable operator for your gorilla safari, i recommend these select gorilla trekking companies that you can book with. I have traveled with them before and i guarantee you will get the best service.
Some tourists think booking a gorilla trek through a tour operator is expensive. This is true and false. I will try to be as honest as i can and will let you know why you should choose a tour company for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda.
I once had a client who booked his own gorilla permit through me for $600, boarded a bus from Kampala to Kisoro (about $10) and probably had to trek for a distance to his accommodation. Its good to be adventurous but have you tried imagining the risks involved with this? First you are in a foreign country and second, if anything goes wrong, you have no one to your rescue.
A tour operator always has a certain level of authority to influence where possible. This means if anything goes wrong, they can always come to your rescue and help. Much as Uganda is safe! No country can ever be 100% safe and crime will always avail when it has to. For this client, his trip was in his hands. Only good thing is everything went on well. Much as he paid for a permit only, i went further and helped him where possible. Not all operators will do this.
But why book without an operator?
The whole meaning of travel is enjoyment! You can never get the best out of it if your stingy. Just know the more bucks you are willing to pull out, the more you’ll enjoy. Tour operators try their best to organize something nice for you. They will book nice accommodation facilities for you, get you a vehicle for transport which keeps you secure and will get you an experienced guide who is very much knowledgeable about the Uganda tourism industry and Rwanda tourism industry.
In case you lose your gorilla permit, you will have it replaced in a few hours or minutes depending on the urgency. With such kind of assurance, you will have a free mind whilst you go on with your safari.
The other issue is accommodation. Booking accommodations by yourself with let you spend way much than you would have spent. Accommodation facilities have rack, tour operator, residential and confidential rates. Rack rates are very high compared to tour operator rates. Confidential rates are the lowest and usually bind when a tour company makes an agreement with an accommodation facility based on the volume of sales.
With this kind of arrangement, an operator can offer you an accommodation facility at $150 per night yet the rack rate is $350 per night. So do not act too wise to feel you can organize everything by yourself. You will only end up spending more and undergoing a lot of risks through out your safari.
So which tour company should you use?
There are so many tour companies in Uganda that will plan your trek. I suggest you look at these suggested gorilla trekking companies, recommended Uganda tour operators and Rwanda tour companies. You can also search online and compare a few quotes before you confirm your safari.
Only difference is i have traveled with the companies recommended above before and i usually update that list in case any operator under performs or gets into issues that gets clients raving about their trips. This way, i am able to maintain a good list of operators.
Do not think Rwandan based operators are better than Ugandan based operators neither should you think the big dogs are the way to go.
Most of the best operators in Rwanda are Ugandan based or at most have offices in both countries. Very few Rwandan based operators will organize a good trip for you and the ones that do have been in the industry for long. Do not feel bothered when a Ugandan based company offers you a quote. Just know you are bound for a good experience.
Another mistake clients make is putting the big dogs ahead of the under dogs. I have been in both industries (Rwanda and Uganda) for long and there is one thing i have learnt. Big companies always produce the best small companies. Most of the Operators who are new in the business have at least worked for the big companies and have enough experience despite being new in the industry.
They are also way affordable and offer a chance of bargain. This is something the big companies hardly do. See these recommended companies.