Uganda gorillas & chimps

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Jan 6th, 2012, 05:44 AM
  #1
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Uganda gorillas & chimps

Can anyone give me a rough idea of the current cost of a porter to carry your day pack when you are trekking the gorillas in Uganda? Also for porters for chimp habituation treks?

Thanks in advance
jules39 is offline  
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Jan 6th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Hi Jules
We paid $15 pp in 2010 in Bwindi. Didn't do the chimp trek (apart from a forest walk near Murchison Falls) - some details are in this report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...m#last-comment

Enjoy your trip to Uganda - we loved it!!
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Jan 7th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Thanks tock. I read your report back when you were first writing it & we were first concidering Uganda! Just enjoyed reading it again!! A couple of quick questions if you don't mind? We have been to Tanz/Kenya so know the safari routine there. A couple of places you mention picking up a park guide. I assume this is in addition to the driver you had from gorilla tours. Is this the "normal" way things work in Uganda? We leave in 3 weeks and are getting very excited!
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Jan 7th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Wish I was going back with you!!

About the park guide, I assume this is the normal way of doing things, it was arranged by the tour company, and was in addition to the driver - I think the parks require visitors to use a park guide, they are the ones with the more detailed knowledge of the area (and the gun!!) We picked up the guide on the way into the parks. As I said in the report, this was clearly itemised in our itinerary so we expected it, the cost of the guide was included but we would give him a tip, and if I remember correctly we left an amount for the guides in Bwindi to share because there were several of them (in addition to the fixed $15 fee for the porters).

This is how they made clear the pricing for this part of our itinerary:

INCLUDED IN PRICES:
-Park entrances
-Guides in the Park
-Car (open roof, 4WD)
-Fuel
-English speaking Driver/guide
-Queen Elizabeth Bush Camp
-Game drives
-Boat Trip
-Traveller's Rest Hotel Kisoro
-Bottled water

NOT INCLUDED IN PRICES:
-Food and Drinks (approx 25$ per person per day)
-Gorilla Permit (500$ per person) – already paid
-Tips to the guides, porters
-Personal interests


Looking forward to hearing about it on your return!
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Jan 7th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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I pay all porters the same. Where are you doing the chimp habituation walk in Uganda?
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Jan 8th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Thanks again tock! Lynn we are doing the chimp habits in Budongo & Kibale
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Jan 8th, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Hi there

Chimp tracking rangers are different from the porters for Gorilla tracking / forest hikes.

If you are tracking Chimps in Budongo and Kibale the ranger fee should be included in your tour costs, but be assured these guys are rangers and not porters. Tipping is of course entirely up to your individual preference - you are under no obligation and it is dependent on the quality of service provided - but for a rough guide we tend to tell our clients to tip between $5-$10 per traveller for ranger services, whether a park ranger joining you on a game drive or as your guide to chimp tracking / birding experiences etc. Please note the rangers do receive a wage from the park authorities, though it will be modest by comparison to western standards.

Porters are encouraged for when you are gorilla tracking, in addition to the park rangers that accompany you, as you will be hiking over difficult terrain and possible for many hours (it is hard to estimate how long you will be hiking for - sometimes the gorillas are nearby, and sometimes they are not - it can take between 1-8 hrs over steep terrain at altitude). As a result, it is advisable to take one porter per person. They not only carry your things for you (a great help - honestly - however tough you may be you will be grateful) but they are generally extremely helpful - holding out a hand to steady you as you navigate a steep descent. In some cases, when someone is really struggling, I have seen them virtually carry people up those slopes to get their gorilla experience.

The park rangers can advise you on the latest 'tip' for porters but note that it is not a tip but a fee for their hire for the day. They do not receive any sort of salary for their services so rely wholly on the money earned by portering. We currently recommend a minimum of $15 per porter as this serves as their income and many of the local communities will be supported by this. If they have offered a really good service (for example if you end up needing to be carried!) then I would also consider tipping them extra at the end of your day.

The guides, trackers and security personnel (between 5-8 per group) who are part of your tracking group, but separate from the porters, do receive a salary for their work, but if you want to tip them, the best way to do so is to leave a tip in the box back at headquarters and this will be shared out amongst the staff. Again, you are under no obligation to tip, but if you do so, we recommend around $25 per traveller to our clients. This effectively represents a maximum tip of around $5 per staff member involved.

I hope this helps.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Sorry - meant to add one thing. Porters are not normally available on the chimp tracking experiences as these are shorter hikes (1-3 hrs), and often on far flatter terrain. Rangers do not carry bags for you so please ensure you have a suitable sized day pack to carry water, camera, sunhat, any other personal items etc.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for the tips.
Femi is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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Thanks far horizons that is great info.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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In Kibale no porter needed. Very flat from my recollections.
Budongo had some steep inclines and was slippery when muddy. Don't think I had a porter there, but it might be worth it to try to arrange one in advance. Plus it's more employment.

The reclassification of the word tip to fee for hire for the porters is a good point by FarHorizons. There is no base salary for these guys/gals who work as porter. And I have had a gal!

How wonderful you have two excellent chimp outings, Jules39. Definitely will want to know about those. What does your itinerary look like now?
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Jan 9th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Thanks Lynn that is good info. It is definately the pay rate for the porters for day not a tip. That is why I asked for the going rate. Apart from the fact that it makes me a bit less tired I like that I am giving someone work for the day. We are getting prett excited about it all now. We have 20 days on the ground. Visiting Bwindi, QENP (Kibale & Ishasha(?sp!) Budongo, Murch falls & rino sanctuary. Will be give you more info when we get back!
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Jan 11th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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I agree with Far Horizons tips, I wish you all the best and have fun in the pearl of Africa
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