Facts about gorilla habituation experience in Uganda
Facts about gorilla habituation experience in uganda: Gorilla habituation is a process where the wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to the human presence for trekking. This process was introduced by Uganda Wildlife Authority in January 2014. Gorilla habituation experience takes a period of 2 to 3 years until the gorillas are used to human presence and it involves a group of trackers, researchers, park rangers, conservationists among others.
Where gorilla habituation experience is done
Gorilla habituation experience is currently done in Bwindi impenetrable national park which is most visited gorilla destination due to the fact that it harbors half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district and harbors 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors namely Buhoma sector in the north, Nkuringo in the south, Rushaga in the south and Ruhija in the east. Gorilla habituation experience is currently carried out in Rushaga sector which is located in the southern part of the park and there is one gorilla family that is under habituation.
When does gorilla habituation experience start?
Gorilla habituation experience starts early in the morning at around 7:30am therefore visitors are advised to wake up earlier at around 6:30am for breakfast and briefing about the expectations, rules and regulations during the process. During gorilla habituation experience you start trekking with a team of researchers, ranger, guides among others.
Cost of a gorilla habituation permit
A single gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and UGX 750,000 for East African citizens.
How to book a gorilla habituation permit
A gorilla habituation permit in Bwindi impenetrable national park can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority by contacting their offices via email or telephone calls or you can book via a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. When booking via a tour operator you will contact us with the date, month and year when you want to engage in gorilla habituation experience, we will check for availability of the permit and ask you to make a deposit on the permit. Once the deposit has been made you will be asked to send your scanned passport copy which will be used to register for your permit and we will acquire the permit for you and send a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.
A gorilla habituation permit should however be booked 3 to 4 months in advance before the habituation date because there are few permits and usually get sold out due to competition therefore to avoid disappointments you should book in advance.
How many people are allowed to participate in gorilla habituation experience?
Gorilla habituation experience allows 4 people per day to visit each gorilla family under habituation and spend about 4 hour with the gorillas compared to gorilla trekking which allows a maximum number of 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
How long does gorilla habituation experience take?
Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park takes a full day and allows visitors to spend four hours with the gorillas under habituation in their natural habitat compared to gorilla trekking where visitors spend one hour with the gorillas. During the four hours visitors will be observing, monitoring their behaviors, habits, watching them feed, and also participate in giving them names.
What is the minimum age for gorilla habituation?
Just like gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation only allows visitors who are above the age of fifteen years to participate in the habituation process and each gorilla family under habituation allows a maximum number of 4 people per day.
How different is gorilla habituation from gorilla trekking
Price of a permit, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 for the foreign non-resident while a gorilla trekking permit costs $600 for the foreign non-residents.
Gorilla habituation experience allows a maximum of 4 people to visit a gorilla family under habituation while gorilla trekking allows a maximum number of 8 individuals to trek each habituated gorilla family
Gorilla habituation is a process where wild gorillas are trained to get used to human presence for trekking while gorilla trekking is an activity where visitors move into the forest in search of the habituated gorilla families.
Gorilla habituation allows visitors to spend four hours with the mountain gorillas under habituation process while gorilla trekking allows visitors to spend one hour with the habituated gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla habituation experience is currently carried out in Rushaga sector while gorilla trekking is carried out in four sectors of the park that is Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors.
Rules and regulations for gorilla habituation experience
Gorilla habituation experience rules and regulations are similar to those of gorilla trekking and they include
- Visitors should keep in groups during habituation so as not to get lost in the jungle
- Keep at least 7 meter distance away from the mountain gorillas
- No eating, smoking while in the presence of the mountain gorillas
- Do not touch the mountain gorillas because they are wild animals
- Visitors who have a cold such as flue, cough among others are advised not to participate in habituation process because mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases
- Visitors should not make noise while in the presence of the gorillas
- Visitors should not use flash cameras when taking photos because you will distract them from their daily activities.
What to pack during gorilla habituation experience
- Gorilla habituation permit, this is very important in that without it you will not be allowed to participate in the habituation experience
- Hiking shoes, the shoes should reach up on the ankles and make you comfortable while trekking
- Waterproof rain jacket, Bwindi impenetrable national park is a tropical rain forest therefore it can rain anytime regardless of the season hence visitors should carry a rain jacket to protect them from rain.
- Long sleeved shirt and trousers, these will give you warmth while in the jungle especially during morning and evening hours because gorilla habituation starts early in the morning.
- Long socks, the socks should be tucked into the long trousers so as to prevent safari ants from entering your body
- Insect repellent, this will protect you from insect bites such as tsetse flies, mosquitos among others.
- Energy snacks, the energy snacks include packed lunch from the hotel and drinking water, energy snacks will give you strength because gorilla habituation takes a full day
- Camera and extra batteries, this will be used to take plenty of photos and also record the moments.
- Backpack, this will be used to carry your gorilla trekking essentials such as energy snacks, camera, insect repellent, rain jacket among others.
- Walking stick, this will be provided at the starting point and its used to give you support when trekking in steep and muddy grounds.
Best time for gorilla habituation experience
Gorilla habituation experience is done all year round through the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. during the dry season there is less rainfall in the forest therefore there will be short grass, shrubs in the jungle which enables clear viewing of the mountain gorillas, access roads to Bwindi impenetrable national park will be passable and the gorilla habituation trails in the jungle will be dry and passable compared to the wet/rainy season when they are muddy and slippery. Due to the fact that Bwindi impenetrable is a tropical rainforest it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season therefore visitors should pack various essentials like rain jacket, hiking shoes, warm sweater among others.
Visitors interested in having breathtaking and incredible experiences as they spend more time with the mountain gorillas should contact Achieve Global Safaris for more information about gorilla habituation experience.