What to expect on a Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park? Gorilla habituation is the process of training wild mountain gorillas to get used to human presence. These wild creatures are educated to be friendly to people over a period of two to three years. Researchers and tourists continue to visit them in order for them to become acquainted with the human lifestyle and mannerisms, and in the end, they are given names for simple identification. The gorillas are then checked by journalists, scientists, and other tourists, and if they pass, they are approved for trekking. Gorilla habituation is done in the Rushaga-Nkuringo area of southern Bwindi, and visitors are allowed to stay with the gorillas for 4 hours.
Visitors interested in this experience should book as early as 6 months in advance, particularly during the months of December to March, July, and October, when competition is fierce. The park only allows a maximum of four guests per day for the experience, and a price of US $1500 is imposed.
The restrictions for gorilla habituation are the same as those for trekking, with the exception of the time spent and the number of individuals that visit the gorillas. Researchers, hikers, conservationists, and rangers are on standby to provide firsthand knowledge on the habituated gorilla family.
What does the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest entail?
The technique of teaching or taming wild gorillas to become accustomed to the presence and sight of humans in their natural habitat is known as gorilla habituation. Habituation of gorillas is not a one-day operation; it can take two to three years or more, and it needs the assistance of specialists such as trackers, researchers, conservationists, and game rangers. Although gorilla habituation is one of the learning activities in the jungle, in Uganda, it has become a superb rewarding adventure experience that was introduced by the Uganda wildlife authority in the Bwindi forest.
The gorilla habituation experience is limited to four people who will be able to engage in the gorilla habituation process alongside researchers, conservationists, trackers, or park ranger escorts. We suggest tourists to make advance bookings for gorilla trekking permits at least 5 to 6 months ahead to the dates of trip, especially if the traveler plans to go during the peak season, which runs from June to October and December to February. This is the dry season of the year, and it is the greatest period for gorilla habituation because there will be little or no rain to disrupt the activities.
What is the difference between gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking in Bwindi?
Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda costs 1500 USD per person and travelers are allowed to spend 4 hours with the gorillas, allowing you to spend enough time with the gorillas. Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda costs 700 USD per person and only a maximum of 8 people are allowed to meet a gorilla family.
Where is the gorilla habituation experience conducted?
Gorilla habituation in Africa is only possible in Uganda’s Bwindi Forest National Park, which is home to almost half of the world’s surviving endangered mountain gorilla population. Bwindi has just four sectors that are home to 19 habituated gorilla families, including the best gorilla trekking sector, Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija.
Only two gorilla families are subjected to gorilla habituation in the Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. Throughout the gorilla habitation process, you will study and comprehend the behavioral living patterns of mountain gorillas in their native habitat, as well as assist in the gentle creatures’ naming.
When researchers discover that the wild mountain gorillas have become accustomed to the presence of mountain gorillas after two to three years of habituation, they will perform a monkey exercise to test the gorillas, and if they pass the exercise, it will prove their facts, and the gorilla family that has been undergoing the habituation process will be launched for gorilla trekking experience.
When is the best time to go on a gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi National Park?
The gorilla habituation experience is available all year. Throughout the year, temperatures in Bwindi range between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. The two dry seasons, from June to August and again from December to February, are the best times to visit, but rains can occur at any time of year.
The months of March to May are often the wettest in Bwindi, so avoid them if at all possible. Although photographing gorillas during the wet season has certain advantages. The rain clears the air of dust, allowing for cleaner shots, and the rain and mist combine to produce a melancholy, wilderness atmosphere to the national park, which is especially appealing from your lodge porch!
What to pack for a Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi National Park?
If you are planning to go on a gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, you ought to carry some essential items such as;
- Long trousers.
- A long-sleeved shirt.
- Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots.
- Thick socks.
- Hardy gloves.
- A lightweight rain jacket or poncho.
- A wide-brim hat.
- Sunscreen cream
- Insect-repellent spray
- Energy snacks
- Bottled water
3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Habituation Safari with Explore Rwanda Tours.
Day 1: Pick up and transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park
Depending on your arrival time at Entebbe international airport on the first day of the safari, you will meet up with your driver guide who will brief you about the safari and then start the journey to Bwindi impenetrable national park. On the way you will have a stopover and the equator and then proceed with another stopover for lunch. After lunch, you will continue the journey to Bwindi impenetrable national park and upon arrival, you will check into the lodge for dinner and overnight stay at Four gorilla lodge-luxury/ Ichumbi lodge-midrange or Rushaga gorilla haven lodge-budget.
Day 2: Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park
After an early breakfast on the second day of the 3 days gorilla habituation experience, you will carry packed lunch from the lodge and meet up with your driver guide to transfer to the park headquarters for a gorilla habituation briefing. After the briefing you will start trekking in the jungle in search a gorilla family. Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park takes a full day and during trekking you will enjoy great views of other wildlife species, primates like chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, variety of bird species, view different plant and tree species among others.
Once the mountain gorillas are found you will be allowed to spend four hours with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn and monitor their behaviors, watch them feed, play, breastfeed, groom young ones, participate in the naming process, take photos to show people back home after the safari. After you will trek back to the park headquarters where you will be awarded a certificate for participating in gorilla trekking and later meet up with your driver guide to transfer back to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner, and overnight as above.
Day 3: Departure to Kampala
After a relaxed breakfast on the last day of the 3 days gorilla habituation experience, you will check out of the lodge and meet up with your driver guide to transfer to Kampala. On the way, you will have en-route lunch in Mbarara town and then proceed with another stopover at the Equator to take photos, buy souvenirs among others. From the Equator, you will continue to Kampala where you will arrive early evening and upon arrival your driver guide will drop you off at Entebbe airport for your departure flight or drop off at any place of convenience.
End of 3 days gorilla habituation tour