Gorilla Habituation Experience In Bwindi National Park Uganda

Gorilla habituation experience at Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park allows at most 4  visitors (accompanied by Conservationists, trackers, researchers and park rangers) to spend only 4 hours with Mountain Gorillas that haven’t fully gotten used to human presence at $1500 permit cost

Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda

Facts About Gorilla Habituation in Uganda

  • Gorilla  Habituation Process is the act  done by Gorilla trekking specialists to groom wild gorillas  to adjust and familiarize with humans.
  • The Gorilla Habituation Experience only takes place in the Rushaga sector, located in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • Gorilla habituation Experience is the time spent by visitors including conservationists, trackers, researchers and park rangers during the habituation process.
  • Gorilla habituation is usually undertaken for 2-3 years by conservationists, trackers, researchers and park rangers to groom the gorilla troops to get used to people, or become fully habituated. Like Gorilla trekking, Gorilla habituation experience also requires Gorilla habituation Permit which costs $1500.
  • The  gorilla habituation experience starts with briefing, very early in the morning at the Park headquarters. You will be  able to learn about the Gorilla habituation rules & regulations, what to expect when in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas. Thereafter, accompanied by a team of Specialists (trackers, conservationists, trackers, researchers and rangers) , you will be led by an experienced tracker(s) through the pristine forest to look for the Gorillas.

The  trackers will  travelers through the forest to look for nests,  used by the wild mountain Gorillas the night before, which is also part of the habituation process. The rangers will continuously mimic gorilla calls and grunts, once they realize they are closer, as well as trimming the surrounding vegetation with their machetes and talk among themselves. This alerts the gorillas, and helps them get familiar with the noise made.

  • Through the search, the entire habituation team will make known  to the trackers the group of gorillas, they will be meeting, their names, behavior & habits and personal traits.
  • It is also ideal to know that gorilla habituation experience doesn’t guarantee very close contact between visitors and the Gorilla individuals, because they sometimes get so shy, especially for groups whose habituation may have commenced early.
  • Therefore, Visitors should have prior knowledge, they may or may not get closer to the Gorilla troops like it is for the case of Mountain Gorilla trekking. Therefore Mountain Gorillas undergoing Habituation are usually nervous and shy to face humans.

So it’s important to understand that a gorilla habituation experience often introduces visitors to a troop that’s shy or nervous around humans.  We then advise all visitors to moderate their expectations to 50%, and if you are lucky enough to chance a friendly troop, for an exclusive close encounter.

What to Expect in 4 hours of Gorilla Habituation Experience.

The 4 hours of Gorilla Habituation experience doesn’t staying in the presence of the gorilla groups for the entire period. Mountain Gorilla habituation experience comprises of following the mountain gorilla troops from their nests, where they slept the night before, mimic gorilla calls and grunts as well as coming face with the gorillas.

What age is suitable for Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience

Like Gorilla trekking, the recommended age for Mountain Gorilla habituation  is at least 15 years and above, below which are not  allowed habuate.

Where is Gorilla habituation experiences offered?

Mountain Gorilla Habituation experience is only done in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in South West Uganda

How much does  a Mountain  gorilla habituation Permit Cost

A gorilla habituation experience permit costs $1500 per person for a 4 hour session. The gorilla  habituation fee excludes tips, and porters, as each porter fee costs range between $15-$30 depending on how much luggage they will carrying. The porter costs may rise up to $200 in case it involves carrying a tracker.

Tipping on the other hand is customary in Uganda. It is a better way to say “thank you” to the  porters & rangers. Tips do not demand an estimated amount, but at least $20 is appreciable.

Must I book in advance?

Peak season gorilla habituation experience permits must be booked in advance at least 6 months prior to the actual tracking date.  It is also important to not that only four Gorilla habituation  permits are available per day. Therefore, those who would love to for Gorilla habituation experience during the dry months/season of : June, July, August, September, December, January, February, and March.

Apart from these months, you can still acquire Gorilla habituation permits during any time within the year.

Is Gorilla Habituation experience Safe?

Yes! a gorilla habituation experience is safe because Visitors are accompanied with an entire team of Gorilla habituation specialists (conservationists, trackers, researchers and park rangers), who will often give instructions concerning the gorilla troops. These specialists are also well trained  to understand & respond to all signals that the Gorillas showcase, which guarantees safety for all the visitors during while taking the Habituation experience.

Where to find mountain gorillas in Uganda

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda are only found of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and  Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park  has 17 gorilla family groups evenly distributed in 4 gorilla trekking sectors of Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma, while Mgahinga Gorilla national Park has only one Nyakagezi Gorilla family group to be tracked.