What is a Gorilla Habituation Experience

Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience safaris

Gorilla habituation is a process by which wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to human presence. The training period is between two to three years where these wild animals are trained to be friendly to humans. Researchers and visitors keep on visiting them so as they get familiar to human lifestyle and behaviors and in the long run they are given names for easy identification. The gorillas are then tested by journalists, scientists and some other visitors and when they pass these test, they are confirmed for trekking. Gorilla habituation is carried out in southern Bwindi in Rushaga-Nkuringo sector and visitors are allowed to stay with the animals for 4 hours.

Visitors interested in this experience should book as early as 6 months before the actual date especially in the months of December to March, July and October when competition is stiff.

Only a maximum number of 4 visitors are allowed in to the park for the experience per day and a fee of US $1500 is charged.

Gorilla habituation experience has the same rules as the ones for trekking activity apart from the difference in the time spent and number of people to see the gorillas. The experience includes researchers, trekkers, conservationist and rangers who can give you first hand information about the habituated gorilla family.

Bwindi Gorilla Habituation in Uganda –Spend Time More With The gorillas

Gorilla habituation is the process of training or taming the wild gorillas to get used to presence and sight of human beings in their natural habitat. Gorilla habitation is not a one day activity it can take two to three years or even more and it requires specialists such as the tracker, researchers, and the conservationist, game rangers to assist in the habituation process. It is among the learning activities in the jungle although in Uganda, gorilla habituation has become a great rewarding adventure experience that was launched the Uganda wildlife authority in Bwindi forest.

Gorilla habituation experience is restricted to only four travelers who will be allowed to join the researchers, the conservationist, the trackers or park ranger guides to participate in the gorilla habituation process. Due to the restricted numbers of people per day we advise travelers to make advance booking for the gorilla trekking permits at least 5 to 6 months prior to the dates of travel especially if the traveler is to travel during the peak season in the months of June to October and December to February. This is the dry seasons of the year and it is the best time for gorilla habituation since there is little and less rains expected to inconvenience the activity.

Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda costs 1500 USD per person and travelers are allowed to spend 4 hours with the gorillas thus you will have enough time with the gorillas unlike gorilla trekking experience that restricts travelers to only one hour and the gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs 600 USD per person and only maximum of 8 people allowed to meet a gorilla family.

Gorilla habituation in Africa is not done Rwanda or Congo; it can only be done in Uganda in Bwindi forest national park that is home to almost half of the endangered mountain gorilla population remaining in the world.  Bwindi as only four sectors that is home to the 19 habituated gorilla families such as Buhoma sector which is the best gorilla trekking section, Rushaga sector, Nkuringo sector and Ruhija sector. Gorilla habituation is only done in Rushaga sector and Nkuringo sector on only two gorilla families.  During the gorilla habitation process you will learn and understand the behavioral lifestyle patterns of the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and also participate in the naming of the gentle creatures.

After two to three years of the process of habituation, when researchers find out that the wild mountain gorilla have gotten used to presence of the mountain gorillas they will perform a monkey exercise to test the gorillas and if they pass the exercise, it will prove their facts thus the gorilla family that has been undergoing the habituation process will be launched for gorilla trekking experience.

Recommended Gorilla Habituation tour

The 4 Day Gorilla Habituation.

Day1: Transfer to Kampala

On arrival at airport, you will be picked up our company driver guide who will take you through the safari, then later transfer you to your booked hotel of residence in Kampala for dinner and overnight stay. If you reach in time, you can choose to enjoy a city tour in Kampala capital city where you will have great chance to visit attractions like the Uganda museum, visit the market centers, and take a visit to the Ugandan parliament and many more attractions. Accommodation options

Forest cottages –budget

Acacia hotel –mid range

Sheraton hotel Kampala –luxury

Day2: Transfer from Kampala to Bwindi forest

After an early morning breakfast, you will be driven from Kampala to Bwindi forest where the gorilla habituation experience is done. On your way to Bwindi forest you will have a stopover at alternative points such as at the Uganda equator to have to stretch, buy some refreshments and proceed with the journey. You will stop in Mbarara for lunch and later continue with the journey to Bwindi forest national park. On arrival you will check in at your booked lodge in the park for dinner and overnight stay.

Accommodation option

Ichumbi gorilla lodge- mid range

Chameleon hill-luxury accommodation

Gorilla Safari Lodge-budget

Day3: Gorilla habituation experience

After an early morning breakfast you will you will head to Rushaga headquarters for briefing at 7:00 am where you will join the researchers, conservationists, park rangers guides and trackers to participate in the gorilla trekking experience. Don’t forget to carry your packed lunch boxes and enough water because the activity might take a day depending on where the gorilla family will be found.

Day4: Return to Kampala.

You will set off for your journey back to Kampala where you will be dropped at hotel of residence or at Entebbe international airport to catch up with your scheduled flight.

Things to carry.

  • Insect repellent.
  • Enough drinking water and Packed lunch boxes.
  • Long comfortable trousers and shirts.
  • Water proof back packer
  • Waterproof rain jackets.