Gorilla Habituation In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Most probably you have heard much more about gorilla trekking compared to gorilla habituation. This is because mountain gorilla trekking is a much more popular activity compared to the very amazing gorilla habituation. However, the gorilla habituation process is more thrilling as it helps you to get a better understanding of the behavior and ways of life of these gentle giants.
Gorilla habituation does not have a true definition but it can be understood as the process of gently introducing or making the wild mountain gorillas familiar and comfortable to human presence, a process that takes between 2 to 5 years to complete. Gorilla habituation is crucial for the continued research, care, and conservation of the highly endangered mountain gorillas. Worldwide, this activity can only be done in the Rushaga sector (Southern sector) of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where tourists join researchers and conservationists after a period of time, in their daily routines for an encounter with the wild mountain gorillas and the experience.
Unlike gorilla trekking which takes up to an hour interacting with the mountain gorillas, the gorilla habituation experience takes between 3-4 hours, costing $1,500 per person. Just like the gorilla trekking experience, the habituation experience is restricted to persons of 15 years and above.
Bikyingi gorilla group is one of the gorilla groups that are present for a gorilla habituation experience. The group has 21 individuals and among them include 1 silverback, 2 sub-adults, 9 adult females, and 9 infant gorillas. The other group is the Bushasho gorilla group.
During these two to four years, conservationists and researchers visit the mountain gorillas every day in a process where they identify the members of the gorilla group, their characters, behaviors, and all they can learn about the gorilla group. It is during this time that the group is made familiar to people gradually. After a certain period of time when the family is thought to be familiar with human presence, other people including tourists are allowed to join in the process of habituation.
It is only until a gorilla group is fully familiar with the human presence that it is opened up for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris.
Mountain Gorilla Habituation starts at 7:30 am local time which is earlier than 8:00 am for gorilla trekking. Therefore, if you book for the experience, ensure to wake up early and transfer to the park headquarters for the start of the activity.
Requirements for Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi Forest National Park.
Just like the gorilla trekking experience, the minimum age for a gorilla habituation experience is 15 years. This is because persons below the age of 15 are thought to be unpredictable and their behavior after seeing the mountain gorillas may not be appropriate.
For any person to undertake gorilla habituation, they must have purchased a permit. The gorilla habituation permit costs US$ 1500 each. Only 4 permits are available for each day and therefore tourists should book early to avoid missing out.
Book your gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through a trusted and well-experienced tour operator like Jewel Safaris for easy bookings.
Jewel Safaris have expertise in planning the top primate trekking tours in East Africa with the best itinerary recommendations. We plan bespoke Uganda gorilla safaris, chimpanzee trekking safaris, wildlife safaris, bird watching safaris, white water rafting, and all adventure trips. With more eased means of charter flights, we also tailor combined or single trips in East Africa and these include Rwanda gorilla tours, Kenya safaris, and Tanzania wildlife safaris