What to consider while booking a gorilla habituation experience in Uganda.

March 28, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

For travelers who are interested in spending more time with the endangered Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, there are a few things they have to consider while planning to book a gorilla habituation tour.


The Uganda Wildlife Authority introduced a gorilla habituation experience in 2014 for tourists who wish to spend more than one hour with the mountain gorilla. This activity is carried out in the southern sector of Bwindi Forest known as Rushaga.


Rushaga sector has the biggest number of habituated gorilla families that are visited by tourist for tracking each day as compared to other sectors of Bwindi, but when it comes to gorilla habituation, there are two gorilla families which are still undergoing the process of habituation every day so that they get used and familiar with the presence of human beings and these groups are Bushaho gorilla family and Bikingi gorilla family. On your vacation plan a gorilla habituation experience in Uganda and enjoy one of the amazing experiences which Dian Fossey one of the gorilla fanatical and great researcher who brought these gentle giants to plight went through  in the wild.


Gorilla Habituation Experience

Only experienced on a tour in Africa with in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park of Uganda, you will enjoy one of the greatest safaris and ape encounters the world has to offer in the names of gorilla habituation experience. The habituation process is where a team of researchers, trekkers, and park rangers whom you will accompany this time round to follow a group of mountain gorillas in order to make them familiar with the presence of humans in their natural habitats. The gorilla habituation process can take like 2-3 years to make gorillas used to humans.


The Park rangers, trekkers, and researchers have to follow that chosen gorilla group every day doing and trying to behave like gorillas and showing no harm as this gives then confidence and conscience to start getting closer to humans. Following a gorilla family helps them to learn more about their behaviors and nest at the end of the day. After a gorilla group gets used to researchers, trekkers, and park rangers then every member in a group is given a name as per the facial marking and appearance not leaving out behavior, and once they confirm that they can be visited by strangers without aggression, they introduce a mock exercise whereby a small group of tourists including the park rangers and researchers start trekking them.


When this gorilla group is done with the habituation process, they are put on the list of gorilla families to be visited every day. Only 4 tourists are accepted to do the gorilla habituation experience per day. What to consider first while planning a gorilla habituation process is the safari permits, you have to book your permit in advance since there are two gorilla families used for this process giving a chance to only 4 people allowed on a first come first served basis makes it very competitive and prior planning is much critical.


This means that there are only 8 permits every day and you will need to secure your spot in order to partake on this unforgettable experience. After you are done with your gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, you will be given a certificate which appreciates you for completing the activity as well as contributing to the protect of mountain gorillas.


Southwestern Uganda is where this unique exercise happens in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi National Park in the districts of Kanungu and Kisoro on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi forest is among the oldest tropical  and afro montane rain forests in Africa, going was back over 25,000 years. In 1991 is when the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi was turned into a National Park and in 1994 it was declared as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. This amazing forest is a natural habitat to more than 350 bird species, 400 plant species, 300 species of trees which are more than 25000 years old, 120 mammal species, and among them are the primates including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, dwarf and large antelopes, forest elephants, buffaloes, records of the shy and rare Golden cat have been reported and others.


Currently, Bwindi Forest has 20 habituated gorilla families which can be visited every day in all the different sections of your choice. Apart from Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are also offering gorilla trekking experiences.


When to do gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Forest.

This activity can be done all year round, however the best time to engage in this activity is during the dry season which is from December-March and June-October when the hiking trails are not too slippery and muddy which makes the hiking experience excellent. You can also do gorilla habituation during the wet season because at such time there is plenty of food and water in the forest and animals are no longer moving long distances in their search. Also, during this season, primates look healthier and more beautiful. However, most of the hiking trails might be slippery and muddy because it can rain for the whole day. Please note, the wet season is good for the budget tourists since there is no high demand for gorilla habituation experience permits not leaving out the good rates for accommodation.


Price for gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Forest.

A gorilla habituation permit in Bwindi Forest costs 1,500 USD for foreign non-residents while for foreign residents is 1,000 USD and 750,000 Ugandan shillings for East African citizens. This permit allows you to spend 4 fours in the presence of the endangered mountain gorillas while observing their behaviors when still not very tamed as the usually fully ha habituated ones.


A permit for spending 4 hours with the mountain gorillas in Uganda is the same as the Rwanda gorilla permit for one-hour interaction. At Journeys Uganda, we recommend that time and resources allowing, add a day of tracking the fully habituated gorilla family as well to have a mix of both experiences, contact us and we help you book and secure the gorilla habituation permits and any other safari tips until your arrival in Uganda for an unforgettable experience in wild.


What we need for now is for you to tell us the dates you are looking at for your travel and we will confirm the availability of permits, guides, accommodation and any other activities then you will proceed to do your payments for the gorilla permits. A Journeys Uganda travel consultant or one of the directors will be back to you with an invoice that will allow you proceed and make the payments so that we can confirm you are ready for signup your safari and we make bookings for your gorilla permit. We accept credit card payments, bank transfers, mobile money transfers and cash too. If you decide to use a credit card, you will be charged 5% for each and every transaction that you will make.


After making your payments, Journeys Uganda will send you a scanned copy of the receipts of payments if you need them and time for your travel, we will also pick for you the permits and one of our guides will present to you the original copy that you will have to show on the day of gorilla trekking. Remember that the fee for permits includes only the fee for entrance into Bwindi Gorilla National Park and the services of the guide who takes you through the forest and also the four hours you spend with the gorillas. However, the permit does not include meals and accommodation and also transport varies on the days you spend from your arrival point to the park.


Reasons for booking with Journeys Uganda.

Traveling to a new place is so exciting and it is one of the greatest experiences one can ever encounter. You get a chance to encounter different cultures, food, and natural resources of the area and create unforgettable memories in a foreign land. Journeys Uganda is a certified travel agency in Uganda that understands the customers desire to have an unforgettable experience and is well equipped to deliver just that. At a very affordable price, you could visit Uganda and experience the best that the Pearl of Africa has to offer.




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