Gorilla Habituation Experience is a lifetime dream for many, this is a unique opportunity to spend quality time observing Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat before their group is opened to tourism. This activity only operates in the Rushaga region of Bwindi and is in operation for a limited time only.
Although the habituation process has been on-going for many years, the idea of opening it up for public participation is relatively new and there still considered a pilot project. Nobody knows how long it will be available but there are presently two Gorilla groups under study.
You will join researchers and experienced rangers who make up a select group to follow their allocated Gorilla study as they undergo the habituation process. The experience is currently priced at $1,500 per person and includes park fees. The Gorillas have been followed since 2015 and rangers gradually increase the time spent near to them to allow them to become used to human visitors.
It is a very delicate process, habituation usually lasts up to 5-6 years. Only two families are available for the habituation experience. These are in the Rushaga sector. The terrain is steep and vegetation is dense. A good level of fitness is required since pathways are cut as you move. The porters and researchers are used to the terrain and you will be expected to hike at a reasonable pace. However, porters may be hired for assistance.
The experience allows you to spend a maximum of 4 hours with the Gorillas under habituation. This time excludes the time taken to reach them. Unlike trekking which starts around 8.30am, the habituation leaves a little earlier – expect to leave around 7.30am. You will learn about the habituation process and study how the Gorillas react to human presence…. mostly you just help to get them used to people but the researchers are getting to know the Gorillas, their personalities, and importantly who is in charge and how the Silverback leads his group.
They also study the health of the Gorillas and involve the Gorilla doctors if any show signs of illness. Habituation is limited to just 4 tourists (unlike normal treks which are operated in groups of 8 people). It is a fascinating feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the only remaining . It is amazing to think there are only around 900 of these beautiful mountain gorillas creatures left. The entire guidance on trekking, clothing, and preparations for the safari will be issued upon booking.
This is a unique opportunity to be part of a landmark wildlife process and play a part in protecting these Great Apes.
Gorilla habituation doesn’t need much apart from the gorilla habituation permit which is the first thing to think about for a successful habituation experience. Uganda gorilla habituation permit goes for 1500usd and it can be acquired direct from the Uganda wildlife authority but it is more recommendable to get it through your trusted and licensed tour operator like Africa Adventure Vacations since it would be easier for the home ground based tour operator to go through all the process. And since these permits are always on high demand it is also advisable to book your permit 5 months to time of your experience because they often sell out fast.
Gorilla habituation is a very safe experience and more rewarding because it is being conducted with the help of the park guides and the game rangers who are able to make sure you get the safest habituation experience. Though it also important and advisable to respect the rules of conduct about gorilla habituation as they are briefed to you before you set off for the habituation experience.
And it starts early in the morning with a briefing about habituation at the park headquarters and you spend 4hrs with these mountain gorillas on finding them and follow them where they go for their daily activities. Book with us for your memorable gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi.
Habituated Gorillas are those gorillas that went through the process of gorilla habituation. The process of gorilla habituation is the training that mountain gorillas have to go through so as to learn how to live comfortably with human race as their continue doing their daily activities.
Mountain gorillas are located in Virunga National park in Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda is limited in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National park where gorilla trekking is carried out.
Two gorilla families are in habituation process at the Rushaga Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. These families are Bushaho and Bikyingi Gorilla families. Bikyingi Gorilla family has got one silverback, nine infants, nine adult females, and two sub-adults.
Four people are accepted to participate in gorilla habituation experience and it is a wonderful experience to watch gorillas closely and adore the magnificent endangered creatures.
Gorilla habituation permit costs 1,500 USD per person whereas the Gorilla trekking permit costs of 700 USD.
Gorilla habituation experience is for 4 hours as you are enjoying the forest whereas gorilla trekking experience goes for a maximum of one hour.
Gorilla habituation experience is active and convenient in the months of December, March, June and October.
For engagement with gorilla habituation experience, you have to book in an advance of 4 months before the official travel date. Tour operator books the permit for you.
Throughout the gorilla habituation experience, you need to be carrying packed lunch, camera and more batteries, a light rain jacket, long sleeved clothes and Gloves.
The world host almost 400 mountain gorillas and Bwindi itself has a half of this population and is why it is a world heritage site. Uganda is composed of 12 gorilla families and they include, Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Bitukura, Nshongi, Oruzogo, Mishaya, Nkuringo, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Nyakagezi and Kyaguriro.
Mubare Gorilla family is made up of 8 members with 1 silverback. Mubare gorilla family was established in 1993 and is considered to be among oldest habituated gorilla families in Ugandan park of Bwindi. Mubare family lives in Mubare hill, which is found Bwindi Impenetrable national park, the leader is silverback Ruhondeza.
Habinyanja Gorilla family is placed in Buhoma, it has a family group of 17 members and it has 2 silverbacks. In 1997 the family was habituated and in 1999, the first visitors.
Rushegura Gorilla family has a population of 19 members and 1 silverback. The family is found in Buhoma sector.
Bitukura Gorilla family is positioned in Ruhija sector of Bwindi Forest and has 14 members with 4 silverback. The Bitukura gorilla family got its name after the river known as Bitukura.
Oruzogo family is found in Rhija sector and it has 25 family members with 2 silverbacks, this is the second habituated family found Ruhijah.
Nkuringo gorilla family is sited in Nkuringo, it has 19 gorilla families with 2 silverbacks. The habituation process of this family was finished in 2004.
Nshongi gorilla family is situated in Rushaga sector, it has 26 family members with 4 silverbacks.
Mishaya Gorilla family is situated in Rushaga sector, it has 12 gorilla family members with 1 silverback.
Kahungye Gorilla family is situated in Rushaga sector, it has 13 family members with 3 silverbacks.
Bweza gorilla family is situated in Rushaga sector, it has 9 family members with 1 silverback.
Busingye gorilla family is situated in Rushaga sector
Kyaguriro gorilla family is situated in Ruhija sector, it has 15 members with 2 silverbacks
Nyakagezi Gorillas family is situated in Mgahinga national park and it has 10 individuals with 3 silverbacks.
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