Chances of seeing gorillas on any trek in Rwanda or Uganda

The chance of seeing gorillas while on normal gorilla trekking is higher compared to those heading for the gorilla habituation process.

What Is The Difference Between Gorilla Trekking And Gorilla Habituation Experience?

What is the difference between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience? Often most people have been confused with these two gorilla safari activities as they cannot distinguish between the two activities. Gorilla habituation and normal gorilla trekking are more differences than similarities. In this article, we see how to compare the two activities in terms of booking them, the price of each, duration, and the chances of seeing gorillas while understating each activity. These two are popular gorilla activities in Africa and it is upon us to take about different aspects of each activity such that you can get an insight and make the right decision before you include either of the activity on your gorilla trekking safari activity in Africa.

Gorilla habituation experience, its explanation, and history

Gorilla habituation is the process whereby researchers train gorillas in the wild to get used to human beings such that when the human being in their presence, they don’t cause harm to them. This is done by a team of experts, researchers, primatologists, researchers, and staff of the observation areas where the habituation process is taking place. The habituation process may take about 2 to 3 years with the team visiting the gorillas one at a time until they feel that the gorillas are ready now to entertain visitors. Some of the selected mountain gorillas may take long to be habituated while others may take just a short time to get used to human beings.

Historically, gorilla habituation experience was introduced in Uganda in 2014 and this means that it has been 5 years since this activity has been introduced in Uganda. The activity takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and visitors who go for this activity spend 4 hours in between the southern sectors of Nkuringo and Rushaga and only 4 people are allowed for this fantastic activity. Africa Adventure Vacations was one of the fastest companies to take clients to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for gorilla habituation experience in 2014 when it was introduced and up to now then we customize gorilla habituation experience to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Just contact us for more details.

Difference between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation

In comparison, gorilla habituation has been recently introduced juts in 2014 after the Uganda wildlife Authority saw the demand for visitors to spend more time with mountain gorillas. We have taken many tourists to Bwindi to see mountain gorillas for 4 hours throughout this activity of gorilla habituation experience. During this activity, visitors will trek and see gorillas who are not yet fully habituated and spend with them four hours and this means that visitors can as well participate in habituation activities such as making calls, collecting and testing stools, naming of gorillas, learning more about gorilla behaviors, including when and how gorillas became happy, tired and when they no longer want to see people around. You can contact Africa Adventure Vacations for more details, please feel free to inquire from us all what you want to know about the gorilla safaris in Uganda.

How many visitors / tourists can visit each gorilla habituation family?

Only 4 people are allowed to visit each gorilla family that is still under habituation daily. 4 people are allowed just as a measure to minimize the likely impacts caused by humans on gorillas and the environment, remember people are visiting the gorillas that semi-habituated. This means that only 4 gorilla habituation experience permits are available daily and the whole year there 1440 permits. In case you are interested in doing gorillas habituation experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, you should Contact Africa Adventure Vacations early enough to book and organize your gorilla habituation safari in Africa. Provided you book with us all the inclusive packages, we don’t charge extra for the gorilla habituation experience permit.

What is the price of the Gorilla habituation experience permit?

The gorilla habituation experience permit costs United States Dollars 1500 per trek per person for Foreign-Non Residents, $1000 for foreign residents, and Uganda shilling 750,000 for East African citizens per person per trek and this allows you to do the activity for 4 hours. Only four permits are available per day which implies that you need to book in advance to be able to get an opportunity to engage in a gorilla habituation experience. The activity starts at around 7:00 am with a briefing by the staff and you must attend this briefing. The costs of this involve the four hours spent with gorillas, the park entrance fees, the guiding /ranger fee however it excludes transportation to and from Bwindi and the accommodation costs. The gorilla habituation permit is issued to visitors who are 15 years and above and those below are not eligible to do the activity.

Is gorilla habituation experience once the money?

Yes, one will need to rest assured of the experience worth $1500 that he/she has to pay for gorilla habituation experience instead of $700 for normal gorilla trekking. one of the reasons why the money paid for gorilla habituation is worth it is because gorilla habituation experience will give you ample time to interact with gorillas, imagine 4 hours seeing gorillas in a single day. In the case of normal gorilla trekking, you only be allowed one hour to see the gorillas which means that to have 4 hours of gorilla trekking you will need 4 days and on each day paying the same amount and thus this is one of the reasons as to why you should consider gorilla habituation experience and why it charged $1500.  So you can see that you will need $2800 to do gorilla trekking for 4 days for only hours as compared to only $1500 for a single day and four hours. Thus in case you want to spend more time with mountain gorillas, then you should opt for gorilla habituation experience and buy the gorilla habituation experience permit at  $1500.  Once you apply the mathematics, then you will get to know exactly why the cost of the permit for gorilla habituation experience is worth it.

What are the chances of seeing gorillas’ habituation experience tour?

Obviously, by taking a gorilla habituation experience process, you’re dealing with gorillas in the wild and those that are not yet fully habituated which means that the gorillas are not used to human presence, and too, it is difficult to tell their movements and their behaviors on any given day. We can estimate that the chances of seeing gorillas during this activity are about 95% as compared to 99%  chances of seeing gorillas during normal gorilla trekking. However, at Africa Adventure Vacations we have registered 100% success of about 50 habituation trips that we conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Most visitors have noted how strenuous the activity is, the fact that the activity deals with gorillas that wild and move here and there, running away from human beings and therefore they can be settled in one place. The Major advantage is that with the gorilla habituation process you physically participate in activities of gorilla habituation experience apart from taking photographs and seeing them.

In which National Park can you go for a gorilla habituation experience?

Mountain gorillas in Africa live in four National parks, but it is only in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park where the gorilla habituation process takes place, and therefore it where you can book a gorilla habituation process. Remember that in Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park, gorilla habituation experience safaris are only conducted in the southern part of the park between Nkuringo and Rushaga gorilla trekking regions. All gorillas in other national parks such as Mgahinga National Park and Volcanoes National Park are habituated and therefore they cannot support the gorilla habituation experience. So in the whole world, gorilla habituation experience can take place only in Uganda and in Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park. Book with us at Africa Adventure Vacations, we shall take you to the wild of gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

How many Gorillas families available for gorilla habituation safaris in Bwindi Forest Park?

As earlier said, Uganda is the only country where gorilla habituation safaris take place. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has got 2 gorilla families that are of the present available for gorilla habituation experience. The 2 gorilla families are located in the southern sector between Nkuringo and Rushaga. A group of 4 people is allowed to go for gorilla habituation experience and this means that there are only 8 gorilla trekking permits that are available for gorilla habituation safari in Bwindi per day. Therefore as gorillas increase in the park, then more families to be available for habituation.

The normal gorilla trekking activity

Gorilla trekking is the chief activity in African for visitors to sees the gorillas. This activity of gorilla trekking will enable you to see the habituated mountain gorilla families while visiting this conservational park. Uganda is home to half of all endangered mountain gorillas in the world and the rest of the mountain gorillas reside still in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Volcanoes National park in Rwanda. It is only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park where tour guaranteed over 96% chance of seeing both gorillas. All the 4 sectors of the park are filled with mountain gorillas and in all directions of the park wherein Nkuringo and Rushaga sector in the southern part of the park, Ruhija in the Northeast, and Buhoma in the Eastern part of the park you will be able to trek these magnificent gorilla species. The activity of gorilla trekking may take from 30 minutes to a quarter a day depending on your physical fitness and the distance moved by the gorilla family or group being trekked. You must obtain a gorilla trekking permit since it is one of the essentials for you to engage in any gorilla activity in either Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo. This means that before you set off for your gorilla trekking trip to Africa, make sure that you already have a gorilla permit. The gorilla trekking permit should be booked in advance to cement your spot for gorilla trekking. Once you have booked the permit then, your dates of travel and the space availability are confirmed. In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla parks, each gorilla family is visited by a group of 8 clients or people per day meaning that there are only 8 gorilla permits per day and this means that you will have to book this permit in advance because of competition, here at Africa adventure vacations we can book for you the gorilla trekking permit. Gorilla trekking starts at the park headquarters with the briefing and after the visitors will have to return to the park headquarters to get a certificate of successfully participating in gorilla trekking safari.

When did gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo start?

Dating back, the history of gorilla trekking is linked with the work of history of Diane Fossey. Diane Fossey spent most of her time with gorillas in Rwanda’s volcanoes and Virunga where the activity started and later spread to other countries like Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda was introduced in 1993 in the Buhoma gorilla trekking region where the first gorilla family was habituated. Mubale group was the first gorilla family to be fully habituated and the first one to have trekked and people frequently visit the group because of its historical attachment as the oldest Gorilla family to be visited. The group has seen a lot of changes after the death of the dominant silverback Ruhondeza and individual gorillas in this group reduced, however, the new leadership recruited members to make the family/group more vibrant again.

How to book a gorilla trekking permit

Booking a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda and Rwanda is very simple especially if you book with Africa Adventure vacations as your trusted travel agency to handle all your travel booking and reservations for gorilla trekking. We help you book for you the gorilla trekking permit free of charge provided you’re booking with us all the inclusive tour packages. We are registered with the Uganda wildlife authority and we can access their offices any time or any day as we wish to and also having the access to their online booking system. What you need to do is to give us the dates that you wish to travel for gorilla trekking and then for us we check for the availability and the availability is there, then we reserve it for five days and we wait for you to pay and once you have paid then we send you the scanned copies of your permit in your particulars. Our cheap and affordable gorilla safari packages are well listed on our website and you can inquire from us for more information. We also contact the Rwanda Development Board for permit availability and the same procedure follows.

How much is a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda and Rwanda?

In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit is proved and issued by the Uganda wildlife authority and enables the permit owner to trek and spent only one hour seeing the habituated mountain gorilla family in Mgahinga national park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The price for a mountain gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park is at United States Dollars 700 for foreign non-residents, then United states Dollars  600 for foreign residents residing in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Rwanda. While for the East African Citizens they will be reacquired to pay Uganda shillings 250,000 for East African citizens of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Southern Sudan. If you are a foreign non-resident you must prove this by showing off your copies of the national Identicard and the working permit.

In Rwanda, the price for gorilla trekking in Uganda is relatively cheaper and competitive compared to gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda where a gorilla trekking permit goes to United States Dollars 1500 per person per trek making Rwanda the most expensive gorilla trekking destination in the region. It was also found out that Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park has over 50 mountain gorilla families and only 18 of these families are well habituated and open for visitors to see them. Remember that the moment to participate in gorilla trekking then you are contributing to conservation efforts.

For how long will you stay with mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda and Uganda will give you one hour to spend with the habituated gorilla family. During this one hour, you will be allowed to take photos, and some videos as you are following rules and regulations set by the authorities of the respective countries. However, the overall gorilla trekking may last from 30 minutes to 5 hours, and once you see the mountain gorilla that you’re searching you will spend only one hour with the gorilla. It is good that you do the booking of the permit in advance and if you feel that the time is not enough then you can even do gorilla trekking twice a day with different gorilla families and in different sectors of Uganda’s Bwindi national park.

Chances of seeing gorillas on any trek in Rwanda or Uganda

The chance of seeing gorillas while on normal gorilla trekking is higher compared to those heading for the gorilla habituation process. The chances of seeing gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park are as high as 98%. This is because an advanced team traces the gorillas earlier and then directs the visitors and in case you fail to see the gorillas the terms and conditions do apply. Please feel free to contact us for more information about gorilla trekking and the habituation process in Africa.

How many gorilla families are available for trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Uganda has half of the remaining mountain gorillas with over 450 gorillas making the park in Africa with the highest Number of Mountain gorillas and in the whole world. There are only two parks in Uganda with gorillas and these include the Mgahinga Gorilla family and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. there are about 21 habituated gorilla families in Uganda only 10 habituated gorilla families in Rwanda are available for gorilla trekking and therefore Uganda has got a lot of habituated gorilla families and this increases the chances of seeing gorillas.

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