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Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda is the process that mountain gorilla go through being tamed and trained to get used to the human being presence when travelers visit them for gorilla tourism. Before the endangered mountain gorillas are opened for gorilla trekking experience they have to first undergo process of habituation so that wild gorillas get used to people when they them. Gorilla habituation process was launched by the Uganda wildlife authority to ensure that the goals of sustainable gorilla tourism are achieved and also to wild silverback mountain get used to people and don’t harm them are when they visited.
Although travelers are allowed only four hours to spend with the mountain gorillas family from the time they meet the family. Gorilla habituation take a very long period of time such as two to three years before the gorilla trekking can be allowed to a gorilla family.
Where to go for gorilla habituation experience?
Gorilla habituation experience is only done in Bwindi forest national park that is a home to about 400 mountain gorilla population; it is the best destination for the mountain gorilla trekking experience.
Bwindi forest is divided into four sector that are habitat to the 17 mountain gorilla families, these include Buhoma sector in the northern part of Bwindi forest that has about four gorilla families, Rushaga sector that is located in the southern sector of the park, Nkuringo sector found in the south part of Bwindi, Ruhija sector in the eastern part of Bwindi forest national park.
Gorilla habituation is done in Rushaga sector and it can only be done in only one sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is Rushaga sector that is situated in the southern part of Bwindi forest which has got only two gorilla families where the habituation can be done.
Gorilla habituation process in Bwindi forest
There is only one family in Rushaga sector called kutu family that has about 8 individuals headed by one dominant mountain gorilla silverback. The habituation process takes about two to three years and it is done together with researchers, trackers, park ranger guides as well as conservationist. Gorilla habituation allows a maximum of 4 travelers that has to go together with the researchers in the habituation experience and gorilla trekking allows a maximum of 8 people to participate in the gorilla trekking experience.
Just like gorilla trekking experience, before setting off for the gorilla habituations, the activity will start with briefing at 7:30 am in Rushaga sector telling travelers ready for the habituation experience about the dos and don’ts safety rules and regulation for the successful gorilla habituation experience. After briefing you will then enter the forest and start the habituation process that involves naming of names with researchers, making calls, monitoring the gorilla behavior among others. During gorilla habituation that is when they will introduce the mock exercise stage to approve the family that it is ready for trekking.
What is the cost of gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi forest?
For any traveler to participate in gorilla habituation or trekking, traveler will be required to have a gorilla trekking permit or habituation permit.
Gorilla habituation permit costs 1500 USD per person per day and a maximum of travelers will participate in the habituation process. While as gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi costs
The permits are sold at the Uganda wildlife authority headquarter offices in Kampala for travelers who would like to make direct booking they can contact the Uganda wildlife authority office that will display for them permit availability then book according to the permit availability.
However for a perfect gorilla habituation experience we advise travelers to book with Uganda safari experts that will organize their Uganda gorilla habituation safari who will at same time assist them to book the permits, accommodation lodges as well as organizing transportation. Such as adventure in wild safaris your safari experts in organizing Uganda safaris. Gorilla habituation experience, we advise travelers to book in advance at 6-7 months in advance due to the fact there is need to make proper preparation, planning and permits can get sold out but when there is no any other alternative especially in the peak season during the months for December to February, June to October in the dry season. The dry season is the best time to enjoy gorilla habituation since there is little rain expected to interrupt the habituation process.
How to get to Bwindi forest sector of gorilla habituation?
From Kampala to Bwindi forest it is about 9-10 hours’ drive on road transport in a 4×4 vehicles using a public mean or private transportation services/ tour operator. However alternatively travelers who fear long distances can opt for air transport and connect from Rwanda, from Kigali international airport aircrafts can land in kihihi airstrip and later drive for 3 to 4 hours to Rushaga sector which could be the best alternative for travelers that have tight schedules.
In conclusion, gorilla habituation experience will give an opportunity to travelers to meet face to face with mountain gorillas for a long time than the gorilla trekking experience that take a limited time of hour.