Are you a primatologist or trekker and you are looking for that exceptional adventure to enhance your safari experiences in Africa? Ever heard about the Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience? Well, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park features as the only primate destination in the world that you should count a must to visit if you are realize your dreams with a 4 hour ultimate habituation experience with the mountain gorillas. This tremendous experience was initiated on 1st January 2014 by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) making it a newly established tourism product that you shouldn’t miss to include in your bucket list. For visitors are interested in Uganda safaris that feature undertaking this extra-ordinary adventure, the permits cost $1500 per visitor for foreign non residents, US$1000 for foreign residents and shs.750,000 for East African residents.
There are only 2 (two) gorilla groups that have been set a side for visitors for this extra-ordinary experience and they are mainly within the Nkuringo and Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and they include Bikingi and Bushaho families. Unlike the usual gorilla trekking where you have only an hour of magical encounters, with gorilla habituation experience, trekkers enjoy all the 4 hours while on a face to face encounter with these dramatic apes besides an entire day of exploration. This adventure equally involves visitors trekking to and from the thick jungles but the only difference is that visitors mainly go tracking the semi habituated gorilla families. Up on finding your group, you will explore more about their behavior and take as many photos as possible. This experience mainly comprises of researchers, conservationists, trackers and visitors who spend a lot more of time habituating gorillas. The difference with this adventure is that the gorillas are still shy unlike the usual gorilla treks where gorilla families are used to the presence of human beings.
Gorilla habituation experience is entirely a process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this process lasts for about 2 to 3 years however, some families can even take less than 2 years. After learning the behaviors, they will also be given names and once the researchers are very sure that they can be tracked, they will be initiated in a mock exercise where some few people especially scientists, journalists can begin exploring the families. After passing the mock process, the family is opened for gorilla tracking.
However, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park features about 11 habituated groups and they include Rushegura, Mubare and Habinyanja in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi National Park; Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguriro in Ruhija sector-east of Bwindi; Mishaya, Nshongi, Busingye, Bweza and Kahungye gorilla families in Rushaga sector and Nkuringo group in Nkuringo sector.
In conclusion, if gorilla trekking is regarded as lifetime experience then gorilla habituation experience is ideally an extra-ordinary experience. Visitors who are planning to undertake this remarkable Uganda safari experience are encouraged to be well prepared and ensure that they have enough drinking water and energy snacks to help boost energy for them to complete their dream adventure in Africa.
How much is the gorilla habituation experience
Gorilla habituation experience is a unique adventure experience where trekkers have more hours before the gorillas. This makes the experience over doubling gorilla trekking costs, for the experience the permit costs US$1500 more expensive compared to trekking which costs US$700. The cost of gorilla habituation experience in Uganda stand to compete with the permit to trek in Rwanda, however, habituation experience is an adventure experience of its kind not done elsewhere in the world.
How is the gorilla habituation experience done?
The habituation experience calls for a little number of trekkers as only 4 trekkers accompany research and roll into the impenetrable forest to trek the species. This time around trekker have more 4 hours before the gorillas on encountering the apes and there a lot of things to do at this moment. Remembers gorillas under habituation are under study to understand which includes a number of activities among which include naming the gorillas, studying their daily behaviors and this time even tourists are engaged to take part in the habituation activities.
What to carry for the gorilla habituation experience?
The first consideration should be procuring the gorilla habituation permit, should drive in the stronger 4×4 safari vehicle as roads may be challenging especially during rainy seasons. Among the packages should consist of long sleeved shirt and trouser, must carry body repellant, enough drinking water, enough eats, gardening gloves, water proof jacket as well stronger jungle boots.