BWINDI GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE.
Gorilla habituation is one of the major activities done in Bwindi impenetrable national park where visitors get close to the mountain gorillas for up to 4 hours. This activity was introduced in this park in 2014. Bwindi Impenetrable has half of the remaining mountain gorillas with over 50 gorilla families but only 19 are habituated and open for visitors.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is situated in southwestern Uganda close to Congo’s Virunga national park. The park covers an area of 331sq.km, and boasts a variety of attractions, including mammals, reptiles, bird species, tree species and butterflies.
Gorilla habituation in Bwindi is done within only one sector, Rushaga. Gorilla habituation is where gorillas are introduced or trained to learn human behaviours and get used to human presence. The activity lasts for only 4 hours while in the presence of this endangered species in the impenetrable forest.
As you wake up in the morning, head to the park offices for instructions that will guide you while in the forest. These will help you to make the activity easier and enjoyable, with the help of the different groups of people like an armed game ranger, tour guides, zoologists or wildlife biologists, trackers who take most of their time trying to complete the habituation cycle, head to the forest and to search for these beautiful creatures.
Gorillas are shy and get afraid always so these people are needed to help in situations when these gorillas charge and become hostile. As the exercise begins, trekkers first take a big distance and as time goes, they get more close to these gorillas. This enables visitors to get to know the way of life of these gorillas in their natural environment.
There is also an option of naming a young gorilla any name of your choice, though this comes at a cost that is attached to supporting the project of protecting these endangered species. The names are normally given to the new-born gorillas.
Difference between Gorilla Habituation and Gorilla Trekking.
Most people don’t know the differences between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. First of all, gorilla trekking takes only an hour in the presence of the gorillas whereas gorilla habituation takes four hours. Secondly, 8 visitors are allowed to trek gorillas, unlike habituation where only 4 people are allowed.
Thirdly, the gorilla trekking permit goes to 700 USD whereas the cost of the habituation permit is 1500 USD per person. Lastly, gorilla trekking only presents a simple interaction than habituation which puts you completely in the company of these gorillas.
How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable national park for gorilla habituation experience?
You can reach or access Bwindi by either road or air form Kampala - the capital city or Entebbe international airport. By road, use Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale road, a distance covering 512km which takes 8-9 hours of drive.
Also, you can connect from Rwanda in Kigali city and cross the border via Cyanika in Kisoro or Katuna in Kabale
By air, scheduled and chartered flights can be arranged from either Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe.
When to purchase gorilla habituation permits in Bwindi?
Given that habituation requires only 4 people per day per group and only one group is visited in a day, you are required to book habituation permit in advance. Most travellers book their permits for dry season of June-September and December-February. This is when the roads can be easily navigable, there are low chances of rainfall.
Our experienced team is waiting to help you as you book a gorilla habituation safari to Bwindi impenetrable national park.