Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation have become the most sought tourists activities in Africa, gorilla trekking can be done in Virunga national park in Congo, Volcanoes national park in Congo, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda but gorilla habituation can only be done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
Gorillas live on higher elevations of sub tropical and tropical rain forest, they feed on vegetation with fruits making most part of their diet though they sometimes feed on termites, ants and insects to supplement their diet. Mountain gorilla predators are mostly humans and leopards occasionally. Mountain gorillas are shy and gentile animals but can become very aggressive when disturbed, gorillas show threatening signs of attack before charging at their opponent and the opponent persists this can lead to attack which can even lead to death.
So what’s the difference between the two activities?
Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this process normally takes about 2-3 years as rangers and researchers keep visiting a gorilla family on a daily basis and observe each individual behavior in which they are later given names, when the researchers and rangers are sure that the family can be trekked they undergo a mocking exercise and if they pass they can then be trekked by tourists. Gorilla trekking involves visiting a gorilla family which is already habituated and used to human presence.
Number of trekkers
Gorilla trekking is limited to eight people trekking a certain gorilla family in day while gorilla habituation is restricted to only four people visiting a gorilla family in a day. So gorilla trekking permits are easy to get while gorilla habituation permits might be hard to get especially in the peak season.
Price of Permits
Gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking also differs with the prices, the cost of gorilla trekking is $600 in Uganda, $400 in Congo and $1500 in Rwanda while the cost of gorilla habituation is $1500 and can only be done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
Time spent with gorillas
Gorilla habituation gives visitors extra time to spend with mountain gorillas in that travelers spend four hours studying and observing gorillas while gorilla trekking gives travelers only an hour of experiencing mountain gorillas.
There are habituated gorilla families for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park but there are only two gorilla families undergoing habituation that is Bikingi gorilla family and Bishaho gorilla family.
In conclusion gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation all offer a thrilling lifetime experience your choice will depend on your budget and how much time you want to spend with mountain gorillas.