Gorilla habituation in Uganda was introduced in January 2014, gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence before they can be opened up for trekking by tourists. Tourists interested in gorilla habituation will join researchers in the gorilla habituation process and participate in the activity.
This is more advantageous than gorilla trekking because you spend more time with mountain gorillas compared to gorilla trekking and the number of people in habituation is also reduced to only 4 people.
Gorilla habituation can take 2 or more years to be completed depending on the gorilla family, during the habituation period researchers and rangers keep visiting the gorilla group on daily basis learning and studying each gorilla’s behavior and they are given names in a long run as gorillas also get used to human presence.
When the researchers think that the gorillas are ready to be visited, they introduce a mock exercise where they go with some people to trek that gorilla family and once the family has passed that mocking exercise they will then be introduced for trekking. Gorilla habituation can only be done in Uganda in the Nkuringo and Rushagga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, there are only two groups being habituated that Bikingi gorilla family and Bishaho gorilla family.
Gorilla habituation permits in Uganda cost $1500 per person and this permits should be booked 5-6 months in advance before the actual trekking date due to high demand. Gorilla trekking permits cost $600 per person in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda and $450 in the Democratic republic of Congo.
Best time for Bwindi Gorilla Habituation
The best time for gorilla habituation in Bwindi national park is in the drier months of June to September and December to February. The rest of the wet season can be hectic because of the slippery and muddy trails though gorillas can easily be found as food is in abundant so they don’t move for long distances.
What to bring
Tourists coming for gorilla habituation or gorilla trekking should include some things in their packing list for example; hiking boots, garden gloves, insect repellents, sun screens, warm clothes, energy snacks, drinking water, sun glasses and so much more.
Where to sleep
When going for gorilla habituation in Bwindi national park, tourists can book accommodation in Rushaga or Nkuringo region of Bwindi. Some of the lodges to sleep in include; Rushaga gorilla camp, Nkuringo gorilla camp, clouds mountain gorilla lodge and Gorilla safari lodge among the rest.