Mountain gorillas are an endangered species of primates living the tropical rain-forests in Africa, they cannot survive in zoos that’s why you have to travel to Africa if you would like you encounter these human close relatives. Gorilla habituation can be described as the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence, this normally takes an average of two to three years with researchers and rangers visiting a particular gorilla family. When gorillas are used to rangers and researchers, they undergo a mocking exercise before the family is opened up for gorilla trekking.
The researchers and rangers study each gorilla behavior and the names are later given according to each ones character. Gorillas are gentile and calm animals but humans must proof no harm to them to avoid being attacked because they can become aggressive when insecure. Tourists have the privilege to join trackers and researchers in the gorilla habituation experience and this can only be done at Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda. This offers tourists a chance of spending more time with mountain gorillas than gorilla trekking.
Gorilla habituation takes four hours of observation while gorilla trekking takes one hour of observation, this offers visitors a chance of taking more photos and learning mountain gorilla behavior better. Unlike gorilla trekking that can be crowded with eight peoples, gorilla habituation takes only 4 people.
Gorilla habituation experience starts early morning with a briefing from the park headquarters, after briefing you will start your hike into the jungle to find the gorilla family. Time taken for gorilla habituation will depend on the location of the family and phase of hikers.
For luxurious clients who would love to participate in mountain gorilla habituation, they can fly in to Entebbe international airport and then fly to Kisoro airstrip near Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park from Entebbe or Kajjansi airfield. Though you can also fly to Kigali international airport in Rwanda and for four hours to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
The Rushaga sector of Bwindi national park where trekking done from has got the most spectacular views in the whole of Bwindi national park with panoramic views of the Virunga massif volcanoes and the stunning twin Lakes Lake Mutanda and Lake Mulehe.
Accommodation & Permits
There are various luxurious lodges in Rushaga sector of Bwindi national park where you can sleep in and some of this include; Bwindi jungle gorilla lodge, chameleon hill lodge, Lake Mulehe safari lodge, Rushaga gorilla camp and many others.
Gorilla habituation permits cost $1500 per person and gorilla trekking permits cost $600/per person. All gorilla permits must be obtained in advance of 3-6 months before coming to the country because of high demand. Children under the age of 15 years and adults with infection will not be allowed to trek mountain gorillas.
The best time to visit Uganda for gorilla habituation I in the dry season of June to September and December to February when the weather conditions are good with no slippery and muddy trails.