Discounted Gorilla Habituation Permits For Foreign Residents In East Africa
Uganda Wildlife Authority used to discount gorilla permits, especially in the low season, as promotional permits, but discounted Uganda gorilla permits were last offered from December 2020 to June 2021 to revamp the Uganda safaris from the effects of the coronavirus. By then, the management discounted Uganda gorilla permits by 57% of the prevailing normal cost.
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The cost of gorilla permits is discounted for foreign residents in East Africa all year around. In Uganda, the cost of gorilla habituation permits for foreign residents is currently $1000 per person per day. The normal current cost of the Uganda gorilla habituation permit is $1500 per person per trek. This cost may sound hefty for just an entry ticket. However, every penny is worth spending on a gorilla habituation experience.
Within the cost of a gorilla habituation permit are inclusions like mountain gorilla conservation, ranger guide fee, researcher fee, security during gorilla trekking, park entrance fees, four hours with the mountain gorillas, local community support, a certificate after completing gorilla trekking, and several others.
As the tourism industry worldwide is awakening from the ashes of the coronavirus, safari discounts are less.
The low tourism season in Uganda, which is normally March, April, May, and November, may prompt some service providers to offer discounts like accommodation facilities, vehicle hire, cost of a ranger guide, and others to break even. In case you have a limited budget, you can use this opportunity. Some tourists with a low budget have a chance for an upgrade to a better facility during the low season, so you can still test your safari chances.
Before proceeding to more details about gorilla habituation experience, we need to know what gorilla habituation experience is and where it is done.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation experiences is an adventure where you accompany a team of researchers and habituators to follow a semi-habituated gorilla family and stay with them for 4 hours. This is part of gorilla habituation exercises.
The gorilla habituation exercise is a process where a wild gorilla family is observed, followed, and identified by a team of researchers and habituators to get it ready for gorilla trekking when finally approved to be ready for public viewing. The time gorilla habituation takes may be 2 years or more, depending on how fast they cope.
Where to do gorilla habituation experience?
Currently, the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only gorilla habitat destination with so far two gorilla families open for public booking.
For each gorilla habituation party, only 4 tourists are allowed to accompany a team of researchers and trackers. You must attend an early morning briefing where you are given the guidelines to follow and what to expect during the gorilla habituation experience.
It would be best to remember these are semi-habituated mountain gorillas, so expect some wild behavior like hooting, chest-thumping, retreating into the deeper forest, and so much more.
Ensure you follow the gorilla habituation guidelines religiously; at this stage, the mountain gorillas are still skeptical about human intentions. Any chances of diverging from the rules of gorilla habituation may create tension amongst the mountain gorillas and push them into the darker forest.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Habituation Safari?
Gorilla habituation experiences an all-year-round adventure. However, the dry seasons, normally June through September and December to January, are most preferred. The forest then may be experiencing less humid conditions, although rain may fall at any time without warning, so carrying rainproof gear is an advantage.
The dry season is the high tourism season in Uganda, too, so booking your gorilla permit in advance saves you from last-minute panic as you check for possible availability.
We advise clients to secure their gorilla permits at least 6 months to a year in advance. This is also safe if you want to reschedule your gorilla permit. Late gorilla habituation booking may cause some tension as you make safari plans. Last-minute gorilla habituation experience booking also comes with limited accommodation choices, yet a great accommodation equals a great night and holiday.
How Long Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The gorilla habituation experience time is hard to predict, especially when finding the mountain gorillas, but four hours are allowed in their company. A number of factors prevailing in the forest determine how
quickly or how long you take to return from gorilla habituation experience.
Some of these factors that may determine when you can locate the mountain gorillas include the proximity of the mountain gorilla food, in case of a fight amongst the mountain gorilla, weather conditions prevailing in the day, the pace of the habituators, adventurous nature of the gorilla family, death of a family member and others.
Some patience is necessary during the gorilla habituation experience as this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience only done in one location in the world so far, Uganda.
The moment you locate the mountain gorillas may make you forget the long or short time you may have taken to find them. They are adorable primates, and when you realize their hidden secret of being shy and fragile nature, you feel like you have found some lost relatives. Most tourists have emerged regarding a connection with these only leftover mountain gorillas.
What Is The Age Limit For Gorilla Habituation Experience?
15 years and beyond is the age limit for gorilla habituation experience. This is because of the nature of this wilderness experience, topography, and level of patience you may need to have before finding the mountain gorillas.
Children below 15 years may be unable to withstand the long hours in the forest searching for the mountain gorillas. However, returning to the lodge is only after finding the mountain gorillas.
Sometimes the mountain gorillas are provocative, which may not go well with a child below 15 years, prompting them to shout, which may cause a stampede in the forest.
Which Accommodation Can I Book For Gorilla Habituation Experience?
If you are booked for a gorilla habituation experience, you need to sleep in accommodations in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They are closer to the briefing point, which is done very early in the morning. Driving from another area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park may be disturbing, especially with the poor road network, chances of a flat tire, logs that may block the road, and several others.
The accommodations you can book for gorilla habituation experience are graded according to luxury facilities, midrange, and budget experience.
Gorilla Habituation Accommodation Bwindi: Clouds Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Bwindi Backpacker Lodge
How Aggressive Are Mountain Gorillas During Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The outlook of the mountain gorillas seems scary because of their huge body structure, dark-furred everywhere, and deep brown eyes that may speak attack to some people.
On the other hand, the true nature of the mountain gorillas is that they are serene and fragile primates. In the history of gorilla safari, no attack on tourists from the mountain gorillas has ever been registered.
Even during gorilla habituation experience, you need to follow the rules and advice given by researchers and habituators because, by the time a former wild gorilla family is opened to the public, they have some clue on how to deal with it once some unusual behaviors are showcased.
Can I Purchase The Gorilla Habituation Permit In Instalment?
Covering the full price of the gorilla permit is the most appropriate choice; however, when you fail to do this, the Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts installment gorilla permit purchases of 30% and 70 %, respectively.
This is only applicable to those who book their gorilla permits before 90 days to gorilla habituation day. You are required to top up before 90 days to gorilla habituation day or stand to be penalized.
To avoid any chances of forgetting to top up your gorilla permit, it is best to do full payment
Can I Reschedule The Gorilla Trekking Permit?
Upon reserving the gorilla permit, every person wants to go on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you notice that you cannot go per your planned safari dates but can push your safari, you can reschedule the gorilla habituation permit per the Uganda Wildlife Authority policy.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority stating why you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit. If you have some standing evidence, you can attach it to support your request.
Upon approval, your gorilla permit is moved to your new date based on the prevailing gorilla permit availability per the stated date.
Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts two free gorilla permits rescheduled for the same permit. However, the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority is the only one to approve the third. A 25% surcharge is also added
How Much Can I Pay For Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari As A Foreign Resident?
The gorilla habituation safari packages are graded according to luxury, mid-range, and budget. Each package has its characteristics, so the more inclusions, the higher the safari cost. Each of these packages has a common cost, which is the gorilla habituation permit costing $1000 per person per trek
Other factors considered when calculating the cost of gorilla habituation experience include the number of safari days, number of people traveling, time for booking the gorilla safari, and the number of additional activities to combine with gorilla habituation, to mention but a few.
Is Gorilla Habituation Experience Safe?
Gorilla habituation experience may expose tourists to semi-habituated gorilla family, but it is safe.
Tourists are in the company of researchers and trackers who have spent some time observing and noting down the traits of the mountain gorilla family under habituation.
Even the accompanying Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides are well-trained to safeguard the forest dwellers and tourists in their responsibility. While in the wilderness, the rangers constantly communicate with security on the ground in case backup is required.
Even other Uganda security agencies keep around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Or Mgahinga National Park to keep law and order.
Tourists must also maintain personal security by not counting large sums of money in public, not entering the forest without an escorting ranger guide, or diverting from the rest of the group while in the forest. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekkers; however, you may be forgotten when you sneak away unnoticed.
What Are The Rules And Regulations Of Gorilla Habituation Experience In Uganda?
- No feeding the mountain gorillas; do it at least 300 meters away. They are wild animals that must search for their own food.
- Dumping garbage in the forest is forbidden as it alters the nature of the forest. In case you damp indecomposable garbage, it may gradually prevent plants from thriving.
- Only four hours is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is because they have been habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that time. There is less activity amongst the mountain gorillas when they are being watched. They cannot feed properly; conception is disrupted, and so much more.
- Avoid spitting vegetation or the ground because the mountain gorillas feed on it. You may contaminate it with germs that may cause an infection to the mountain gorillas. They are highly susceptible to human infection that may cause massive death.
- In case you have a communicable infection, volunteer to stay behind so that you do not pass it to the mountain gorillas. They are very sensitive to such infections as flu, cough, cholera, and others
- Wearing a clean mask before facing the mountain gorillas is compulsory as a measure adopted after the covid 19 pandemic. The mountain gorillas need to be protected from human communicable infections because conservation has come a long way.
- Try to lower your voice or keep quiet when searching for the mountain gorillas so that you do not look suspicious, even amongst other forest dwellers who are very sensitive to the presence of intruders.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden because they may perceive it differently, causing them to retreat into the deeper ends of the park.
Contact us for more information.