What Is The Future Of Gorilla Habituation Experience Safaris In Bwindi
What is the future of gorilla habituation experience safaris in Bwindi? Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable national parks is currently done from the southern sector where Rushaga and Nkuringo gorilla trekking areas are found. One gorilla family is currently open for habituation experience, but more are expected to be added as gorilla habituation continues.
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The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where you accompany a team of habituators and researchers to follow a semi-habituated gorilla family in the wilderness and stay with them for four hours. Only four participants are allowed to attend gorilla habituation experience per day per family.
The gorilla habituation experience started in Uganda in 2014, but this adventure has gained momentum with time. So many tourists currently prefer booking gorilla habituation adventures because they have extra time with the mountain gorillas, which is 4 hours other than one hour of gorilla trekking.
When you do gorilla habituation, you help formulate a gorilla trekking family that can be opened for the public to book. Gorilla habituation is when a team of trackers and researchers follow a wild gorilla family, put down some notes, name them, and observe their behavior to get them used to human presence without altering their nature.
The gorilla habituation experience is a mock activity that makes the gorilla family finally acknowledged as ready for the public to watch during gorilla trekking.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Permit?
A gorilla habituation experience permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750,000shs for East African residents.
You must reserve your gorilla permits in advance because they are highly demanded yet limited to a maximum of 4 per gorilla family per trek.
What Is Included In The Gorilla Habituation Permit Cost?
The gorilla permit costs include the following:
- Park entrance fees.
- Ranger guide fee.
- Gorilla conservation fee.
- Local community fee.
- Security during gorilla habituation.
- Four hours with the mountain gorillas.
- Certificate after completing a gorilla trek.
The gorilla habituation experience is one of the means used to collect funds that support the conservation of endangered mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas were announced as endangered by the 1980s, as a census showed that about 300 existed worldwide.
Currently, because of conservation, the population of mountain gorillas is about 1000 in the world. Part of this is attributed to the funds collected from the sale of gorilla habituation permits.
What Is Excluded In The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Permit?
The gorilla habituation permit excludes porter hire, transport to the gorilla habituation destination, accommodation, snacks, packed food, and any other items of personal nature.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we help clients organize gorilla trekking safaris and other related Uganda safaris, book gorilla permits, reserve accommodations of all types, hire vehicles to use on safari and any other amenities required in a safari package.
We have accumulated expertise over about 10 years of operation and have created a good working relationship with several service providers like hotels and lodges, destination managers, car hire service providers, a professional safari team with experience, and others.
What Is The Time Taken On Gorilla Habituation Experience In Bwindi Forest?
The only known time for gorilla habituation is 4 hours of viewing the mountain gorillas, but the time of locating them has yet to be discovered. Mountain gorillas are free wild animals living in the wilderness, so nothing stops them from going on an expedition.
Sometimes when food is exhausted from their known location, the mountain gorillas have to move to a new area, when you find them seeking a new location, the gorilla habituation adventure may be prolonged.
Some patience and fitness are necessary to get through gorilla habituation since mountain gorillas may spend part of their day along the slopes or deep in the valley. In order not to delay the rest of the tourists, you need to be fit so as not to keep stopping the rest as you follow the mountain gorillas.
Which Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi?
Gorilla habituation experience is open all year round; however, the dry season, normally June, July, August, September, December, and January, is most preferred because the forest is full of life. Most forest dwellers, like monkeys, birds, butterflies, and others, are in the open. Water from the falls is sparkly clear as silt is settled at the bottom and not mixed with running water like during the rainy seasons.
In the wet season, which is normally March, April, May, and November, the rains are severe, creating soggy conditions in the forest as the rate at which water sips through the soil is slower than the regular rains that fall. Even the dense forest canopy does not permit good sunray penetration to the ground.
During the wet season, however, chances of taking an exclusive or solo gorilla habituation experience with no extra payment incurred are more open as fewer tourists make bookings for this season.
Safari service providers like lodges and vehicle hire sometime offer discounted prices to break even during the low tourism season.
What Is The Age Limit For Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The age limit for gorilla habituation experience is 15 years and beyond. This was set because of the nature of the topography of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is ragged with ridges and plateaus that form the biggest part.
The first glance at the giant mountain gorillas may stimulate some adrenaline, especially for first-timers, yet you are restricted from showing signs of being frightened. Even making noise as a reaction when standing before the mountain gorillas is forbidden. This may cause the mountain gorillas to retreat into the deeper ends of the forest.
Searching and following mountain gorillas may be too long for a child below 15 years. They get tired fast and bored, too, yet the rest of the gorilla trekkers have to continue with this adventure. This age bracket is not allowed to participate in gorilla habituation experience to avoid such inconveniences.
A child below 15 years may not be able to withstand the regulations of gorilla habituation experience.
How Hard Or Easy Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation happens in a volcanic area where you may be required to hike to reach the mountain gorillas. However, it would be best to have some fitness level as sometimes the mountain gorillas feed or lounge on the slopes. The slopes get slippery during the severe rainy season too.
The ranger guide also carries a machete for trimming the tangled vegetation that has overgrown over the years yet may obstruct you from getting where the mountain gorillas may be.
When with mountain gorillas, you need to pay attention to all the rules of gorilla habituation to have a smooth walk to and from the mountain gorillas.
You must have packed the right gorilla habituation gear like tracking boots, insect repellents, long-sleeved and convertible trousers, and more.
Is Gorilla Habituation Experience Safe?
Doing gorilla habituation is safe as you are escorted by a team of ranger guides and researchers who, sometimes, have been in the company of the gorilla family under habituation.
They, by now, know some of the traits of the gorilla family and know how to react when some characteristics and displayed by the mountain gorillas.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide coordinates with other Uganda security agencies who help keep law and order around the park; they are always on call in case backup is needed.
Tourists must pay attention to personal security by only entering the forest with an escorting ranger guide. The forest has other dwellers who are not habituated and may harm you alone.
Only trust people you are acquainted with to come into your room. They may not have good intentions that may ruin your moment with the mountain gorillas.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Safari To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The gorilla habituation permits are packaged according to luxury, mid-range, and budget. For all these costs, the gorilla permit is the common cost for all. A gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
To cost the gorilla habituation experience safari, some of the below are considered.
The people traveling with where more people included on the gorilla habituation safari the less the per-person cost.
The time when you book the gorilla habituation safari during the peak season, safari costs are high, while during the low season, some service providers, like accommodation facilities, may offer some discounts.
The gorilla habituation safari package you choose is luxury, mid-range, or budget; the inclusions and exclusions differ. The more inclusions, the higher the cost. Whereas the fewer inclusions, the less the safari cost.
When you spend more days on gorilla habituation adventure, the safari cost is high as most service providers charge per day expenses.
Additional activities you combine with gorilla habituation like chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, game drives, white water rafting, and others. The more activities, the higher the safari cost.
Can I Do Gorilla Habituation More Than Once?
You can do a gorilla habituation experience as often as you wish, depending on prevailing availability. Remember you need a gorilla habituation permit each time, and the number of gorilla permits is limited to 4 per family.
Meeting the mountain gorillas is a lifetime experience, which may be one of the best wildlife encounters for any adventure seeker.
Sometimes tourists, especially those filming and doing commercial photography, would like extra time or day with the mountain gorillas. You are allowed to take on a gorilla habituation expedition more than once to exhaust most of your interests, as making a repeat journey may be quite expensive.
What Are The Dos And Donts Of Gorilla Habituation Experience?
- Anyone with a communicable infection is not allowed to go gorilla trekking because mountain gorillas are susceptible to human infections. Yet, you do not know what it will do to the now-celebrated gorilla population.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is to reduce the chances of passing any infection to these gorillas.
- Using flash photography is forbidden because it scares mountain gorillas.
- with the mountain gorillas, you do not need to surround them because they feel ambushed, and when they get agitated, they may move into the deeper ends of the forest.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden because they are shy animals that may get uncomfortable.
- Never smoke or eat close to the mountain gorillas because they may grab what you have, which may not go well with their health. Losing even a single mountain gorilla for careless mistakes is a big loss.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, turn away from the mountain gorillas or cover your mouth to reduce the chances of passing germs to the mountain gorillas.
- For long calls in the forest, request the ranger guide to dig a hole for you 30 cm deep and cover all waste beyond recognition. This is to prevent the forest dwellers from exhuming anything.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas feed.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden because it is unhealthy and disgusting to look at too. Keeping the habitat where mountain gorillas live as you find it is the best practice.
- Wear a clean mask before meeting the mountain gorillas as a covid-19 precaution. Even your boots are sanitized before starting the trek.
- No person under 15 years is allowed to go gorilla trekking.
- Only four hours are allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them.
Contact us for more information about the gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi.