Why you should plan to do gorilla habituation experience in 2023-26
Doing a gorilla habituation adventure gives you more time in the presence of the mountain gorillas. Gorilla habituation safari allowed tourists mountain gorilla viewership of 4 hours other than one hour of gorilla trekking.
Currently, Uganda is the only destination for gorilla habituation, and two gorilla families are open for this experience.
Most Popular Safaris
What Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation safari is an activity where you follow a semi-habituated gorilla family in the company of researchers and habituation.
This adventure takes four hours in the company of the mountain gorillas but expects some wild behavior like going into hiding. Therefore, it would be best to be vigilant with instructions given during briefing not to anger the still susceptible gorillas.
Where To Do Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park is the destination for gorilla habituation safari. Currently, two gorilla families are open for gorilla habituation, but only a maximum of 4 tourists per day have the chance to have this unforgettable experience.
How Can I Buy Permits For Gorilla Habituation?
The Uganda wildlife authority is the selling body for gorilla habituation permits. To book the gorilla habituation permit, follow the procedure below.
Select a date for the gorilla habituation safari and the number of gorilla permits you need. Remember maximum of 4 gorilla permits is permitted per day for habituation experience.
When you enquire from Encounter Africa Safaris, our safari consultant checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority permit listing. You can purchase your gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority but prepare for a long queue of calls to the reservation office.
In case availability is favorable, we advise our clients to purchase theirs as soon as possible because they sell out fast. This is because the demand for gorilla habituation is picking up quickly, yet the gorilla habituation permits are limited.
Some details are required before printing the gorilla habituation card, like nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and full names as indicated on the passport. This information is used for record-keeping and as a base for advertising Uganda safari destinations.
How Much Is Gorilla Habituation Permit?
Currently, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
What Is Included And Excluded In The Cost Of a Gorilla Habituation Permit?
The gorilla trekking permit cost includes ranger and researcher guide fees, park entrance fees, local community support, certificate after gorilla habituation, security, and gorilla conservation support.
Gorilla habituation cost excludes transport to the destinations, tipping, drinks, packed lunch, and other items of personal nature.
Can I Purchase The Gorilla Habituation Permit In Instalment?
Yes, the gorilla habituation permit can be purchased in installments in percentages of 30% and 70 % of the total cost. This is only permitted for those who buy their gorilla permits 90 days before the trekking date. After that, you have to top up. Remember to top up 90 days before the gorilla trekking date. Please comply to avoid losing the portion of the gorilla habituation permit prepaid.
Can A Gorilla Habituation Permit Be Refunded?
The gorilla habituation permit can only be refunded following the Uganda Wildlife Authority refund policy. Therefore, it would be best to have some patience during gorilla habituation because of the bureaucracy used to retrieve this money.
You must follow the guidelines necessary to qualify for a gorilla permit refund. If you are a no-show on the date of gorilla habituation, your permit is deemed void later. The validity of the gorilla habituation permit ends on the date booked.
How Much Is Gorilla Habituation Safari?
The gorilla habituation safari starts with purchasing a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The cost of the gorilla habituation permits does not discriminate whether you are in luxury, midrange, or budget packages.
Other factors considered when calculating the gorilla habituation quotation include:
Number of people going for gorilla habituation
The more people join you for the gorilla habituation holiday, the less the cost per person. In addition, you get to share some safari amenities.
Time for booking gorilla habituation safari
During the peak season, which is June, July, August, September, December, and January, prices of the habituation safari packages are high. This is because the service providers charge per-day costs, and during the peak season, the demand for African Safaris increases.
Number of activities to combine with gorilla habituation
The more activities you combine with gorilla habituation, the higher the cost of safari. Each Uganda safari activity is charged separately.
Number of days on gorilla habituation safari
The more days on gorilla habituation safari, the higher the cost, as service providers charge daily costs.
What Happens During Gorilla Habituation Experience?
On the day of gorilla habituation, you rise earlier than others and head for briefing. Remember to carry your gorilla trekking gear and pack lunch; you need to know your return time.
You join the habituation and ranger guides to follow the semi-habituated mountain gorillas.
Ensure you follow the guidelines given during the briefing because these mountain gorillas are still susceptible to human presence. There is a need to be more calm and obedient during gorilla habituation.
- The nature of the semi-habituated mountain gorillas is still wild, so expect them to retreat into hiding anytime. In addition, they have yet to be used to human presence.
- Please note some details you have observed about the mountain gorillas under habituation.
- In case the mountain gorillas move into hiding, listen carefully to the habitats and researchers. Do not push your way to locate them but be calm and patient.
- Only four hours are allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. They keep moving into the wilderness because they can access any forest area.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas because they are highly susceptible to human infections. When you catch a communicable disease like flu or cough, you may pass it to these mountain gorillas.
- If the mountain gorillas approach you, slowly retreat awards without agitating them.
- The ranger guide and habituation follow the pace of the slowest gorilla habituation so that no one is forgotten in the wilderness.
- Some level of patience is required during gorilla habituation because of the nature of the mountain gorillas and occurrences in the forest.
What Time Do You Locate The Gorillas During Habituation?
The time for locating the mountain gorillas on a habituation adventure has yet to be discovered. You follow the trail to where the gorilla family under habituation was seen the previous day. From the starting point of gorilla trekking, you may locate them in 2 hours or more, depending on the prevailing factors in the forest.
The mountain gorillas keep moving freely in the wilderness, searching for food and lounging spots. If there is a fight among the mountain gorillas, you may take a long to locate the mountain gorillas.
When people in your gorilla habituation group move slowly, you may take some time to locate the mountain gorillas.
When you locate them during gorilla habituation, four hours are allowed with the mountain gorillas. Late you let them go about their day-to-day activities.
Are Mountain Gorillas Dangerous During Habituation?
Mountain gorillas are naturally shy animals living in the wilderness despite their size. At a glance, the mountain gorillas are scared because of their dark-furred bodies, brown sunken eyes, and knuckle locomotion.
Do not provoke the mountain gorillas during habituation because you may anger them. The mountain gorillas usually walk into hiding, yet you are allowed limited time in their presence so that they can be left to go about their day-to-day activities.
When angry, the mountain gorillas thump their chests, pull grass around them, hoot, and walk on one foot. In the history of gorilla habituation adventure or trekking, no person has been registered to be a victim of confrontation from the mountain gorillas.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Habituation?
Tracing the mountain gorillas in the wild is challenging at times because of the nature of the topography. The Virunga area is generally volcanic, with ridges and plateaus where mountain gorillas may spend the day. Therefore, you must have some fitness level and wear the proper safari boots to maneuver and reach the mountain gorillas.
Carrying a waterproof backpack and raincoat protect you from rain plus your belongings. Hire a porter to carry your belongings and give you a push when tired during gorilla habituation.
Request a walking stick to give you extra support for the gorilla habituation adventure.
What To Pack During Gorilla Habituation Experience
- Safari boots
- Wearing comfortable safari boots that can walk through wet surfaces and slippery slopes.
- Safari hat
- Foldable safari hat that can protect your head from buzzing insects and water dripping from the trees in the wilderness
- Warmers like sweaters
- The gorilla habituation area received cold weather conditions early morning or late evening.
- A pair of binoculars
- You can carry a pair of binoculars for clearer viewing of more exciting features in the wilderness.
- Extra fully charged batteries
- When one battery runs low, you can exchange it with another so you do not miss those precious moments with the mountain gorillas.
- Garden gloves
- Wear garden gloves that protect your palms from touching harmful surfaces like stinging nettles.
- Raincoat or poncho
- The forest receives rain anytime without warming as this is a tropical area. You must wear rainproof gear to prevent getting wet and very cold.
- They must be warm enough as the nights are very cold
- Safari trousers and a long-sleeved shirt
- Wear safari attire to protect your body from stinging insects and nettles. The forest has rough surfaces that may scratch your skin. Pack gorilla trekking attires in colors that are wilderness friendly, like khaki and tan.
- First aid kit
- Pack the right items to use when you need emergency help during gorilla habituation.
- If your skin is very sensitive, you must pack toiletries even when your lodge doesn’t provide them.
- A pair of stockings
- To tack in your clothes, you need to carry a pair of stockings for extra protection.
How To Behave During Gorilla Habituation Experience?
- Volunteer to stay behind if you catch a communicable infection like flu, cough, covid 19. The mountain gorillas are highly susceptible to human infections.
- Try not to surround the mountain gorillas when you meet them, as they may get agitated by your presence.
- During habituation, keep a gap of about 8 meters from the mountain gorilla because you may pass Infections to the mountain. When they get closer, slowly retreat so that you cause no suspension.
- Flash photography is forbidden because mountain gorillas can get agitated by new environmental occurrences.
- Do not eat or drink before the mountain gorillas because they may grab what you eat because wild animals must search for their food. Therefore, depending on humans is not advised for mountain gorillas.
- In case you sneeze or cough, do it away from the mountain gorillas so as not to spread an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- Burry all feet in a hole about 30 centimeters deep and cover well beyond recognition.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden even on the ground because the mountain gorillas may pick contaminated Foliage that may pass germs leading to their massive death.
- Tourists aged 15 years and above are the only ones allowed to do gorilla habituation. This is because of the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas live. The mountain gorillas sometimes move to the slopes, so you have to trace them by hiking, which is sometimes tiring.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, only four hours are allowed in their presence then you leave them to go on with There day to day activities like feeding, grooming, lounging, and others.
- Try to keep your voices low during gorilla habituation because you may scare the mountain gorillas not used to unfamiliar voices in the wilderness.
Contact us for more information.