Gorilla habituation permit booking information by UWA
Booking gorilla habituation permits is the only confirmation of attendance for this safari experience. You must have a date when you wish to do gorilla habituation. Only persons aged 15 and above are allowed to go for gorilla habituation expeditions.
Gorilla habituation was launched in 2014 to allow tourists extra time with the mountain gorillas, and since then, tourist numbers taking on this adventure have tremendously risen each year. Gorilla habituation safari allows four hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas, while only one hour is allowed before the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking.
Before accessing this adventure in Southern Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park, you must possess a gorilla habituation permit.
Before knowing how the gorilla habituation permit is booked, let us first understand what a gorilla permit is.
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What Is Gorilla Habituation Permit?
The gorilla habituation permit in Uganda is a card with a black strip swiped into a card reader to retrieve personal information about the person on the gorilla habituation adventure.
Uganda currently has two gorilla families open for habituation safari, but only 4 gorilla permits are available for booking to attend this adventure.
What is the cost of gorilla habituation permits?
Each gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African Residents.
Purchasing the gorilla habituation permit is the only way to confirm attendance on this safari.
What is Included in the gorilla habituation Permit Cost?
The gorilla habituation permit cost includes the gorilla conservation fund, as conserving these endangered primates takes precedence over any activity. Park entrance fees for the day, ranger guide service, and security during gorilla habituation.
Local community support, as 20% of the annual cost of gorilla permits, is given to the community to support their projects. In addition, the researcher fee as more data about the gorilla family under habituation is still being collected.
What is excluded from the gorilla habituation Permit Cost?
The exclusions of the gorilla habituation permit include tips, accommodation during gorilla habituation, transport to the gorilla habituation destination, a porter to carry your belongings during gorilla habituation, and other items of personal interest.
Encounter Africa Safaris is ready to put together your gorilla habituation amenities so that you can have fun and relax during your dream come true-African safari.
We tailor our safaris to the interest of our clients and offer free advice about what we know about gorilla habituation and any other safari accumulated from the experience of over ten years of Uganda and Rwanda safaris.
How To Book a gorilla habituation Permit?
Choose a date when you wish to do gorilla habituation, whether tentative date or confirmed, and the number of gorilla permits you want to book. Remember that only two gorilla families are currently open for gorilla habituation. Therefore, only four gorilla permits per family are available per day.
The age limit for gorilla habituation permit booking is 15 years and above. This is because of the time, forest conditions, and other factors that may not be endured by a child below 15 years.
You must check for gorilla permit availability from Uganda Wildlife Authority per your dates or book through a qualified tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris.
If you are available and book your gorilla habituation permit through Encounter Africa Safaris, we advise our clients to purchase them as soon as possible. They are limited in number (only eight gorilla habituation permits per day), yet demand is very high, especially during the peak season. Uganda’s high tourism season is June to September and December to January.
Gorilla permits for this season are best booked at least six months upfront because of the cutthroat demand worldwide. A first come, first served basis is used when booking the gorilla habituation permits. No permit is reserved without payment.
Forward some details to include to your gorilla habituation card, including full names as indicated on your passport, passport expiry date, nationality, and date of birth
Can I Purchase the Gorilla Habituation Permit in Instalment?
Full payment for your gorilla habituation permit is the best to reduce on chances of forgetting to top up, but at times, it is inevitable. Therefore, you can purchase the gorilla permit in installments of 30% and 70 %, respectively.
Installment payment for gorilla permits is only applicable when you purchase the permit 90 days before the gorilla habituation date and top-up 90 days before the habituation date.
When you forget to top up, you get a penalty.
Is the Gorilla habituation permit Rescheduling accepted?
Failure to honor the gorilla habituation date may occur for personal reasons, but you may decide to travel.
To reschedule your gorilla habituation permit, you follow the below procedure.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to reschedule your gorilla habituation permit per your new dates. You may add the reasons for your wish to change your dates and evidence, if any, to back this up.
Once approved, the gorilla habituation permit is rescheduled as requested, but this depends on the permits’ availability.
Uganda allows two free chances of rescheduling the same gorilla permits. After that, the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority first approves the third time, and a 25% charge is applied.
When is The best time to book Gorilla Habituation Permit?
When you book the gorilla habituation permit in advance, you avoid last-minute panic in checking availability.
Booking your gorilla permit at least six months to a year in advance, especially for the period of June, July, August, September, December, and January, is safe. This is Uganda’s peak tourism season, so demand is very high.
It would be best to consider the gorilla permit even when booking other supporting safari amenities like accommodation, vehicle hire, etc. Late booking of accommodations for your gorilla habituation safari limits options as they get filled, especially during the high season.
What accommodation To Book For the gorilla Habituation safari?
You must book accommodations for the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to avoid rising very early and driving in the dark to catch up with briefing before gorilla habituation.
Accommodations to book for gorilla habituation adventure are categorized into luxury facilities, mid-range, or budget facilities.
These accommodations include Clouds Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, and Gorilla Hill Eco Lodge.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Safari
The cost of gorilla trekking safari packages are graded according to luxury, mid-range, and budget.
It would be best to have a gorilla trekking permit to confirm attendance and the cost cuts across all budgets.
The cost of a gorilla habituation safari depends on the number of people traveling for this adventure.
As more people join, the number of days to spend on gorilla habituation safari reduces the cost per person because you share some safari amenities like gas cost, vehicle hire, and others. You incur every expense as a solo traveler on a gorilla habituation safari.
Safari timing where the peak Uganda’sof tourism season. Most costs are high due to demand, while the low season may attract discounted gorilla habituation safari costs.
The more activities combined with gorilla habituation, like game drives, chimpanzee trekking, birding, and others, the higher the safari cost
When you book a luxury safari, mid-range, or budget package, the costs differ with the inclusions and exclusions of each package. Naturally, the more safari inclusions, the higher the cost.
How long is gorilla habituation?
The time of returning from gorilla habituation is unknown because even the time of location of the mountain gorillas is still being determined.
The mountain gorillas move freely in the forest, so depending on factors prevailing in the woods, you may take 6 hours or more to get back to the lodge after the briefing.
When the food is exhausted from the feeding area of the mountain gorillas, they move to a new one. This may interfere with the time of finding them.
In case of a fight with another gorilla family or a family feud, the gorilla family, under habituation, may split or be forced to relocate into the deeper ends of the rainforest. Locating this gorilla family may be challenging.
When the gorilla family loses a member, they may hide to mourn; tracking them may take some time.
To emerge successful during gorilla habituation, you need to have patience because these are wild animals living their free life that is not choreographed to any decision they take.
How Dangerous Are Mountain Gorillas During Habituation Adventure?
Mountain gorillas are shy and calm primates even during gorilla habituation when they are semi-habituated. This, however, doesn’t guarantee visitors to provoke Or tease them.
At a glance, some adrenaline may be stimulated by the mountain gorillas’ sheer size and physical appearance. Their body is covered with dark fur, and they look with sunken brown eyes. The mountain gorillas move by knuckle locomotion, which may make you feel they are about to grab you.
This outlook should ensure you join the researcher and trackers for the most memorable 4 hours of gorilla habituation.
The mountain gorillas are peaceful primates, and no tourists have ever been reported to be a victim of their attack in the history of gorilla trekking and habituation.
When angry, mountain gorillas thump their chests hard, HOOT, walk on one leg, pull grass around them, walk on one leg and retreat into the deeper forest ends.no need to panic when you notice this behavior but listen to the instructions from the researchers and habituation. They, by now, have a clue of the traits of this gorilla family. At times it’s a family feud that has nothing to do with human presence. Just be calm and wait for instructions from the ranger guides.
What Can I Look Forward To During Gorilla Habituation?
Gorilla habituation is an exciting experience where you follow a semi-habituated gorilla family with a team of researchers and rangers.
On the day of gorilla habituation, you must attend a briefing early morning at the ranger guide station earlier than those going for gorilla trekking.
Remember to carry packed lunch and a waterproof backpack with your gorilla habituation gear.
Hire a porter to help you carry your gorilla habituation gears because the way is tiring. A porter is a person who assists you in carrying your belongings and may give you a push when exhausted during gorilla habituation.
As a group of habituation, you follow a team of researchers and rangers into the forest to help make wild mountain gorillas used to the presence of humans without altering their nature.
The way is challenging sometimes, so have some level of fitness to help you survive this incredible once-in-a-lifetime mountain gorilla encounter.
Listed and follow the instructions the rangers gave about the gorilla family you are following because they know more about how to deal with them.
- The family of mountain gorillas is very sensitive to human presence, so be as obedient as possible to prevent any fracas in the forest.
- You have only four hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas during gorilla habituation but expect them to hide at some point and charge at you as they have yet to be fully used to intruders.
- Before taking photos during gorilla habituation, wait for the ranger’ instructions. Never use flash photography during gorilla habituation. Mountain gorillas are very keen on new occurrences in their environment.
- Remember to keep a gap of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas, and in case they move closer, try to stealthily walk back without causing any suspensions.
- When getting away from the mountain gorillas after the accepted hours of gorilla habituation, slowly walk out in a very respective manner.
- Keep your voices low or quiet as you go away to leave no gap for suspensions. The dominant silverback is very keen on foreigners in its environment and is very protective of his family. So do not try to test his patience.
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