How to organize a Batwa and gorilla habituation experience safari from Masaka City
How to organize a Batwa and gorilla habituation experience safari from Masaka. You must secure the gorilla permit as you organize the Batwa and gorilla habituation experience safari from Masaka city. This is the ticket that allows you to be one of the few people allowed to see the mountain gorillas per day. Because of the limited number of gorilla habituation experience permits, two gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, booking is vital, especially during the peak season.
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The Batwa pygmies were some of the victims of eviction in the 1990s when the conservation of mountain gorillas took precedence. The forest was their sole provider, and most of their ancestral life was based on the forest they shared with the mountain gorillas. The Batwa are scattered in different parts of the Virunga area, but the majority are marginalized and unpopular in society.
A combo of Gorilla habituation experience and Batwa community visit takes you into the historical moments of these former forest companions. If you wish to know the secrets of the jungle, the Batwa has most of the details.
The best destination for a gorilla habituation experience with a Batwa visit is the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The gorilla habituation experience gives you extra time with semi-habituated mountain gorillas to get used to human presence without altering their nature.
What To Consider When Organizing Batwa and Gorilla habituation Experience Safari from Masaka
Reserve Gorilla Habituation experience Permits
You need a permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to spend four hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family. Uganda has two gorilla families open for habituation experience so far. Still, out of this maximum, four permits are open per day per family, meaning eight gorilla habituation permits are available daily.
To book the gorilla habituation experience permit, you must have a date and number of permits you hope to secure. Upon receiving your inquiry, our safari consultant checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority list and gets back to you.
We advise clients to purchase their gorilla habituation permits as soon as possible because their status changes anytime without warning.
What is the Price of a Gorilla Habituation experience permit?
A gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750,000 for East African residents.
The Price of gorilla habituation experience permits covers the researcher fees, park entrance fees, security, mountain gorilla conservation, community support, four hours with the mountain gorillas, government tax, and others.
Exclusion of gorilla permit cost: tips, porter hire, sedan chair hire, in case you require one to mention but a few.
Organize The Batwa Community Visit
Pre-book the Batwa community visit for a better experience since they use demonstrations to bring out their former forest life. This Batwa experience offers a glimpse into the energy through their eyes, which they lived in the forest. The Batwa communities are scattered on the periphery of the Bwindi and Mgahinga forests.
The walk to the Batwa community is guided by a Mutwa guide with knowledge of their past life. During forest life demonstrations, the Batwa may show you how they hunted, collected honey, traditional medicines, and much more. If you wish, you may be entertained by some of the folk singers, performers, and dancers.
Book accommodation in the Southern Part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
You need to book accommodation for the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which gives you quicker access to the gorilla habituation families. Before the gorilla habituation adventure, you must go to the ranger station for a briefing, starting early in the morning.
Bwindi accommodations are categorized into Luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities, but booking is required as choices run out with time, especially during the peak season.
- Bwindi accommodations: Gorilla Safari Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Clouds Lodge, Ichumbi Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Bwindi Backpacker’s camp.
Do pre-tour exercises to prepare for gorilla habituation experience
Remember to keep fit while planning the gorilla habituation experience and Batwa visit, as the terrain of this area is composed of volcanic features. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas spend time on the slopes or deep in the valley.
To locate these primates, you must have some level of fitness to complete the gorilla habituation experience.
You do not need to keep in the gym constantly but stretch your muscles a little more to avoid getting muscle pulls.
Pack The Right Gorilla Safari Gears
While you pack for a gorilla habituation experience, follow the list of items recommended to avoid having bulky baggage. Some items you can pack for the gorilla habituation experience include safari boots, warmers, a long-sleeved shirt, a camera, rainproof gear, insect repellant, and extra clothes.
Have some hard cash that you can use to hire a porter to carry your gorilla safari gear.
Select additional activities to combine with the Gorilla habituation and Batwa experience.
Besides visiting the Batwa community and experiencing gorilla habituation, you may engage in other Uganda safari activities as Uganda is naturally gifted. You may proceed for golden monkey safaris in Mgahinga National Park, a visit to tranquil Lake Bunyonyi, Game drives and Launch trips in Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzee safaris in Kibale National Park, detour to Lake Mburo National Park, to mention but a few.
Is the cost of a Gorilla Habituation Experience permit worth the money?
Every penny you spend on the gorilla habituation permit is worth it as part of this money is used to support mountain gorilla conservation, a portion given to the local community as the mountain gorillas at times the mountain gorillas stray and feast on their gardens and so much more.
Going for a gorilla habituation experience also gives you four hours with a semi-habituated mountain gorilla family instead of one hour with a fully habituated gorilla family during gorilla trekking.
How Much is the cost of Gorilla habituation and Batwa Experience Safari?
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we package our safaris according to Luxury, mid-range and Budget packages. Some of the things we consider while making a quotation for this gorilla and Batwa safari experience are the number of days on safari, number of people on safari, time of booking the gorilla and Batwa safari, additional activities to combine with this safari to mention but a few.
What Is The Age Limit For Gorilla Habituation Experience?
15 years and above is the age limit for gorilla habituation experience based on several factors, like the area’s topography, which is generally volcanic, resulting in highlands like ridges and plateaus. Sometimes mountain gorillas spend time on the slopes or deep in the valleys, which may require you to hike. A child below 15 years may be unable to make it through to where the mountain gorillas may be residing.
The mountain gorillas look intimidating at a glance, which may cause a child to shout, yet noise-making is forbidden in the forest.
How Dangerous Are The Mountain Gorillas During Habituation Experience?
Although these are semi-habituated mountain gorillas, their serene nature cannot be hidden. On the outlook, the mountain gorillas look to be intimidating. However, they are calm and non-violent. When angry, mountain gorillas may show characteristics like chest-thumping, hooting, pulling grass around, and so much more.
When you notice some unfamiliar behavior amongst the mountain gorillas, do not panic but wait for the ranger guide to establish the genesis of the matter. Sometimes, it’s a family feud, a misunderstanding or an attack from another gorilla family.
The rangers and researchers will advise you on what to do next to avoid angering the mountain gorillas more since you have limited time with them. Try not to mimic the mountain gorillas because you may not know what you may be communicating.
Is it safe to Visit the Batwa Community?
The Batwa are great people to visit as they take you through their life in the past. In the beginning, communication was quite complex between other tribes in the community and the Batwa because they kept to themselves most of the time. They were regarded as primitive people and feared by others who concocted stories about them.
The Batwa cultures have been exposed because of the regular visits to the Batwa community from different people worldwide, so they are slowly assimilating into the society.
Each Batwa community visit is conducted by a Mutwa guide recognized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Although this may seem to be a private visit, it is recognized by Bwindi Park Authorities.
Is the Gorilla Habituation Experience safe?
The gorilla habituation experience is safe as these mountain gorillas are first habituated to human presence before allowing the public to visit. Although these are semi-habituated mountain gorillas, they bear the natural trait of being serene. These mountain gorillas have never attacked a person in the history of gorilla safaris. This is because you have to undergo briefing and follow the rules religiously before being allowed to see the mountain gorillas.
Each gorilla habituation experience is led by professional ranger guides and researchers with knowledge of the traits of almost each gorilla family member. If the gorilla family gets agitated, these ranger guides and researchers know the best way to deal with this matter so as not to cause a stampede in the forest.
As a tourist, you must ensure your safety by staying with the rest of the group. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest tourists so that no one can be forgotten in the wilderness.
Only enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide because other forest dwellers may hurt you. Gorilla habituation requires you to follow the rules of this adventure so that nothing can go wrong while with the mountain gorillas.
What are the rules of gorilla habitat experience?
- Surrounding the mountain gorillas when you meet them is forbidden because it makes them feel ambushed by their visitors. When they get agitated, they may go into hiding.
- If you catch a communicable infection like flu, Covid 19, or cough you may need to volunteer and stay behind so as not to pass this infection to the highly susceptible mountain gorillas.
- Eating or smoking 300 meters from the gorillas is forbidden because the effect of the smoke may cause the gorillas illness as time goes on, or even the gorillas grab what you are eating and start depending on humans. They are wild animals that must search for own food.
- When you meet the mountain gorillas, only 4 hours are allowed to be with them because they are habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that time. Later, you have to leave them alone to go about their day-to-day activities.
- Littering the forest is forbidden, so it is left to thrive in its natural setting. The mountain gorillas feed on foliage throughout their lives. Throwing plastic wraps, soda cans, and others that do not decompose may alter the nature of the forest with time.
- When taking photos do not use flash photography because it may scare the mountain gorillas that are usually scared of new occurrences in there vicinity. The camera must be soundproof, too, to not cause tension within the gorilla family.
- Spitting on the vegetation contaminates it, infecting the mountain gorillas with human infections. It is also unhygienic.
- Provoking the mountain gorilla when you find them may agitate them and push the family into hiding. Mountain gorillas are susceptible primates that are very conscious of their surroundings.
- Eight meters from the gorillas is the distance permitted to be apart from them. This is to reduce the chances of passing an infection. If they approach you, slowly retreat without them recognizing your moves.
Contact us to plan your Batwa and gorilla habituation experience today.