How to plan a gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari from Masaka city
How to plan a gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari from Masaka City. When planning the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari from Masaka, you need to secure and the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience permits in advance. These are limited in number, so a first come, first served basis is used to book them. During the peak season, both gorilla and chimpanzee permits are scarce because of the over whelming demand in advance worldwide.
Most Popular Safaris
Gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists escort a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to spend four hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family. Only two gorilla families in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open for habitation experience.
The Chimpanzee habituation experience is an adventure where a maximum of 4 tourists follow a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to spend 4 hours with a community of semi-habituated chimpanzees in the wilderness. As of the recent census, Kibale National Park is Uganda’s prime chimpanzee safari destination, hosting over 1500 chimpanzees.
Select an accommodation to stay at during your gorilla and chimpanzee habituation safari because you need to be at the briefing point since both activities start early morning although the chimpanzee habituation experience also has an afternoon session.
Choose the transport means to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale National Park but the commonest way to get around these primate destinations is by road from Masaka city. You may also charter from Masaka to Kisoro airstrip but you need to hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge.
What to consider when planning gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari?
Reserve Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation Experience permits
Book your gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience permits upfront as this is the only confirmation to attending this safari. Each day only a maximum of 4 gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permits are open to public booking.
Seek gorilla and chimpanzee permit availability first, and at Encounter Africa safari, we can assist in lifting off your shoulder the burden of searching to find these primate permits. Upon sending us your inquiry, our safari consultant checks availability and gets back to you as soon as possible.
We advise clients to purchase their gorilla and chimpanzee permits in advance as these get scarce, especially in the high season. The high Uganda tourism season is normally June, July, August, September, December and January.
Forward some personal details like nationality, date of birth, full name as presented on your passport, passport expiry date, and others.
What is the cost of Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience permit?
The current cost of gorilla habituation experience permit is $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents and 750000 shs for East African residents.
Chimpanzee habituation permit cost is $300 for nonresidents, $300 for foreign residents and 300000shs for East African residents.
What does the cost of gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience permit cover?
The gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permit covers park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, security fees, mountain gorilla or chimpanzee conservation, local community support, four hours with the semi-habituated mountain gorillas or chimpanzees, a certificate after gorilla safari, and others.
What is excluded in gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permit cost?
Porter hire, transport costs, accommodation, sedan chair hire for those with physical impairment and other personal expenses.
Reserve accommodations to use during gorilla and chimpanzee safari
If your safari is headed for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale National Park, you need to reserve accommodation within or closer to this park. This is to allow you quicker access to the briefing point since both these activities start very early in the morning. Failure to attend the briefing may lead to being disqualified.
While in Bwindi for gorilla habituation experience, you need to secure accommodations in the southern part. There are numerous categories of accommodations you can book for your gorilla safari stay:
- Bwindi accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpacker’s Camp, Nshongi Camp, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge.
- Kibale accommodation: Ndali Lodge, Primates Lodge, Kyaninga Lodge, C.V.K, Kibale safari Lodge, Chimps Nest Camp, Chimpanzee Guesthouse.
Select transport means to the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari
From Masaka City, you can use road transport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and then Kibale National Park, depending on the flow of your itinerary. The distance from Masaka city to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 245 kilometers driving for approximately 5 to 6 hours.
Having a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle is important because the terrain of the countryside gets messy sometimes because of the regular rains that fall. Several routes lead to Bwindi impenetrable National Park but you can take Masaka to Kabale town to NKuringo or Rushaga. The road is winding for about 35 kilometers, especially to Kisoro town, which is generally mountainous.
Charter flights can be arranged from Kajjansi or Entebbe airport, then Masaka, then Kisoro airstrip. This requires you to make advance booking so that air clearances can be done.
Do Pre-Tour Exercises To Keep Fit Before Gorilla And Chimpanzee Safari
The topography of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is volcanic, with ridges and plateaus where the mountain gorillas love spending part of their time. You need to have some level of fitness to complete the steep slopes or deep in the valley where these mountain gorillas may be residing.
Even though Kibale National Park is fairly leveled, you need to keep fit in order to meet the chimpanzees that keep wandering freely in the wilderness. All the people you are traveling with for the gorilla and chimpanzee safari must be engaged in doing these exercises. If you are traveling with children for a chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National Park, they can be involved in the children’s eco-friendly activities, which are led by a children’s ranger guide, while you go for a chimpanzee habituation experience. The age limit for chimpanzee habituation experience is beyond 15 years.
Pack the right gorilla and chimpanzee safari gears
While you prepare for the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation safari, cross-check the list of gears you need to follow when packing so that you do not carry unnecessary bags. The jungle is full of some tough surfaces that may cause you some bad skin reactions, especially from the stinging nettles. You have to pack the right clothes.
Some of the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation gear include safari boots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, insect repellant, safari foldable hats, backpacks, rainproof gear, and so much more.
When Can I Go For Gorilla And Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Safari?
Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience is open all year; however, the most preferred time is the dry season, which is normally June to September, December, and January. In this period, most forest dwellers are in high spirits, and so finding the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees may be easier if all factors are kept constant.
The June to September and December to January period is the peak Uganda safari season too so you need to reserve your gorilla permits in advance. It is best to secure your gorilla or chimpanzee safari permits for this season at least 6 months to a year upfront because they become scarce as the season draws closer. Finding last-minute gorilla and chimpanzee permits gets slim towards the peak season.
During the wet season which is normally March to May and November, demand for gorilla permits reduces in this period. This is also the low Uganda tourism season. In case you wish to travel on a low budget, this may be an opportunity to try your luck because most service providers may provide discounted prices in their services although not a guarantee.
Chance of finding last minute gorilla and chimpanzee permits are more open in this period.
Is Gorilla And Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Strenuous?
Yes, because the nature of the terrain of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is mountainous with ridges and plateaus where you may be required to hike. Kibale National Park may be fairly flat, but walking through the tropical rainforest is tiring, too, because you do not know where these chimpanzees may be lounging.
You need to have some level of fitness and carry some energy bites to keep you moving because the excitement of finding these primates is unmatched. You can hire a porter to help carry your belongings so as not to get tired from carrying them. This is another way to give back to the community as they use the funds collected to run their day-to-day life.
How long Is Gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation experience?
Whether doing chimpanzee or gorilla habituation experience, only hours are allowed when you meet these semi-habituated primates. From the starting point of the gorilla or chimpanzee habituation adventure, its hard to determine when to find these primates.
While in the jungle, the chimpanzees and mountain gorillas move freely and so finding them depends on factors like the location of their food source, in case of a fight amongst these primate troops, weather conditions of the day, pace of habituators and so much more.
As a tourist, you are requested to bare some level of fitness to complete the gorilla and chimpanzee safari. By following the advise given by ranger guides before the trek, you open more chances to finding these primates quicker.
Open your mind to other attractions in the forest like sparkling waterfalls, other primates like black and while colobus, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys the list is endless. These keep your mind busy and not bored from the long hours of searching to find the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
Can I Reschedule Gorilla or chimpanzee habituation experience Permits?
Yes, you can reschedule gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permits per the policy of Uganda Wildlife Authority following the procedure below.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to reschedule your gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permit to a new date ( state the date). It must be a date within the year the permit is booked.
State the reason for wishing to change your gorilla and chimpanzee safari date and attach some evidence, if any, to act as backup for your wishing to change your habituation date.
Upon receiving a positive response on the gorilla or chimpanzee permit are rescheduled depending on prevailing availability.
What can I pack For Gorilla and Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
- Extra batteries in case some run low during the safari
- Safari boots to cover your feet from getting hurt while trekking to find the mountain gorillas.
- Some warmers as it gets so cold early morning and late afternoon even in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Energy bites to reenergize during the breaks as you trek to find the mountain gorillas.
- Waterproof backpack to carry with your gorilla trekking gears or during wildlife safari and in case you need to hand them over to a porter.
- Garden gloves to cover your palms when you tripe and fall while in the wilderness.
- Safari hat to protect your head from buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Insect repellant to keep away insects that may sting you when you are in the wilderness.
- A pair of stockings to tack in your clothes and protect yourself from insects that may creep into them.
- Sunglasses to cover your eyes from insects that buzz in the wilderness.
- A torch as lights run low so times because most lodges have solar energy as there main power supply.
- Sleeveless wear in case it gets very hot while on game drive
- A camera to keep memories of the gorilla trek and wildlife safari.
- Some cash in case you need to do on-ground purchases
- Flip flops to change into after gorilla safari and when in the car during game safaris
- Travel adopter and charger
- Duffel bag to carry in your belongings, and you need to pack relevantly and light in case you have to offload and carry your own bags.
- First aid kit with emergency medication
- Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide any
- Light shoe bag for your shoes in case you clean them and they do not get dry by the time of your departure.
Please reach out to our team for more information.