New Year’s Gorilla Habituation Experience In Uganda
Doing a gorilla habituation safari in the misty pristine forest in Uganda on New Year is a lifetime African safari. During the new year gorilla habituation safari, you get time to reflect on the year’s perspective. When doing gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you get ample time and a cool atmosphere to draw a picture of what you want life to look like in the new year. You get to spend a longer time with a semi-habituated mountain gorillas family in the company of researchers and habituators.
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In Uganda, gorilla habituation experience happens in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Two gorilla families so far have been set aside for this safari activity. Only maximum 4 tourists are allowed to accompany the researchers and trackers.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation safari is an adventure where you follow a semi-habituated mountain gorilla family and stay with them for 4 hours.
Gorilla habituation is a process where researchers and trackers get a wild mountain gorilla family used to humans without altering their nature. This is the process that precedes forming a gorilla trekking family. The duration of gorilla habituation is unpredictable because it depends on how the gorilla family responds to human presence. Gorilla habituation may take 2 years and more.
You need a gorilla habituation permit to be allowed to enjoy this experience.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Permit?
The gorilla habituation permit is a Uganda Wildlife Authority card embedded with details of a tourist that acts as an entry ticket to attend a gorilla safari.
Uganda Wildlife Authority sells gorilla habituation permits per day but currently, only 4 permits are open to public booking in Uganda. Currently, Uganda has 8 gorilla permits available for gorilla habituation in Uganda.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Permit In Uganda?
A gorilla habituation permit in Uganda costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750,000shs for East African residents.
You can book your gorilla habituation permit for New Year’s at least 6 months prior to avoid last-minute panic to secure one. It is hard to get last-minute New Year gorilla permits as competition for them is cutthroat, especially in the last quarter of the year.
What Is Included In Gorilla Habituation Permit Cost?
The cost of Uganda gorilla habituation permits includes security during gorilla habituation, researcher fee, ranger guide fee, 4 hours following the mountain gorillas, park entrance fee for 24 hours, local community support, and gorilla conservation support.
What Is Excluded In The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Permits?
Porter fee. A porter is a person who helps you carry your baggage through the gorilla trek and give you a push where necessary. Tips, accommodation to use during gorilla habituation, and any other items of personal nature.
Encounter Africa Safaris can assist you in tailoring your gorilla habituation package and make bookings for safari amenities that support this experience, like accommodation, vehicle hire, driver guide fee, and others. Contact us for any details about the gorilla habituation experience in Uganda.
Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Permit Worth?
The hefty cost of a gorilla permit, which is $1500 per person, is worth it. You get to support the conservation of the mountain gorillas that were at the rim of extinction by the 1980s, according to the census carried out by American primatologist Dian Fossey. The plight of the mountain gorillas brought them to the list of highly endangered primates in the world.
You get to enjoy extra time with the mountain gorillas, which is 4 hours in their company. Researchers may ask you to take some notes according to what you observe, and this is used as information given to trekkers when the gorilla family is finally confirmed for gorilla trekking.
For those interested in taking photographs of the mountain gorillas and filming, you have enough time for 4 hours in the company of the mountain gorillas. Even the limited number maximum of 4 tourists allowed to escort the team of habituators allows you space to take the best shots and extraordinary moments of the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla habituation is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure worth spending your hard-earned money on.
How Aggressive Are Mountain Gorillas During Habituation?
Although gorilla families open for gorilla habituation have semi-habituated mountain gorillas, they are most aggressive. In nature, the mountain gorillas are calm despite their scary outlook. Physically, mountain gorillas have dark-furred bodies, sunken brown eyes, and walk by knuckle locomotion.
Glancing at the mountain gorillas is frightening and may stimulate some adrenaline; however, you must show no sign of this. You may look suspicious before the mountain gorillas. These primates fear intruders in space, so they are keen on everything you do.
When angry, mountain gorillas thump their chests hard, hoot, may walk on one foot, pull grass around them, and so much more.
Note that in the history of gorilla habituation experience or gorilla trekking, nobody has ever been attacked by mountain gorillas. You must follow the instructions given during the briefing by the researchers and trackers to complete your moments with the mountain gorillas.
What Time Do You Return After Gorilla Habituation?
Return time from gorilla habituation is hard to tell because they are very mobile primates with nothing restricting them in the wilderness. Even the time of locating the mountain gorillas varies with different factors prevailing in the forest, like the proximity of the mountain gorilla food. Some tourists have been lucky to trace mountain gorillas in 2 hours, while others have gone beyond.
In case the mountain gorillas fight, they may be forced to move into the deeper forest ends, delaying the gorilla habituation time.
During the severe rainy season, the ground is soggier and slippery, so if you need to trace the mountain gorillas from the slopes, you must hike the slippery surface.
The death of a gorilla family member, especially the dominant silverback, pushes them into a somber mood, which makes tracing the gorillas hard.
Some level of patience is vital to allow you to get through with gorillas’ habituation experience. Even your fitness capacity helps you to get to the slopes and into the deep valley where the mountain gorillas may be.
What Is The Costs Of Gorilla Habituation Safari During New Year?
The gorilla habituation safari costs vary with the package you choose: luxury, mid-range, and budget safari packages.
The cost of a gorilla habituation permit cuts across all budgets, so you must consider it a must expenditure for this Uganda safari.
Other factors considered during gorilla habituation costing include:
The Number Of Days On Gorilla Safari
The more days on a gorilla safari, the higher the cost as service providers charge per day costs.
People Travelling With For Gorilla Habituation Tour
You get to share some costs on gorilla safari when you travel as a group, like a vehicle hire, driver guide fee, gas, and others. You incur all the safari costs as a solo traveler on a gorilla habituation safari.
Number Of Activities To Combine With Gorilla Trekking
The more activities you combine with gorilla trekking in Uganda, like chimpanzee trekking, game drives, and white water rafting, the higher the safari cost.
Time You Book The Gorilla Habituation Safari
The new year is peak tourism season in Uganda, so most service providers charge high costs.
How Safe Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The environment where mountain gorillas live is safe, as well-trained rangers are allocated to every group of tourists going for gorilla habituation. The ranger guides have joint security operations with other Uganda security agencies to maintain law and order in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
You must pay attention to personal safety by not entering the forest without an escorting ranger guide. Note that not all forest dwellers are habituated.
Never allow strangers into your lodge room because they may be thieves or pickpocketers.
Wear the right gorilla habituation gears comfortable for your time in the forest.
How To Get To The Gorilla Habituation Experience Area Of Bwindi
You can take the route from Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo. The drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Kabale is about 414 kilometers, then connect with a 105-kilometer route to the Nkuringo area. This area lies in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. From Kabale to the Nkuringo area, the drive is approximately 4 hours.
Some visitors stay overnight in Kisoro town, about 80 kilometers from Kabale. From Kisoro town, you can take a 35-kilometer drive for 1 and a half hours.
Daily domestic flights depart Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro then you can hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge.
Charter flights from Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport are available if you need them.
What To Expect During Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The mountain gorillas are semi-habituated, so expect some wild traits like hooting at you, retreating into the deeper forest, and others. Follow the guidelines given during the briefing and what researchers say according to the behavior of the mountain gorillas.
The way is sloppy from the ragged plateaus and ridges you may have to walk to if the mountain gorillas spend their time feeding and lounging here.
Bwindi forest is misty and thick, with less sunlight penetrating the dense forest canopy.
Expect rains in the Bwindi forest at any time because this is a tropical rainforest, and the humidity of this area is high.
You share gorilla habituation adventure with other tourists as maximum tourists can follow a team of habituators.
What Are The Guidelines For Gorilla Habituation In Uganda?
- To protect the mountain gorillas, the following guidelines were put in place.
- No one with a communicable infection is allowed to go for a gorilla habituation experience. You may pass this infection to the mountain gorillas that have DNA of about 96% that of humans.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, do not surround them but stay in a tight group. Surrounding them makes them feel ambushed.
- When you locate them, leave a gap of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas. To prevent the chances of spreading any infection to these primates.
- Wear a clean mask when you locate the mountain gorillas, and sanitize your shoes before starting the gorilla trek.
- Using flash photography is forbidden because you may scare the mountain gorillas. These primates are frightened by unfamiliar occurrences in their presence.
- Provoking or mimicking the mountain gorillas is forbidden as you do not understand the meaning.
- Do not smoke or eat before the mountain gorillas as they may be lured to grab eats from you. They are wild animals that must not depend on human provision.
- In case you wish to sneeze or cough, do it away from the mountain gorillas to prevent the chances of passing germs to these gentle giants.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole for you at least 30 centimeters and bury everything well beyond recognition.
- Dumping garbage in the forest alters the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas feed and live. Even indecomposable garbage and be eaten by the forest dwellers leading to their death.
- Never spit on vegetation or ground; this is unhygienic and may pass infections and germs to the mountain gorillas.
- Only persons aged 15 years and beyond are allowed to do gorilla habituation because of the nature of the terrain where mountain gorillas live.
- When with the mountain gorillas, do not make noise that may scare them. These primates are frightened by unfamiliar noises in their vicinity.
- Only four hours are allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them during the gorilla habituation experience.
What Can I Carry For Gorilla Habituation Safari?
- Safari boots
- safari foldable hat
- Warmers like a shawl or jacket
- Insect repellant
- Garden gloves
- Safari convertible trousers and shirt in colors like khaki and tan
- Duffel bag
- Shoe bag
- Foldable water bottle
- Extra batteries
- Travel adapter and charger
- a pair of stockings
- a pair of flip flops
- Some extra clothes
- First aid kit with emergency medication
- Light waterproof bag
- Raincoat or poncho in case it rains without warning.
- A torch
- Some hard cash to exchange into local currency in case you need on-ground purchases.
Contact us for more information.