Reasons to book a gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park
When you do Gorilla habituation, you get more time with the mountain gorillas, and you participate in helping formulate a gorilla family to be added to the current families opened for tourism hence reasons to book a gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is done in the southern area. You must purchase a gorilla habituation permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority to be allowed to take part in this adventure.
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Only four tourists can accompany a group of trackers and habituation to enjoy this entire experience each day. A maximum of 4 hours is allowed to be with the mountain gorillas when you locate them.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Safari?
The gorilla habituation safari is an adventure where you follow a semi-habituated wild gorilla family to help them get used to human presence. However, you do not change their natural behavior because they are still wild animals that must have self-dependence and not on humans.
At the moment, Uganda has two gorilla families that are open for gorilla habituation tourism. The fully habituated Uganda gorilla families are so far 19 that are open for tourism.
How Much Can I Pay for Gorilla Habituation Safari?
The cost of a gorilla habituation permit is currently $1500 per person per trek. You must go through the process below to purchase the gorilla habituation permit.
Select the date you wish to do gorilla habituation and the number of people or days you want to attend this adventure.
When you send us an inquiry, our safari consultant checks availability from the Gorilla habituation permit listing.
If all is positive, we request our clients purchase their permits as soon as possible. This is to prevent last-minute panic while securing the gorilla habituation permits. They are limited to a maximum of 4 tourists per trek per day.
Is the Gorilla Habituation Permit Refundable?
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has a refund policy, and gorilla habituation permits may be refunded.
An alternative would be rescheduling your gorilla habituation permit. This is done following the below process.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority stating why you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit to a future date. Attach some evidence to pack up your request.
When you get the go-ahead for your gorilla habituation permit rescheduling, you must have a date when you wish it to be rescheduled.
Rescheduling the gorilla habituation permits only two times is allowed, but the third time calls for a 25% surcharge.
Can I Purchase A Gorilla Habituation Permit In Instalment?
Purchasing the gorilla habituation permit in installments is allowed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. You can pay 30% or 70 % of the total safari cost in installments.
Installment gorilla permit habituation purchase is only allowed when you buy the gorilla permit 90 days before the trekking date and fully top-up 90 days before the trekking date. Ensure you remember to top up or stand to lose the gorilla permit.
The gorilla habituation permit cost includes; ranger guide fees, security, gorilla conservation fund support, one hour with the mountain gorillas, and local community support.
This cost also excludes tipping, transport, drinks, packed lunch, and any other items of personal nature.
How Long Is Gorilla Habituation Adventure?
The gorilla habituation adventure permits only 4 hours with the mountain gorillas when you locate them, but the time of finding them is unpredictable.
Mountain gorillas are free primates that must seek their meal for the day or where to lounge. Depending on these factors, locating the mountain gorillas may vary from 2 hours to about three-quarters of the day.
The prevailing weather condition on the gorilla habituation day contributes to the time you may find these primates. For example, a wet day may delay gorilla trekking because the ground is slippery, yet less sunlight penetrates the soil.
You accompany a group of mountain gorilla habituation and rangers into the forest to continue getting the mountain gorillas used to the presence of humans. It’s an early morning start, as you must get to the briefing point. Before meeting the mountain gorillas, the briefing is essential because each gorilla family has its traits, which you must understand.
The losers may be pushed into hiding in a fight with another gorilla family. Therefore, it would be best to have some patience when it is the gorilla family you are allocated.
If the dominant silverback is adventurous, locating the gorilla family for habituation becomes challenging.
The death of a member of the gorilla family under habituation may sometimes push the entire family into a mourning mood. Therefore, keenly follow the instructions from the habituation and ranger guides.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Habituation Safari?
The gorilla habituation safari costs are packaged according to luxury, midrange, and budget safaris. In addition, each gorilla habituation tour package requires a gorilla permit which costs $1500 per person per trek.
Other factors that contribute to the gorilla habituation tour quotation include:
Number of People Joining gorilla habituation safari
The more people joining you for gorilla trekking, the less the cost per person. Each person contributes to the total safari cost, and you get to share some safari expenses like vehicle hire.
Days to spend on gorilla habituation
The more days on gorilla habituation safari, the higher the cost of safari packages. Service providers charge per day’s costs.
Additional activities combined with gorilla habituation
The more activities combined with gorilla habituation, the higher the safari cost. You can connect chimpanzee tracking with gorilla habituation. Game drives with gorilla habituation safari.
Time for booking Gorilla habituation trip
The peak season attracts high costs from service providers, so the safari packages are costly. The low season at times, comes with discounted costs. You may get a safari upgrade with a limited budget.
Number Of Gorilla Habituation Times
The safari package quotation increases if you wish to do gorilla habituation more than once. You can do gorilla habituation more than once.
What Is The Difference between Gorilla Trekking and Habituation?
A maximum of 8 tourists are allowed to do gorilla trekking while a maximum of 4 tourists are allowed to do gorilla habituation.
In Gorilla habituation, you follow the semi-habituated gorilla family, while in gorilla trekking, you follow a fully habituated gorilla family.
Gorilla habituation you take 4 hours with the mountain gorillas when you meet them. Gorilla trekking allows only 1 hour with the mountain gorillas when you locate them.
A gorilla trekking permit costs $800 per person per trek, while a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person per trek.
Uganda has 19 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking located in four areas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, name while so far, two gorilla families are open for gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation happens in the southern part of Bwindi’s impenetrable National Park.
To do gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation as a process happens first. Gorilla habituation is the process where a wild gorilla family gets familiar with the presence of humans without altering its nature. Gorilla trekking allows tourists to follow a fully habituated gorilla family.
What Are The Do And Don’ts Of Gorilla Habituation
- Wear a clean facemask before meeting the mountain gorilla is compulsory, especially after the covid 19 pandemic.
- When looking for mountain gorillas, keep your voice low or stay quiet so as not to disrupt other forest dwellers that are not habituated.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This reduces the chances of passing an infection to the highly vulnerable mountain gorillas.
- Dumping garbage on the ground, especially indecomposable plastic wraps. They alter the nature of the forest where foliage on which mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers feed.
- If you have a contagious infection like flu, cough, covid-19, and others, volunteer to stay behind so as not to pass it to the susceptible mountain gorillas. They have about 96% human DNA.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden. They may get agitated and move into hiding. Since they are semi-habituated, expect them to show some wild behavior but be very patient for the allowed four hours of gorilla habituation.
- Using flash photography is forbidden because it may scare mountain gorillas. They fear strange occurrences in their habitat.
- If you wish to defecate while the gorilla habituation adventure is going on, ask the ranger guide to dig a hole about 30 centimeters deep and cover it well beyond recognition. This is to prevent the gorillas from exhuming anything.
- Only habituation aged 15 years and above are allowed to do gorilla habituation. This is because you need to know when to trace the mountain gorillas. Even the nature of the forest is soggy and slippery, which may be challenging for a child below this age.
- If you wish to smoke or eat, do this at least 300 meters from the mountain gorillas. This is to prevent them from grabbing what you are eating. Wild animals must do so for their own food and not depend on human provision.
- When you trace the mountain gorillas, you have only four allowed hours of gorilla habituation. Follow the guidelines given by the trackers and ranger guides because they know most traits of that gorilla family.
- Entering the forest without a ranger guide for gorilla habituation is prohibited because unhabituated forest dwellers may attack you.
- Avoid spitting on the vegetation or ground during gorilla habituation. You may pass an infection to the mountain gorillas if they eat this foliage.
- Do not sneeze or cough in front of the mountain gorillas, or do this in a handkerchief or the elbow. This is to prevent the spreading of any infection to the mountain gorillas.
- Stay closer to the people you are trekking gorillas with so they don’t feel ambushed by your presence. Mountain gorillas are scared of intruders in their presence.
What To Include On The Packing List For Gorilla Habituation Safari
- First aid box in case you need emergency medical assistance. Include the proper medical treatment.
- Foldable Safari Hat to wear in the wilderness and protect your hair from flying insects in the jungle.
- A Flash-less camera to keep memories of your experience in the jungle. Every moment is critical to preserve for future reference.
- Travel adapter to recharge your gadgets in case they run low on power
- Pocho or fleece to keep warm because it gets cold in the jungle. It would be best if you protect yourself from catching a cold. The temperatures drop to as low as 7 degrees centigrade.
- Pajamas to wear when going to sleep.
- A pair of Binoculars for observing far-ranging attractions.
- Safari Tracking boots to protect your feet from rough surfaces in the jungle. The ground is boggy and soggy at times, making movement difficult, so ensure your feet are safe.
- Rain Coat or Poncho, just in case it rains while you search for the gorillas.
- Snacks to match when you get hungry while in the wilderness.
- Hand sanitizer to keep away germs that may cause infections to the vegetation that you touch. It’s the food for the mountain gorillas.
- Garden gloves to catch a tighter grip on the slippery creepers when it rains.
- A Mask to wear when in front of the mountain gorillas
- A light waterproof bag to keep in your belonging and protect them from scattering in the wilderness.
- Long-sleeved shirts and convertible trousers to wear in the wilderness must be in colors friendly to the wild.
- Insect repellant to smear on the body and keep away stinging insects like tsetse flies.
- First Aid box with some medication in case you get injured.
- Bag spray to keep away bugs that may come into your room.
- Some hard cash to change into local currency if you need to purchase anything like souvenirs. Credit cards are rarely used as a means of exchange because getting money from them is pretty challenging.