What is included and excluded in a gorilla habituation experience permit
What is included and excluded in a gorilla habituation experience permit? The gorilla habituation experience permit consists of the park entrance fees, which are compulsory for any visitor to Uganda National Park. The park entrance fees last 24 hours from when you enter the national park.
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The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists escort a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to follow a semi-habituated gorilla family and stay with them for four hours. In Uganda, gorilla habituation experience is only done in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The southern part of the Bwindi forest comprises the Nkuringo and the Rushaga areas.
Currently, two gorilla families are open for habituation safaris with 8 gorilla permits available, as only a maximum of four tourists are allowed to visit these gorillas.
One needs a gorilla permit to participate in a gorilla habituation experience safari. Since the number of gorilla permits is limited, booking is the safest way, especially if you hope to do this safari in the high season. The high Uganda tourism season usually is June, July, August, September, December, and January.
What is the cost of a gorilla habituation experience permit?
Currently, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $1000 per person for foreign residents, and 750000shs per person for East African residents.
Purchasing the gorilla permits is on a first-come, first-served basis, and none are preserved without payment.
What is included in the gorilla habituation experience permit?
Park entrance fees
Park entrance fees are compulsory for any visitor to all Uganda National Parks. These fees support conserving the mountain gorillas, their habitats, and other forest dwellers. Much financial support is needed to maintain most conservation destinations in their natural settings as human encroachment is also at its peak.
When you purchase the park entrance ticket, it is valid 24 hours from the time of entry. With the gorilla habituation experience permit, the park entrance is included in the permit cost.
Since mountain gorillas under the habituation experience are semi-habituated, they still possess their wild traits. The researchers and trackers have to take their time to understand the characteristics of each gorilla family and the general behaviors of these gorillas. They collect samples of these mountain gorillas, like hairs, dung, and others, which they take to different laboratories for analysis.
To get information about the semi-habituated gorilla family, the researchers know more by now. They are paid salaries to support their work and encourage them to continue. The researchers also have to rise early to understand the routine of the gorilla family and much more. Only a dedicated person can withstand a long time and write factual information about the mountain gorilla family. This information is what is given to tourists during gorilla trekking.
Security during gorilla habituation adventure
Gorilla habituation adventure happens in the jungle, which may stimulate adrenaline if you think about security. However, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is secure. Each day, a team of trackers patrols the forest and updates the park management about the possible way to the mountain gorillas.
For every gorilla safari adventure, at least two ranger guides escort the tourists, one holding a machete to trim obstructing creepers and another carrying a rifle in case of attack. In case backup is needed, these ranger guides keep in constant radio call communication with ranger guides at the station.
During the gorilla habituation experience, the ranger follows the pace of the slowest trekkers so that no one is forgotten in the wilderness.
Other Uganda security agencies are in place to keep law and order.
Mountain Gorilla conservation
The gorilla permit cost includes mountain gorilla conservation. The mountain gorillas were on the verge of extinction by the 1980s, according to the census carried out by the team of Dian Fossey. The plight of the mountain gorillas was brought to the knowledge of both international and local conservation bodies. More funds needed to be collected to support the survival of the highly endangered mountain gorillas.
Selling if gorilla permits is one of the measures used to collect funds to support the survival of mountain gorillas. At the moment, about 1,000 mountain gorillas are living per the recent population census.
Four hours with the mountain gorillas
During the gorilla habituation experience, four hours are allowed before these gentle giants. They are still shy primates and expect odd behaviors like hooting, thumping their chests, retreating into the forest, and others.
It would be best if you had some patience and religiously follow the guidelines of gorilla habituation to enjoy the four hours with the mountain gorillas. For those who wish to do mountain gorilla photography, filming, and research, you can use this opportunity and have extra time before these primates. Gorilla trekking adventure allows you only one hour in front of the mountain gorillas, which may be quite a short time for those wishing to have more content about the mountain gorillas.
Briefing before gorilla habituation experience
Briefing is key on the day of the gorilla habituation experience as you understand what to do and not to do before the mountain gorillas. The semi-habituated mountain gorillas are very sensitive to intruders in their vicinity.
When you violate some of the guidelines of gorilla habituation, you may cause a forest stampede. Try not to mimic the mountain gorillas because you do not know what you may communicate. Do not provoke the mountain gorillas because they have feelings, too.
Please attend the briefing to avoid being disqualified from the gorilla habituation experience even though you possess a permit.
Experienced ranger guides and researchers conduct the briefing, but the last thing they do not want is a gorilla family becoming suspicious of human presence caused by visitors. This stagnates the so-far-done work of getting the wild mountain gorillas used to human existence.
Local community support
To conserve the mountain gorillas, the local people need to get engaged. Through local community workshops, encouraging the locals to act as porters and others, the community is slowly included in the work of mountain gorilla conservation. The locals have myths about the mountain gorillas that need to be gradually changed through different outreaches conducted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other non-government organizations. Some of the funds that support these attempts are at the cost of a gorilla permit.
Sometimes, the mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers stray into the community and destroy their crops. To make up for this and create harmony between the park and the local community, 20% of the annual proceeds from the sale of gorilla safaris are given to the local community each year. They use these funds to support the running of community projects like well-making, upgrading schools, and road maintenance, to mention but a few.
Ranger guide fees
Taking a gorilla habituation experience adventure with a ranger guide would be safe. The ranger guides are in place to explain more about the forest and possibly other forest dwellers. Bwindi Forest is home to other primates like blue monkeys, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, and black and white colobus, to mention but a few. There are sparkling waterfalls, breathtaking views, and much more that cannot be seen outside the park.
The rangers put in a lot of work to protect the mountain gorillas, other forest dwellers, and the forest as a whole. They dedicate their lives to the survival of these gentle primates. This is their everyday work, and they deserve payment.
Tipping the ranger guides may not be compulsory, but it’s worth it as these men and women risk their lives for the survival of the mountain gorillas. After the gorilla safari, you can reward them with a generous tip to encourage them to continue this noble cause.
Certificate after gorilla habituation Experience
After the gorilla habituation experience, tourists are handed certificates of accomplishment. Following the semi-habituated mountain gorillas is tasking and hectic, but the joy of completing this adventure is unmatched. Standing before the only leftover mountain gorillas is a dream come true experience.
What is excluded from a gorilla habituation experience permit?
As Encounter Africa safaris, we can assist you in reserving some of the exclusions of a gorilla habituation experience permit. Our dedicated team is ready to lift off your shoulders the burden of putting together the supporting amenities of a gorilla safari. Exclusions of gorilla habituation experience permit:
Transport to gorilla safari destination
Transport is key in organizing the gorilla habituation experience safari. You can use road or air transport from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip. In the cost of a gorilla permit, transport is excluded.
If you are to travel by road, you need a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle as the terrain of the roads in the countryside is rough and dusty during the dry seasons but very slippery in the wet season.
For air transport, daily domestic flights depart Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip, but you need a transfer vehicle to the lodge. Charter flight services from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip are available, too.
Accommodation to use during gorilla habituation experience safari
After securing the gorilla permit, accommodation to stay during gorilla safari nights is very important. It’s best to overnight within or close to the area where your gorilla permit is booked. For gorilla habituation experience accommodation, you can secure facilities in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpecker’s Camp,
When you spend the night in another area far from the gorilla habituation experience destination, you may have to drive in the dark to connect with the early morning briefing. The chances of encountering obstacles early in the morning are high, with poor visibility due to misty conditions, heavy downpours, and slippery roads, to mention but a few.
Porters during gorilla habituation experience
The topography of the gorilla safari area is jagged, so you may be required to hike to find the mountain gorillas. You can hire a porter to carry some of your belongings, like gorilla habituation gear so you can walk freely. This is one of the most direct ways to give back to the community.
A porter may push you when tired, too, and upon finding the mountain gorillas, you are free to take the best photos without baggage.
When you need a porter, you must hire one before starting the trek.
Snacks during gorilla habituation experience
Breakfast is taken too early to last your entire trek, but you must carry snacks to re-energize. Do not dump wraps in the forest, as this alters the nature of the forest where these primates feed. During the gorilla habituation experience, you take breaks where you can snack.
International flights are excluded from the cost of a gorilla permit, but you need to secure them upfront.
Any other items of a personal nature
During the gorilla habituation experience, you may do some personal transactions or engage in activities other than what is included in the itinerary. All this is not included in the cost of the permit.
Tipping is a noble action, and it’s a token of appreciation. You can tip your ranger guides or researchers after the adventures, but this is not included in the permit cost. Tips encourage the rangers and researchers to carry on with their work. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we encourage clients to tip generously, giving the ranger and researchers more courage to keep on with their work.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari?
The gorilla habituation experience is open all year, but the wet season is the most booked in the dry season. This usually is June, July, August, September, December and January. The forest is full of life, and most of the forest dwellers are active, too, like birds, butterflies, and others.
The forest has less humid conditions and more sunray penetration to the ground.
During the dry season, there is more demand for gorilla permits because this is the peak season, too.
During the wet season, the cost of most service providers may be discounted. The wet season serves as the low season, too. This usually is March, April, May, and November.
Contact us if you are interested in booking your gorilla habituation safari permit today.