Gorilla habituation experience – Gorilla Habituation Guide
Gorilla habituation experience involves a process in which the unhabituated or semi habituated gorillas are made get used to human presence. This is unusual experience and compared to the normal treks, gorilla habituation is conducted mainly by researchers, trackers, conservationists or scientists. Usually, the whole process lasts for 2 or more years however, this may depend on how fast gorillas can get familiar to human presence-others can even take less than 2 years. Gorilla habituation experience isn’t an ordinary experience-compared to the usual gorilla treks, you can only be part of gorilla habituation in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is found Southwest of Uganda, approximately 8-10 hours’ drive from Kampala and if you are from Kigali, you can spend about 4 hours.
Gorilla habituation still remains a new and unique tourism product provided by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to its visitors on Uganda gorilla safari. Unlike the normal gorilla treks, gorilla habituation is very restrict-it is limited to only 4 visitors. Currently, the Kutu gorilla family is set for gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the fact that Bikingi and Bushaho have officially been opened for trekking. Kutu gorilla group is found in the Rushaga region, the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The amazing part about gorilla habituation is that visitors have the whole day following mountain gorillas and upon finding them, they are given 4 hours to explore how they socialize, groom, feed, copulate, communicate, make the new nests and their unique body gestures.
Cost of gorilla habituation
To be part of the gorilla habituation experience, you require a valid gorilla habituation permit which costs $1500 per person for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and shs.750000 for East African citizens. Given the high demand, it is important that you secure your permit early at least 6 months before the actual trip. You can reserve a gorilla habituation permit through a registered or honest tour operator or through reservation team at Uganda Wildlife Authority. Please note, mountain gorilla habituation experience is open to visitors above 15 years and a distance of 7 meters has to be maintained away from mountain gorillas.
Accommodation in Rushaga sector
The notable accommodation options for your night stay in Rushaga area include Rushaga gorilla camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Ichumbi lodge. Alternatively, you can choose the nearby gorilla lodge around the Nkuringo area.
What to pack for gorilla habituation experience
When packing for gorilla habituation experience, you need to consider essential items first. Your packing list should, therefore, comprise of; waterproof daypack, insect repellent, gardening gloves, long-sleeved shirts/T-shirt, sun glasses, enough drinking water and energy-giving snacks, camera with no flashlight, trousers, first aid kit, valid passport, habituation permit, rain jacket or poncho, waterproof hiking boots, visa, walking stick-find one at the park headquarters.
How to get to Rushaga region
Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is reachable by road or by air. By road, you will spend about 8-10 hours if your journey starts from Kampala and if you plan to begin your road trip from Kigali Rwanda, you will cross through the Chanika border area in Kisoro or Katuna border via Kabale to Bwindi and this is approximate, 4 hours’ drive.