Looking for Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the only four parks in the world protecting and preserving the lives of the endangered mountain gorillas. The Park has four sectors where gorilla trekking expeditions are conducted from; Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija sectors. Bwindi is the only Park having four sectors where trekkers do the gorilla trekking expeditions from.
The impenetrable forests of Bwindi inhabit almost 500 mountain gorillas, which is approximately half the total number of mountain gorillas in captivity, world-wide. With this massive population of mountain gorillas, Bwindi is evidently the most perfect Park for mountain gorilla expeditions in the whole world. The other national parks in Africa (world) offering mountain gorilla safaris are; Volcanoes, Virunga, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks located in Rwanda, DR Congo, and Uganda, respectively.
However, among all the aforementioned national parks protecting mountain gorillas, Bwindi is the only one which offers the extraordinary gorilla habituation experience.
What is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation is the process of teaching or training wild mountain gorillas to become used or familiar to human presence. In this fantastic experience in Bwindi you gorilla trekkers accompany researchers who train these wild gorillas to become used to human presence and be ready for the standard gorilla trekking experience.
Where to do gorilla habituation experience from with in Bwindi?
Besides Bwindi having four different sectors where gorilla trekking is conducted, it is only in Rushaga sector offering this awesome experience of gorilla habituation. The gorilla habituation experience in the Park (sector) was introduced in 2014.
According to UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority), there are two gorilla families that have been put in place and dedicated for this experience in Rushaga. With this experience, gorilla lovers get a chance to spend much time with the gorillas in their natural habitats compared to the allocated one hour you will be given to spend with the gorillas during the gorilla trekking experience.
With gorilla habituation experience, gorilla lovers/trekkers move with researchers (who habituate wild gorillas), spend more time and see how wild gorillas are habituated. The process of training wild gorillas get accustomed to human presence (gorilla habituation) may take two to three years to be completed and during that process researchers keep on visiting an identified wild gorilla group/family on a daily basis.
They get to know about individual gorillas and the way they behave. With time, these gorillas get used to the researchers and in the long run each gorilla is given a name. Once researchers are sure and certain that these gorillas are ready to be trekked, they then introduce a mock exercise where some few people who may include; journalists, scientists, start visiting them. Once such a gorilla family passes the mock exercise, then it is open for the standard trekking.
What’s the cost of a gorilla habituation permit?
Unlike the normal gorilla trekking permit which is a bit cheaper (US$ 700), a gorilla habituation permit is somehow expensive (US$ 1500) but no one has taken part in the activity and complained about the high price other than all saying the same thing; activity is worth the price!!! Therefore, all those interested in taking part in the gorilla habituation experience will pay US$ 1500 per person. Same like the gorilla trekking experience, gorilla habituation experience is an arduous experience that needs a lot of physicality. If you’re ill (sick) or weak, you are not advised to take part in this activity.