A gorilla habituation experience involves clients spending more time with mountain gorillas and that is why it is called a 4 hours trek compared to gorilla trekking which is restricted to only one hour. Mountain gorilla habituation experience involves clients moving with researchers, experienced guides to spend more time and see how gorillas are habituated. They are at times shy and the moment they sense any animal or human being nearby, they have to hide in the dense canopy. Spotting them becomes a challenge. So if you move with an experienced guide, the gorilla will not hide away from you while on the habituation experience
A Gorilla Habituation Experience is different from a normal gorilla trek not only in terms of time but also the energy and fee to engage in the activity compared to a gorilla trekking activity is different. This amazing experience is only taken in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and can be booked at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or through a local tour operator.
A maximum group of four people participate in the habituation experience and groups spend four hours with the gorillas. The cost of the permit for this experience is USD $1500 per trekker for almost the whole day so individuals interested in the experience must have a reasonable degree of fitness to participate. The fee includes a guide and park entrance fees. Two gorilla families have been put aside for gorilla habituation experience and are located in the Nkuringo and Rushaga side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The best time for gorilla habituation in Uganda is the dry and warm months of June, July, and August, Mid September, December, January and February. During these months, there is less rainfall that is likely to interrupt your whole day gorilla habituation experience. The forest is less slippery and as such you are able to move well while in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You should book for the permit at least 6 months in advance because the permits are given out on first come first serve basis.
Preparing for Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi
- Be prepared to track for 4 hours. This means that a reasonable degree of fitness is needed if you are to try out this experience.
- Remember to carry some snacks given that the time you are to spend within the forest is unpredictable.