The gorilla habituation experience offers you an amazing opportunity to spend four hours with these stunning primates in Uganda. Instead of only having an hour or so to observe and photograph these primates, this experience provides ample time to do both at your own leisure.
Habituation team led by trackers will take you into the forest and search for gorilla families. They will create a path through its wilder side until you locate one!
What is Gorilla Habituation?
Gorilla habituation refers to allowing visitors to spend time with a wild mountain gorilla family in Ugandan forests for research, conservation, tourism purposes. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has long offered this experience for research and conservation as well as tourism purposes.
Acclimatizing gorillas to humans is an intricate and lengthy process; often taking years.
Habituation teams spend considerable time getting to know gorillas and their individual personalities, teaching them how to produce noises such as grunts and chat among themselves.
Once gorillas are habituated to humans, researchers can begin inviting tourists to see them and bring tourists for tours – an essential step in conservation and research, helping ensure their survival and growth as giant primates.
Gorilla habituation experiences are only available at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwest Uganda and through a reputable tour operator. To take part, book a gorilla habituation tour.
Gorilla trekking vs Gorilla habituation
As opposed to gorilla trekking, where visitors spend only an hour with these gentle giants, gorilla habituation provides you with four hours of magical encounters! Here you can spend your time learning about their behavior, body gestures and taking photographs!
At a habituation trek, you’ll travel deep into the jungle alongside an expert tracker and scout looking for gorilla tracks left by their family. Once found, you’ll get to interact with these fascinating primates as they feed and play together.
As trekking can last several hours and be physically demanding, being fit is key for successful expeditions. Being sure-footed and adept at maneuvering uneven or steep terrain will also come in handy.
Habituation involves a collaborative effort of researchers, conservationists, park rangers and trackers in training gorillas to accept human visits over an 18-24 month period. Gradually becoming used to their presence over time enables tourists to visit safely.
Best time to go for gorilla habituation
Gorilla habituation is an incredible experience that takes place at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, lasting several years or longer and involving researchers and ranger guides who visit an identified Wild gorilla group daily in order to gain more information about individual gorillas as well as how they react when coming into contact with people.
Once researchers and rangers have successfully learned the behavior of an identified Wild gorilla family, they can then open it for trekking – but first undergo habituation process called habituation.
Gorilla habituation is an unforgettable all-day trek that lasts approximately 4 hours with up to four people per group, costing $1500 USD and should be booked 5-6 months ahead through a reliable tour operator.
Safari cost for gorilla habituation
Gorilla Habituation Experience offers trekkers an extended experience with these majestic primates; unlike regular gorilla trekking trips which last just an hour. This new product from Uganda Wildlife Authority allows trekkers to spend four hours with these remarkable primates, diversifying gorilla trekking activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest while meeting demand from tourists wanting more time with mountain gorillas.
Experience an extraordinary and humbling journey as you assist in the gorilla habituation process by living close to these remarkable primates for two years, during which only four interactions between you and gorillas are allowed during this period.
This event provides a rare opportunity to gain knowledge on primate conservation, and gain a better understanding of how park rangers are training these gorillas to become comfortable with them and therefore ensure their ongoing protection.
When to go for gorilla trekking
One of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll have is trekking through lush rainforest to view gorillas in their natural environment, accompanied by an experienced guide and tracker who can show you up close. Spend up to an hour watching these magnificent creatures play.
Gorilla trekking can be physically exhausting, so preparing your body by walking around regularly around home or your local community is an effective way to prepare.
If you plan to trek during the rainy season, it is recommended to pack waterproof clothing as this will prevent drenching and ensure a successful trek.
As always, it’s recommended to bring along a camera to capture every momentous adventure. An iPhone will suffice if this will only be one trek; otherwise investing in a good DSLR would produce images which will last far beyond this trip.
What to pack for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is one of the most exciting wildlife activities you can experience in Africa, involving deep jungle exploration to search for these intriguing primates.
When planning a gorilla trek, certain essential items must be brought along in order to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.
Hiking gloves: Hiking gloves should be included as part of your gorilla trekking packing list because they protect your hands from injuries. They can also come in handy if climbing up mountains is required – useful gripping branches or vines when necessary!
Waterproof boots: Waterproof footwear is an essential component of gorilla trekking trips, since you may encounter mud on the trail. Waterproof footwear will keep your feet comfortable and dry.
Wide-brimmed Hat: Wearing a wide-brimmed hat while gorilla trekking is important as it will keep you warm and protected from the sun while helping prevent stinging nettles from appearing on your trek.
Bug repellent: Gorilla trekking requires many encounters with insects along the trail, making insect repellent an essential item to bring in your daypack during each trek. To be on the safe side, bring enough for each day that your expedition lasts.
Where to stay on gorilla trekking
No matter if you’re seeking the luxury gorilla experience of Uganda or an economical trek through Rwanda, there are a range of excellent lodges to accommodate you during either trip. Some offer luxurious suites complete with private plunge pools while others can simply provide a peaceful forest setting to unwind and unwind in.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park stands out as an eco-friendly, comfortable accommodation choice, making it one of the gorilla trekking safari options available at an economical cost in Uganda.
This lodge sits smack dab in the rainforest, blending harmoniously into its natural jungle surroundings. Its levered lounge stands tall over the jungle’s lush beauty while an open-air bar provides uninterrupted jungle views.
Before setting off on your trek, enjoy a hearty British and continental breakfast and delicious packed lunch for your daypack. After your activity, relax back at the lodge by the pool or with an evening campfire under the stars!
Experience an extraordinary gorilla safari through trekking tourism! Donations generated from trekking tourism support conservation efforts directly.
How to get to bwindi national park
Bwindi Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda boasts more than half of the remaining mountain gorilla population and also hosts chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and other primates.
Bwindi National Park can be reached from Kampala by air or road travel; an eight-hour journey by road takes around nine hours while domestic flights from Buhoma or Ruhija take under an hour to arrive there.
Gorilla trekking should take place during the dry seasons from mid December to February and June to September, as this allows for easier trekking and better photography opportunities.
If you want to experience more than just gorillas in Bwindi National Park, bird watching or village walks may also provide great ways to enjoy its abundant biodiversity. Doing this will add another dimension to your gorilla trek!
For an added thrill, rent a mountain bike and pedal around Bwindi Park’s numerous trails – you are sure to find one that best suits you!