Most asked questions about gorilla habituation in Uganda
Following the partially trained gorillas to help them become accustomed to human presence is known as gorilla habituation. Dian Fossey, an American anthropologist, pioneered gorilla habituation as one of her methods for preserving mountain gorillas. The Uganda Wildlife Authority opened gorilla habituation to tourist booking in 2014, but it had initially been the work of researchers. Gorilla habituation begins with an early wake-up at around 0730 hours to greet the gorillas as they de-nest, follow them to their feeding area, and enjoy their daily routines. You should be aware that because these mountain gorillas are still in the early stages of habituated behavior, their wild behavior is still unchecked. When you find them with other researchers, you get 4 hours to observe, record their behavior, examine how each gorilla spends its particular day, and do a lot more. When you go gorilla trekking, you are allowed to spend more than one hour with mountain gorillas. This extra time is known as gorilla habituation.
What is gorilla habituation experience?
Gorilla habituation is the process of familiarizing wild gorillas to human presence, as previously mentioned. In order to train a gorilla family to human presence, researchers progressively begin to follow them every day once they have found them. Despite their enormous stature and dark-furred bodies, gorillas are naturally reserved creatures, but as they become accustomed to humans, they become less so. The Uganda Wildlife Authority opened up gorilla habituation for tourist booking in 2014 to increase the income sources for gorilla conservation and community assistance.
What is the cost of gorilla habituation permit in Uganda?
Currently, each habituation permit for gorillas in Uganda costs $1500 per person for each expedition. This cost includes park admission fees, a ranger guide to accompany you and the researcher into the jungle, support for the gorilla research, gorilla medication, local community assistance, and much more.
For a reasonable charge, you can hire a porter to carry your belongings through the forest. This is one method of directly assisting the community. They utilize these funds to finance their kids' education, cover medical expenses, purchase clothing and books, among many other things.
How many people are permitted to participate in gorilla habituation?
There are a maximum of 4 gorilla habituation permits per family of mountain gorillas each day. Keep in mind that readapting the gorillas to human presence takes time. The gorilla family might flee in fear if you ambush them with lots of humans around. Gorilla habituation typically takes two to three years to complete, but in rare circumstances, it could take up to five years. Each step taken during habituation of gorillas is extremely significant and delicately handled.
Best time to do gorilla habituation
Although gorilla habituation is available year-round, it is recommended to go during the drier months when the ground is not as wet. Longer hours spent pursuing the gorillas during gorilla occupancy make good weather necessary to endure the already humid forest surroundings.
Compared to the rest of the year, June through September and December through January see less rain. You can reserve a gorilla habituation during these months. Advance reservations are required due to the limited number of gorilla habituation licenses granted daily—only 4 permits are released for each gorilla family.
Where to do gorilla habituation in Uganda
Only the southern portion of Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the Bukingyi and Bushaho gorilla families, has been designated for gorilla habituation. One family resides in the Rushaga area, while another is in the Nkuringo region. Due to the fact that both of these gorilla families are concentrated in the southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, anyone interested in getting close to gorillas must travel to this region.
When does gorilla habituation begin?
Gorilla habituation begins every day around 07:30 hours sooner than gorilla trekking, which starts at 08:30 hours. Make sure to carry a lunch because, due to the activities you must participate in while in the forest, the return time will undoubtedly be after lunch. Bring the proper gorilla habituation gear so you may fully appreciate your time with the mountain gorillas without having to rely on anybody to lend you anything.
How long does it take to do gorilla habituation?
Only 4 hours are permitted with the gorillas once you have located them, however gorilla habituation might take up to 8 hours. You participate in activities such as gorilla identification, watching out for each one's distinctive behavior, shooting photos when directed, and many more under the guidance of the research team.
What is the age limit for gorilla habituation?
The age requirement for gorilla habituation is 15 years or older since people of this age are physically robust enough to endure the circumstances of the forest. At age 15, following the gorilla habituation guidelines is more crucial because one is more mature and capable of experiencing gorilla habituation.
How safe is gorilla habituation?
Mountain gorillas may be large and exhibit wild behaviors, but they are not aggressive until someone breaks the gorilla habituation norms. It is vital to have a certain amount of endurance and be prepared to resist woodland circumstances. To safeguard you in case of danger, you travel with a group of researchers and ranger guides during gorilla habituation. Thus, gorilla habituation is risk-free, but to fully enjoy the experience, follow the directions.
How to get discounted gorilla habituation permits?
No discounted gorilla habituation permits exist as of yet. The general charge, which is $1500, must be paid.
How hard is gorilla habituation?
It might be difficult but enjoyable to track mountain gorillas that are semi-regularly sighted. Being one of the fortunate tourists who gets to assist the gorillas in adapting to human presence is an experience that cannot be compared. Knowing that your name will eventually be a part of the history of a particular gorilla trekking family makes you feel accomplished. Although the terrain may be difficult, the effort will be worthwhile once you have completed the four hours. Make sure you have the necessary equipment packed to get you through the gorilla training process.
What distinguishes gorilla habituation from gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking involves tracking down the gorillas and spending an hour with them. As part of the gorilla habituation activity, you spend four hours in the jungle getting used to being around people. It takes two to three years for a wild gorilla family to become completely used to human presence after beginning gorilla trekking. In Uganda, just 8 gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking, and only two gorilla families are currently accessible to tourists.
What to pack for gorilla habituation
· Trekking footwear that can resist the muddy terrain, particularly during periods of heavy rain on terrain with volcanic soils.
· A camera with a good lens that can capture a good image amidst leaves and tree sap dripping on surfaces.
· A water-resistant bag to prevent your stuff from becoming dispersed across the forest.
· A set of gardening gloves to hold the creepers you encounter firmly.
· Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants in natural-looking hues to protect your body from stinging nettles and sharp objects.
· A second fully charged battery to change over when the first one runs out.
· You should bring a poncho or sweatshirt to be warm because it is chilly here both during the day and at night.
· When you are hungry in the wilderness, you can eat some energy snacks. You need some energizers because the hiking can occasionally be difficult and exhausting.
· A torch for nighttime illumination in case the lights go out.
· If you want to conduct any business while on the ground, such as purchasing souvenirs, bring some cash to exchange into local currency.
· In the event that your hotel does not supply warm Flip flops to wear inside the room because most rooms have icy floors and the slippers provided could also be chilly.
· A hat with a wide brim or a cap to protect your hair from raindrops falling from tree branches and leaves. Your hair may even come into contact with stinging flying insects in the forest.
· Use skin-friendly insect repellent in the woods to shield your skin from stinging insects.
· A bottle of water to carry with you on your trip to find the mountain gorillas so you can stay hydrated.
How many people are permitted to habituate gorillas?
To avoid overwhelming the mountain gorillas during habituation, only 4 tourists are permitted to participate in gorilla habituation alongside researchers.
How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park for gorilla habituation
The quickest way to go to the southernmost portion of Bwindi Forest from Kampala is to travel from Kampala through Kabale to Nkuringo, a journey that takes around 4 hours and covers 105 kilometers. Since this region is typically mountainous, plan on traveling on curvy roads.
Before traveling to the Rushaga or the Nkuringo gorilla areas, you might decide to spend the night in Kisoro.
You must travel around 80 kilometers from Kisoro to get to the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Every day, domestic aircraft from Kajjansi Air or Entebbe Airport arrive at Kisoro Airstrip. From there, you can take a transfer vehicle to the Nkuringo region or the Rushaga gorilla trekking region. On demand, charter flights can be planned to Kisoro Airstrip.
Why book your gorilla habituation, and gorilla trekking safari in Uganda with Dav Safaris?
With Dav Safaris, you can reserve permits for gorilla trekking, and gorilla habituation as well as safari travel to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. For a perfect primate’s experience, we handle all the little details, including other local issues like lodging reservations, transportation plans, and other activities. For a free itinerary and planning assistance, get in touch with our safari staff at https://davsafaris.com/contact-us or Email us at [email protected]