Gorilla Habituation Experience And Bwindi National Park.

The gorilla habituation experience is the scientific process of introducing wild endangered mountain gorillas to the sight and presence of human beings in their natural habitat for the purpose of research preparing them to be trekked by humans. This activity is thus crucial as it makes them familiar to human beings and therefore reduces the risk of charging unless they are provoked. Gorilla habituation is only done in the Rushaga sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Rushaga sector is located in the southern wing of the National Park and therefore in order to be accessed, a visitor has to go through the impenetrable forest which allows them to view more of the endowments of the National Park. The activity is carefully carried out by researchers and the Rangers of the National Park who study the gorillas and spend time making them familiar with the presence of humans.

 How gorilla habituation is done.

Gorilla habituation is a scientific activity that is carried out by experienced people who have studied the behaviors of gorillas extensively. In this case therefore, it is carried out by zoologists, primatologists and researchers with the help of the Rangers who understand the forest in and out. They spend about two to three years visiting the families in the jungle every day.

This is done as they try to mimic the ways of life of the gorillas which helps them to slowly earn their trust and therefore see no harm with the human beings which in turn brings about harmony between the two species.  Activities of gorilla habituation are sponsored by a number of teams from the conservation bodies within the country and from overseas. 

What to pack while embarking on the gorilla habituation experience.

Visitors embarking on the gorilla habituation experience are also advised to pack favorably for their activity in order to have the best experiences in the jungle and limit interruptions. Visitors should dress appropriately in long sleeved shirts and pants, good hiking boots to enable them maneuver through the forests for long hours and also have to pack essentials such as drinking water, first aid kits and snacks to keep their body satisfied and energetic.  All these play a key role in enhancing the experiences of the visitors and keeping them enjoying.

How different is gorilla habituation from normal gorilla tracking?

Gorilla habituation first of all is a scientific activity unlike normal gorilla tracking which is only an act of exploration and tourism. The gorilla habituation experience furthermore allows the visitor to spend more time with the mountain gorillas in their habitat unlike gorilla tracking. Visitors spend approximately 4 hours interacting with the gorillas and learning a lot about them unlike the one hour spent with the gorillas on the trekking activity. 

It is also important to note that during gorilla habituation processes, visitors get to actively participate in the processes of habituation as they help the researchers in their work which further makes it more enjoyable and boosts the experiences of the visitors with the gorillas. 

The gorilla habituation experience also helps visitors to learn more about the techniques used in the habituation experiences that help the gorillas to adapt to the presence of human beings which further makes the trip more rewarding as the information can also be used with other animals in their day-to-day life.  

The interactions with the researchers and their assistants in the jungle do not leave the visitors the same, this is because the travelers get more information about animals from the zoologists and researchers which is quite an enjoyable adventure unlike in the gorilla tracking activities where there are limited chances of meeting zoologists as the travelers normally only meet the Rangers and the tourist guides.

How much does a gorilla habituation experience cost?

It is important for visitors to note that the gorilla habituation experience in Uganda goes for a non-negotiable fee of $1500 per person per experience.  A gorilla habituation experience permit can be purchased through registered tour operators. A section of the fee goes to the team of researchers who work tooth and nail to make sure that the gorillas can be accessed and that their numbers keep on increasing instead of diminishing due to human activities and other factors that can be handled.

 Best time to do gorilla habituation.

The best time to participate in the gorilla habituation activities is during the dry months, that is to say the long dry season that runs from early June to September and the short season that’s always on from December to late February.

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