Are mountain gorillas a few most fascinating creatures on earth that you wish to explore in depth? Have you ever heard of gorilla habituation experience and you do not know which group to explore? If you are a primate enthusiast and you wish to spend more time with a group of these dramatic creatures then habituation experience is one unique adventure you have to count a must on your bucket list. This rare experience is only possible for you to take part in Uganda and only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This extra-ordinary primate adventure is conducted within Rushaga area of Bwindi National Park and takes visitors through the semi-habituated families of which only 2 have been designated for this and they include Bushaho and Bikingi.
Unlike the usual treks, with gorilla habituation experience, trekkers have opportunity to spend the whole day in the wild in search of these magnificent creatures and enjoy 4 sold hours on magical encounter. Usually, habituation exercise takes about 2 to 3 years and the main aim is to make gorillas get used human presence and after, they are opened for gorilla trekking.
Mountain gorilla habituation experience features among the very few rarest and newly introduced tourism product in Uganda and Bwindi National Park as whole. Unlike the usual gorilla trekking experience, the participants in this particular experience are mainly the conservationists, gorilla doctors, researchers, scientists and many others. It is however more like gorilla trekking especially when it comes to dos and don’ts that must be observed at all times by visitors.
Thus experience takes you through the semi habituated families and visitors spend time following a group of mountain gorillas in a move to make them familiar to human presence. The 2 groups are found within Rushaga and given the fact that these apes reproduce higher chances are that their number will increase in the near future. This sector is situated in southern side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Currently, about 8 infants/baby gorillas thrive within the two families and they include the six in Bikingi and two in Bushaho group.
Bikingi group for instance was first sighted within the Bikingi area around Rushaga hence its name. It is led by Bikingi silverback gorilla one of friendly gorillas to young gorillas in the family. He is also seen spending more time with the rest of the members.
How much are the habituation permits
Like the usual treks, gorilla habituation experience equally requires you to purchase a permit for you to take part in this lovely primate adventure. The habituation permits can be obtained at $1500 per person. This allows you to spend the whole day while following the gorillas and 4 hours of magical encounters-take photos, explore their behaviors as well as body gestures. These permits can be obtained through reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or a ground tour operator that is trust worthy, registered and recognized. You are advised to book for your permit early enough as the demand for permits is very high. Besides, unlike the usual treks, with gorilla habituation experience only 4 visitors are allowed each day to take part in it.
Length of habituation experience
This adventure kick starts with early morning wake up then head off to Bwindi park headquarters at Rushaga region for briefing on dos and don’ts to be observed while on gorillas in the wild. After, you set off to the jungles to look out for these Great Apes with conservationists, doctors, researchers and trackers.
Packing list for habituation experience
The fact that this adventure takes the entire day, you have to be well prepared. For any plans to take part in this primate adventure your packing list should include items like waterproof hiking boots that are light weight, enough drinking water, energy giving snacks, walking stick, gardening gloves, long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, sweater, rain jacket/poncho and many more.
The dos and don’ts for this primate experience are the same to those of gorilla trekking. Like the usual treks, this adventure can be done any time of the year however; you have to take note of the dry and wet season. The dry season starts from June to September and December to February while the wet season begins from March to May and from October to November.