The Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience is a form of experiential tourism introduced by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) since 2014 in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to give visitors an in-depth understanding about the Gorillas. The Habituation Experience gives a person more time to visit and see the Gorillas as opposed to just gorilla tracking, and time allowed to see these great Apes is 4 hours while in their presence whereas on a normal tracking safari, once visitors meet the Gorillas, they are only allowed one hour to watch them.
This form of tourism (experiential), gives tourists/ visitors a clear and more understanding about wildlife (Gorillas) and its behavior. Habituation is an activity aimed at getting wildlife used to human /visitor presence without altering its natural environment. Habituators and researchers visit the identified wild Gorilla group usually on a daily basis to monitor them from the morning hours through the day till the process is completed. Before any group of Gorillas is made available for tracking by tourists, it is first habituated, a process that can last for 2 and more years. The first group of the Mountain Gorillas to become available for tracking by visitors in Bwindi was in 1993 and as of December 2018, the park has a total of over 18 families in the four locations of Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija.
Therefore, to increase on visitor experience while on a Gorilla trip, UWA introduced Gorilla Habituation at a cost of 1500USD a permit per person and only 4 people are allowed per day. There are only two groups in Rushaga the southern sector of Bwindi that are available for habituation for the moment and this means a total of only 8 Habituation permits in a day.
Meeting the Mountain Gorillas on a tracking safari is an emotional experience, now imagine being behind the scene process of their habituation. To prepare for this activity, one needs to be reasonably fit since it is a full day adventure involving trekking through the misty mountain forest. One needs to wake-up early enough and assemble to the park headquarters with a confirmed permit where you meet the guides (researchers and/or habituators), receive briefing on the etiquette, with your packed lunch boxes, you enter the forest at dawn, the morning sights, sounds and scents make the experience remarkable. You can reserve your permit well in advance since meeting these Great Apes is one of the most highly sought-after wildlife experience and as a result permits sell out quickly. Contact Us or UWA directly to reserve your permit.
3 Days Mountain Gorilla Habituation Safari