Gorilla habituation in Uganda
Gorilla habituation in Uganda : is the primate safari activity you can enjoy during this period in Uganda and is such an exhilarating experience which you should never miss during your African primate safari. Gorilla habituation was initially not created for visitor enjoyment, but rather, a professional exercise aiming at taming the wild mountain gorilla to human encounters. This is the major reason as to why mountain gorilla habituation was mainly done in the holiday seasons or the low seasons as called in the tourism industry around the world. However, due to the high demand of mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda and other parts of the virunga conservation area, mountain gorilla habituation was added onto the activities list for travellers who come for mountain gorilla trekking in the low season. The Uganda wildlife authority, gorilla habituation was made free for all interested travellers from 1st January 2014.
What is gorilla habituation?
Mountain gorilla habituation activity allows you to spend more time with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The time you spend with the mountain gorillas is the time that allows you to get familiar to them and also to win their trust. The gorilla habituation process is such rewarding to all travellers as they spend time learning intrinsically about all the behaviors of the mountain gorillas such as the eating habits, communication language, copulation, reproduction among others.
Gorilla habituation process
Uganda is blessed with over 450 mountain gorillas which live in Bwindi impenetrable forest; which is almost half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are habituated and live in the four major sectors in the park which include; buhoma sector, ruhija sector, nkuringo sector and rushaga sector. Of all the mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, only two mountain gorilla families are put aside for the tourists to enjoy the gorilla habituation experience in rushaga and Nkkuringo sector which include Bushaho and Bikingi gorilla groups within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The gorilla habituation is majorly a research done by real scientists and researchers assigned by Uganda wildlife authority. However, there is a chance always for six other travellers to join the researcher’s team in a day to enjoy the gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The number of people for the habituation process is always maintained since; the habituation is a sensitive activity, for research purposes.
The mountain gorilla habituation process is a time consuming activity at times. The habituations mostly takes about two to three years, however, this is done by a few people every round until the duration elapses and the gorillas are maturely habituated. The habituation of mountain gorillas is aimed at making them more accommodating for the tourist. The mountain gorilla habituation is only done in Uganda and Rwanda, in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and volcanoes national park in Uganda and Rwanda respectively. Gorilla habituation is not favorable in Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo, because the families of gorillas in the Congo are few and mobile.
The mountain gorilla habituation exercise or process involves trekking a selected family of wild gorillas which are not yet familiar with human encounters. The gorilla habituation exercise is not a one day activity; however, it is done for more than one day over period of about 3 to 4 years. The continuous habituation of a selected gorilla family makes it used and familiar to human encounters and safe for all the tourists. As the mountain gorilla habituation process goes on, the different members of a mountain gorilla family, under study, are given identity basing on their gender or sex, and age or size. However, as the time goes on, the mountain gorillas are given names to identify them from one another; the naming process happens at the climax of the habituation process. According to the reviews of the travellers on trip advisor about gorilla habituation, the naming of the habituated gorillas is the best experience ever, so you don’t want to miss that.
Gorilla habituation rules and regulations
All safari activities have a number of regulations baking them and procedures to follow. Mountain gorilla habituation on the other hand, is a stricter safari activity with its dos and don’ts that must be strictly followed for safety, fun and successful research.
- Remember to always follow instructions given by the game rangers. The rangers have more knowledge about the forest and the gorillas there of, it is smart to always listen and do what they tell you to do and not to do, for safety reasons.
- Always stay near your colleagues, stay in the group assigned to you by the tour guide. Staying in groups will help you from not getting lost or even getting attacked by the wild gorillas. A group of about six people treks for the gorilla family intended to be habituated for about 4 hours a day. Stay with the group and enjoy the process of gorilla habituation.
- Always don’t forget to keep your voices low whilst trekking for the gorillas in the forest. The loud noise while habituating the mountain gorillas might spark off violence in some gorillas which can attack you and end up spoiling your habituation experience. Keep silent to enjoy your habituation experience.
- Always try as hard as you can to keep a safe distance of not less than 7 meters away from the mountain gorillas. These gorillas are not yet familiar to humans so you might not need to get close to them or else trouble follows. This helps you to say safe, plus also it saves the mountain gorillas from contracting human communicable diseases.
- Do not dare make a mistake of imitating the mountain gorilla habits, like when the silver back confronts you and charges in front of you. Imitating the mountain gorillas during the habituation process, might win you a fight with one of them since they are new to humans.
- Remember not to use flash photography if at all you want to take good mountain gorilla photographs. The flash photographs can interfere with the behavioral patterns for the mountain gorilla; therefore, take your flash off or do not take any photographs while trekking the mountain gorillas.
Others about gorilla habituation
- Children under the age of 15 years are not allowed to do gorilla habituation or any primate safari activity in Uganda. Little children might pose a problem to the coordinators. Also little children and elderly people are sometimes not fit for the hikes in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Also sick people will never be allowed to join the team for mountain gorilla habituation; the gorillas too can catch human diseases, like cough, and flu.
- The permits for gorilla habituation experience go for USD1500.00 per person. Mountain gorilla habituation experience offers you a chance to spend about four hours with the mountain gorilla in a natural setting of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- You can also enjoy taking photos of the gorillas; do not use flash photography, in the forest. Besides the forest is full of other creatures that you can enjoy seeing during gorilla trekking, such as birds monkeys and the golden monkey, by any chance.
We can always help you secure your mountain gorilla habituation permit and all the required documents, all you need to do is to consult with us. Take time this season and book for your gorilla habituation, the experience is worthy.