Gorilla Habituation in Uganda – Bwindi National Park – Rushaga Sector
Gorilla habituation give trekker more three hours to stay with Gorilla. In Uganda, Gorilla habituation is conducted in Rushaga sector – 2016 the new habituated Groups Bikingi and Bushaho are open for habituation.
This is the only lace currently where one can go gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is located in the southern part of the park, and popularly known to have many habituated gorilla families available for visit by tourists every day.
Differences Between Gorilla Tracking & Habituation Tours
The two activities differ in the following ways:
Four hours spent with Mountain Gorillas during habituation while one hour is given to trekkers. Therefore, more three hours are given to spend with Gorillas during habituation.
Gorilla trekking starts at 7:30 at the Rushaga Park Headquarters and you return in the late Afternoon while habituation earlier at 6am and end in evening depending on the movement of Gorilla.
There are only two newly habituated gorillas groups in Rushaga sector – Bikingi and Bushaho, they are majorly habituated from 2016 on wards. On the other hand, 12 gorilla groups are trekked in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The number of Visitors allowed per day is limited to 4 participants per group compared with 8 for normal Gorilla Trekking Visit in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Note: The four hours given during habituation, does not include the time it takes hiking in and out from the Gorilla Group being habituated making it an all-day experience.
Price for the Gorilla Habituation Permit is 1,500 US$ per person for four hours while the Mountain Gorillas compared to 600 US$ for a Gorilla Trek Permit.
Both Gorilla habituation and trekking are conducted after briefing.
Both activities are led by ranger guides to ensure informative and enjoyable experience.
To participate in any activity, the participant MUST buy a permit in advance.
Gorilla habituation and trekking starts in the morning and the end is determined by the movement of Gorillas in the wild.
Both activities involve meeting Gorillas in their natural habitat. Bwindi is impenetrable forest where gorillas are found.
Both Gorilla trekking and Habituation are done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda, not only famous for gorilla tours but also forest walks, excellent birding and Batwa Experience.
Note: Gorilla habituation is only conducted in Uganda and not yet introduced in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. In case the demand for gorilla habituation increases, this will be a driving factor for responsible bodies like Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board among others to consider introducing more gorilla groups for habituation experience.
Next time we shall discuss about gorilla filming. This is the most expensive and takes place in Uganda (Mgahinga and bwindi impenetrable forest), Rwanda (Volcanoes National park) and to lesser extent in DR Congo (Virunga National Park). DR Congo is one of the richest tourism destinations in Africa with both Low land and mountain gorillas, untouched forests with huge variety of wild animals such as Elephants and Buffaloes, primates like Bonobos among others. However, the development of tourism industry in this area is hindered by political instabilities in the country. This has led to poor infrastructures such as roads, medical centers, accommodation facilities and increased number of refugees in the country.