COMMON NAME: Mountain Gorilla
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gorilla beringei beringei
GROUP NAME: Troop, band
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 35 years
SIZE: Standing height, 4 to 6 ft
WEIGHT: 300 to 485 lbs (136 to 220 Kgs)
SIZE: 4 to 5 ½ feet when standing on two feet
Uganda & Rwanda Gorilla Habituation Experience
Trekking Mountain Gorillas is a lifetime dream for many travellers to Uganda and Rwanda. The Habituation Experience gives you an opportunity to spend 4hours with Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Uganda Wildlife Authority has introduced gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tourists can now move with researchers to experience how mountain gorillas are habituated. Apparently, this experience is still at a mock stage and can be booked by contacting the Warden in Rushaga. The price for mountain gorilla habituation experience is now at USD1500 and one can stay for up to four hours.
The Gorilla Habituation Experience can be booked in Uganda throughout the year
Gorilla habituation is the process through which a gorilla family get used to human visits. When there were plans to introduce gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the remaining task was to make sure that the mountain gorillas get used to visits by tourists. Remember the gorillas were living in the forest and were not used to human visit.
A gorilla habituation process takes a period of 2-3 years and it involves an advance team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority making frequent visits to the gorilla family. Upon establishing that the group is used and welcoming to tourists, the gorilla family becomes ready for tourists’ visits.
Facts about gorilla habituation experience
If you book a permit for gorilla habituation, you will be allowed to spend four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. These four hours excludes the time you spend to reach the gorillas.
Unlike gorilla trekking which starts at 8:30 am, mountain gorilla habituation starts at 7:30am and briefing is done much earlier.
Gorilla habituation experience is currently possible in Rushaga located on the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It is thus not possible in Buhoma or Ruhija side of the forest. This is because currently, it is only in Rushaga that we have two mountain gorilla families being habituated as compared to other regions which do not have gorilla families under habituation. For those interested in this experience should be ready to go to the south and book accommodation closer to Rushaga since this activity requires an early start.
This includes rangers, researchers and spending four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. It also includes park entrance fees for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
There so many differences between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. Gorilla trekking permit costs USD 600 (From 01st July 2020, Mountain gorilla trekking permit will cost USD 700) and you get to spend only one hour with habituated mountain gorillas. Gorilla habituation costs USD 1500 allowing you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas still under habituation. It only takes place in regions that have mountain gorillas under habituation and as of now, it’s only in Rushaga where new gorilla groups of Bikingi and Bushaho are under habituation.
The minimum age for gorilla habituation is 15 years and above and all the book guidelines are same as those for gorilla trekking. In terms of numbers, gorilla habituation is limited to only four people.