Which one is right for me – Gorilla Habituation Experience or Gorilla Trekking
You Decide – Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience
Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience. What is The Difference between Gorilla Trekking where 8 participants spend one hour with the Gentle Giants of the Forest and the Gorilla Habituation Experience which is beyond picture taking, beyond viewing but you become part of the process of Gorilla Habituation?
Choosing Gorilla Habituation Experience or Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda?
We cannot convince you of one being better than the other, but we can remove the confusion that exists between the two – the difference is much more than being 900 USD more expensive, based on our experience and feedback from Gorilla Habituation Experience it would not matter if the permit price was higher – the Gorilla Habituation Experience is a one of kind activity – there simply is not a comparison to be made, but since we are often asked – Here is our Take:
Please Note – The major difference between Gorilla Trekking and the Gorilla Habituation that we have experienced is on the one hour visit to Gorilla Family you are an observer, a taker of photographs, on the other hand, you are an active participant in the Gorilla Habituation. It is more of what Dian Fossey experienced and it is probably somewhat unfair comparing the two very different encounters with the Gentle Giants.
Which one is right for me – Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience
Reasons why Trekkers choose the Gorilla Habituation Experience over Gorilla Trekking
A normal Trek is 1-Hour with a Gorilla Family – The Habituation Experience means 4-hours with a Gorilla Family. A normal Gorilla Trek is 3-5 hours – 1-hour with a Gorilla Family.
The Gorilla Habituation Experience means you are 4-hours with a family plus the Trek in and trek out, this amounts 7-8 hours.
For some this may be more than they can handle, that is a lot of time on your feet, those that do it have no complaint. (We had one complaint about the length of the day in 5 years).
If you are an amateur Primatologist the 4 hours is for you. This is the closest that you will ever get to a Dian Fossey Gorillas in the Mist Experience for a day.
More Time with the Gentle Giants of the Forest – those that do the Gorilla Habituation, the more time is worth the extra money, effort, adjustment of travel Schedule.
That is a big issue for many. 8 Trekkers, Rangers, porters, Security is a lot of People heading into the Forest. 4-Trekkers is half the number of participants and there is no rule against you buying all 4 permits for the Habituation Experience and have a private time with Rangers, Researchers and the Gorillas.
The African traveler is learning toward exclusive, authentic Experiences and the Gorilla Habituation Experience is most often just right for them.
4 participants mean that there are fewer people trying to get the best view, the best camera angle, you have more options than you would have with 8 participants. There were some voices a few years ago that wanted to increase the number of trekkers to 12, thank goodness level conservation minded heads prevailed.
Fewer Participants – half of the participants that you have on a normal Gorilla Trek.
This is one of the most important differences between the Habituation and the normal Trek. The Gorilla Habituation Experience is all about getting Gorillas used to Human. The gorilla family that you are allowed to visit on the Habituation is well into the process, your presence only helps them along.
Your presence makes you a participant in the habituation process where the Gentle Giants become used to the presence of humans. This is a process that takes from 2 to 3 years.
You do not habituate Gorillas overnight, it takes time. The Gorilla Families in the process of being habituated that can be visited have been habituated for a length of time, this is done so that you have a positive trekking experience.
Gorilla Trekking is Gorillas-101, the Gorilla Habituation is beyond the Basics, it is Gorillas 202. You are in the living room of a Gorilla Family, You are with them in the living room in the forest. You are part of the family as they go about their daily business of being Gorillas.
You are with researchers, trackers, hear their comments about the behavior of the Gorillas on the day that you are there. At times our clients have been to a Gorilla Doctor Forest Call, a gorilla family checkup which was a most amazing experience. Definitely beyond Basic 101 Gorilla Trekking.
That the Habituation i beyond the Basics of Gorilla Trekking makes the Gorilla Habituation worth it, worth the extra time, extra Effort and yes the extra money.
If you want to be in the presence of Mountain Gorillas and learn about them, that the Habituation, beyond the Basics, is for you
The Gorilla Habituation Permit costs you 1,500 USD, 900 USD more than the normal Trek. It raises the cost of your Primate Safari by 900 USD but values-wise you get a lot more in return. 4- Hours with a Gorilla Family, fewer participants, a greater learning experience is what you get,
Most Trekkers are satisfied with a normal trek. There are a few that want more. They want more time, an even more memorable experience. They like the idea of fewer participants.
The fewer permits block many from going on the habituation, the higher cost for permits blocks others. The reality is that we could sell twice the number of Safaris if permits were available.
If you ask one who just completed the gorilla habituation Experience, no one would tell you that they regret going on it.
The Gorilla Habituation Experience was never intended for Mass Primate Tourism. It is a niche activity, not meant for everyone but for those that want to find out more about Gorillas, are interested in their presence for a longer time and want a more exclusive activity that is actually hands-on rather be an observer.
Presently there are only 4 permits per day for those that are interested in the activity. Only use an Association of Uganda Tour Operators such as Kabiza Wilderness Safaris since they have access to the largest number of permits, can easily check for permit availability and know what the Habituation is about.
Important: Unfortunately many Trekkers do not make Uganda their sole Safari Destination but use Uganda as a Gorilla Add-ON. They often attempt to book Gorillas after booking time in Tanzania, Kenya, even South Africa and Namibia or Botswana. That is the number 1-Mistake committed and results often in no permits. The Number 1 – Gorilla Trekking Rule is this. Book Gorillas first – they are permitted sensitive, have a fixed, unchangeable Date (rare times can be changed for a fee to UWA.) You game drive in Kenya or Tanzania can be taken most any time, not so your gorilla trek or gorilla habituation.
The Gorilla Habituation Experience takes place only in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest because Trekking is done in the Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga Areas of the park.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is from one site in Uganda, it is from 5 locations – 4 locations inside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest plus Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Rushaga and Nkuringo can be accessed from Kigali, Rwanda in a mere 4 hours, while it takes longer to travel to the Buhoma or Ruhija Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The drive to southern Bwindi Impenetrable Forest from Entebbe is 9-Hours. One reason that over 80% of our clients choose to fly into Kigali, Rwanda, and Trek in Uganda. Fly-In Gorilla Safaris can be done from Entebbe to southern Bwindi using Kisoro Airstrip.
Hopefully, you can make a choice based on our input – just contact us and we will get things going.
If you go to TripAdvisor and read the reviews you will be more confused than before you read them. The Reviews are mostly written by non-habituation Experience Participants. Those who have done Gorilla Trekking and not the Habituation, comments from some Tour Operators that do not know the Gorilla Habituation and simply wannabee Armchair Experts that like to see their name in print.
The reality is this, few have gone on a Gorilla Habituation Experience compared to the many that have done a Gorilla Trek. The two Gorilla Families being habituated have been in the process for well over two years and have become used to humans. Lastly, a Gorilla Habituation like a Gorilla trek is no walk in the zoo, nothing is predictable, it is an adventure and each is different.
This is is the same kind myth being perpetrated on the Internet such as Gorilla Trekking is better in Rwanda. Why did Lonely Planet feature Uganda as a Cool List Destination – Gorilla Trekking price and the fact that most are choosing to trek in Uganda?
The Gorilla Habituation Experience since its inception has been a popular activity with our Clients, over 50% of those wanting to see the Mountain Gorillas in the wild are choosing the Gorilla Habituation Experience over normal Gorilla Trekking.
The Main Reason for their choice is the time spent with a Gorilla Family – the 4 hours versus the 1-hour trekking. There is also the smaller number of visitors (4) allowed on a Gorilla Habituation Experience versus Trekking and lastly, they like being with those involved in the Habituation Process, the insights, and knowledge that they receive from them.
The cost of the Habituation Experience is a reason, but those choosing the 4-hour Experience go with the one of a kind of activity that they can be part of, where there are only 4 participants and it is a learning experience.
There are already myths about the Habituation Experience. The two gorilla families are used to Humans, have been habituated for over two years, you are as close to them as you are during a Gorilla Trek, Gorillas, however, may get closer than the rules call for, they don’t have the Internet. At the end of the day, your experience may be different since we are in the wild where things are not always predictable and ultimately the Gorillas are in control and not humans.
Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience – No matter whether you choose Gorilla Trekking or the Gorilla Habituation Experience, your money goes further, gives you more value in Uganda.
The choice is yours to make – whether you want a normal gorilla Trek or the Gorilla Habituation Experience we love to assist you with one of the most amazing encounters on the planet – that time with the Mountain Gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking or the Gorilla Habituation Experience? The choice is yours to make if you have any questions. Please ask us and we will gladly reply to you.