Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience-Uganda

Posted by on August 7, 2018

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 you if you are interested in the Gorilla Habituation you might want to see if it is right for you and be comparing the two activities which will  allow you to choose what is right for you, depending on your budget, wanting more time with a Gorilla Family and being part of a research and the Habituation Process. 

There is a big price difference that has to be considered when comparing the two activities.  Normal Trekking Permits are 600 USD each while the Gorilla Habituation Permit is 1,500 USD.

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

 Which Can I afford – the Price Difference?

1,500 USD for a Gorilla Habituation Permit which allows you to join the very limited group of trekkers that have participated in the Habituation Excercise and have been with a Gorilla Family for four hours..  One has to remember that there are only 8 permits – 4 for each group.  A Gorilla Trek, on the other hand, is 900 USD less at 600 USD – you are with a Gorilla Family and most trekkers do not even realize that the Gorilla Habituation Experience is offered.

Even though the Gorilla Habituation costs more, over 65% of our Trekking Clients choose the Habituation Experience over normal 600 USD Trekking because of the extras time receives one has on the Habituation Experience which our past clients have felt was well worth the extra 900 USD.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience means More Time with Gorillas:

A normal Gorilla Trek is 3 to 5 hours depending on the group that you are tracking while the Gorilla Habituation Experience is much longer.

More Time – You are 4 hours with a Family, plus the time it takes to hike in and out to where the group is located that day.  The location of any group varies by up to one kilometer a day and pre-trackers are out at the crack of dawn to find the site of the group you will be with on that day.

One hour with a Gorilla Family is a great experience, while 4 hours with a family for many is what they want.  Those who are into Photography prefer the Habituation Experience and the 4 hours plus they feel that they are making a worthwhile effort toward conservation by actually being an active participant in the habituation process, that we think is well worth considering and something that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience means fewer Participants:

A normal trek takes 8 participants in the activity while on the Habituation Experience Trek there is a maximum of 4 participants, this means a more exclusive experience for you.  You will also learn more about the Mountain Gorillas, their habits, their ways, their daily routines from the Researches and Trackers that you are with on your Trek.

Not only are there fewer participants, there are fewer porters, Rangers, support staff, making it experience that allows you to focus on what you came for, the Mountain Gorillas.

There have been only words of thanks from participants in the Habituation experience and normally those participating are committed conservationists, want something out of the norm and want to be part of the Habituation, to them paying the 1,500 USD permit fee is a privilege, something that we have been told by past clients.

 Is the Gorilla Habituation Experience worth it?

That is a question often asked and for many, it is about the monetary outlay.  After all, they are looking at Uganda because of 600 USD Gorilla Permits and now you want them to switch back to 1,500 permits for the Gorilla Habituation?

We do not attempt to switch, we offer both, the choice is made by the Client. Many see the extra value and the idea of being a participant in the habitation process as something that they never expected to do, and you could not convince one of them that it was not worth it.

To us, to our past clients, the Gorilla Habituation Experience has bee well worth every dollar spent on permit fees. lodging, transport and even the flights of getting here.

What we have clients who have chosen both and loved the Trek and the Habituation.

 The Location of the Gorilla Habituation Experience versus Trekking:

The Gorilla Habituation Experience takes place only in the Rushaga 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 3 hours, while it takes longer to travel to the Buhoma or Ruhija Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Rushaga and Nkuringo areas are convenient locations if your fly into Kigali Rwanda, from there it is a four-hour drive to the southern areas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits:

Booking a Gorilla Habituation Permit differs from a Gorilla Trekking permit that authorized Sales Agents partnering with Uganda Wildlife Authority do not have online access to Gorilla Habituation Permits, we have to check in person or via phone to see the availability.

Fewer Number of Permits is the other difference since there are only 4 permits for each group which means that it is best to have several dates for you to check availability.  We also suggest that you do not treat the Gorilla Habituation Experience an addon after planning your wildlife Safari in Kenya, Tanzania and elsewhere.  Book the permits first and add everything else to it.

Habituation Permits are booked as part of a Safari, we do not sell permits as part of a safari tour package in Uganda.

We are usually able to come up with a permit solution, but there are times we have to use the local Uglish Phrase, “They are over.”

Misleading TripAdvisor Reviews  about the Gorilla Habituation Experience

If you go to TripAdvisor and read the reviews you will be more confused than bef ore 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 is an adventure and each is different.

 Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience – Our Take:

The Gorilla Habituation Experience since its inception has been a popular activity with our Clients, over 65% 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.

 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.