Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Posted by on November 23, 2019

Only in Uganda – More Time with the Mountain Gorillas on the Habituation Experience

Four-Hours up close with the Gorillas on the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda

 The Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda has become quite popular since Primate Enthusiast wants more than one hour with a Gorilla. It is precisely what the Gorilla Habituation Experience gives to trekkers. Not only more time, but there are also four fewer Trekkers on the Habituation Experience than on the regular Gorilla Trek where there are eight.

Those on the Gorilla Habituation learn more about Gorillas. You are with those that spend most of their time with Mountain Gorillas. You will receive information from researchers, trackers, and rangers. 

Most important, you are an active participant in the Habituation Experience process, unlike the typical Gorilla Trek, where you are an observer. That is something that is most important to many African Travelers today who want to be involved in something meaningful rather than just being an observer.

David Attenborough’s words reflect the sentiment of many who have participated in the Gorilla Habituation Experience. “Spending time with these gentle creatures in their natural habitat was a profoundly moving  experience.” A client from the US who did both a typical Gorilla Trek and the Gorilla Habituation wrote to us, “The Gorilla Habituation was the Icing on the Cake of our time on Safari in Uganda.”  

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is not for everyone. It takes more effort, more money for permits, often more endurance since this is an all-day trek from 7:30 in the morning to late in the afternoon, eight to nine hours total. A typical Gorilla Trek is three to five hours in length. It takes a better than moderate fitness level to do the Habituation Experience.

Nevertheless, there are more wanting to do the Gorilla Habituation than there are available permits. Often we have to offer a regular gorilla trek instead.

Here is what Woman wrote about her Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari

JANE K (Australia) July 15, 2019

Jon and his team from Kabiza gave my 15 yr old son and I the trip of a lifetime! After many months of research, it was clear Kabiza was a trustworthy professional and experienced company, and it was a delight dealing with Jon as he shaped the perfect week-long Experience for us. I wanted to do the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation experience, and I’m so thrilled I did. I was up-close with a majestic Silverback and his family in the remote Bwindi Impenetrable Forest … The trackers and guides are incredible and will slash foliage ahead of you to help you get the best possible view of these beautiful creatures. 

 You become part of the experiment as this group becomes accustomed to human contact. I should mention the journey is very challenging and can take up to 4 or more hours each way hiking through very steep and at times, muddy terrain. A level of fitness is very important … I also highly recommend you take a porter to help carry the (at least) 3 bottles of water you should take with you. 

The Gorilla Habituation Experience Advantages:

Reasons that the Gorilla Habituation Experience is well worth Your Time

  • You have more time with the Mountain Gorillas – Four-Hours instead of one.
  • You become a participant in the Habituation Process, not just an observer like on a Gorilla Trek.
  • It is an All-Day Gorilla Trek
  • Fewer Fellow Trekkers – only four rather than Eight.
  • Better Photo Opportunities – more time to get more and better pictures.
  • Exclusive Activity-only 4 Permits
  • Learn the Habits and Ways of the Mountain Gorillas with Researchers & Rangers
  • You are a participant in the Habituation Process, not just an observer
  • Close to Kigali – Rwanda – 4-Hour Drive Time to Rushaga
  • Value Priced mid-range – Upmarket – luxury – Exclusive Lodging Choices
  • Gorilla+ Add-Ons to your Gorilla Habituation Safari 

Disadvantages that we have found  about the Gorilla Habituation Experience;

  • Limited Permits – there are only 4 
  • $1,500 Permit price – $900 more than standard Permits(800USD more after July 1, 2020)
  • Tougher Treks in terms of the length of your day. From 7:00 to late afternoon
  • Booking the Gorilla Habituation Permit requires the flexibility of Dates versus compared to Gorilla Trekking Permits.
  • Best to book 12 months ahead of time

For an in-depth comparison of the two see our Comparing Gorilla Trekking with the Habituation Experience

Helpful Information for your Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda

Gorilla Habituation Experience Safety-Security:

 Is the Gorilla Habituation Experience Safe? That is an often asked question. Uganda has Gorillas but not Guerrillas.

Uganda is a safe, secure, and stable Mountain Gorilla Destination. It is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination that has not a rebel or Guerrilla Attack

Your safety, security, well-being is on everyone’s mind, including ours. The Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers that are with you are armed. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is patrolled

There have no safety and security incidents in Bwindi Forest. No tourists have been harmed in the last 20 years.

Going on a Gorilla Habituation Experience is safer than attempting to cross the road in Kampala. You will feel safe and secure.

Gorilla Habituation Experience – Information – Tips and Advice:

We are amazed by the wrongful information about the Gorilla Habituation Experience that can found both on the Internet and in print. Even the esteemed Bradt Guide, in its latest addition, states that 6 participants per group are allowed. The correct number of participants has been four since it was a Pilot and Test program back in 2015 and 2016.

Add to that Forums on TripAdvisor where at times the Blind lead the Blind with misinformation including Tour Operators attempting to sell Safaris. We have put together more information on the Habituation Experience than anyone else based on the questions we receive from our clients and the experiences we have had. After all, we live and work here, and Safaris are our Passion.

 Gorilla Habituation Safaris in Uganda:

It is only in Uganda where you can go on a Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari. At present, there is one gorilla group being habituated in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, and only four permits are available.

You can easily access Rushaga not only from points in Uganda, but you can do so, taking a short drive 4-hour from Kigali

Gorilla Habituation Experience Safaris can be any safari that now includes Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

We can adjust the safari to include the Habituation Experience – depending on permit availability, which is quite limited compared to regular Trekking.

 The Gorilla Habituation Experience – Our Take:

We are a Gorilla Tour Operator. We act as a facilitator, a sort of matchmaker. We set and arrange the date and the meeting, however, we do not control that takes place in your prearranged meeting, not even the rangers and trackers do that. You are not in a controlled situation. You are in the wild, where sometimes things are predictably unpredictable, and it is all up to the Mountain Gorillas.

You are visiting a gorilla family in their living room in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and what takes place is up to the gorillas. Our clients have called this Experience, beyond expectations, unbelievable, better than expected.

2020 requires your flexibility in planning this activity since there only four permits per day compared to 160 regular gorilla tracking permits. Often, we have to inform potential clients – no more habituation permits. Plan ahead and avoid the number one mistake in booking a Gorilla Safari, that one being that you make plans all over East Africa and try to add on Gorillas at the end – often resulting in no permits.

If you like us to include the Experiential Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest -Rushaga area in your safari with us – please let us know.