Practical Tips and Advice for the Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari

Posted by on June 17, 2019

All you need to know about the Gorilla Habituation Experience – Information – Tips – Advice

Practical Tips and Advice for the Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari-Know Before You Go

 Know – Before you go – the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Rushaga – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Uganda. Here you will find all you need to know about this Up-Close Encounter in the ancient rainforest in the Gorilla Highlands of Southwest Uganda.

The Best Advice we can give you based on our experience since the inception of this Gorilla Activity.  Our advice to you is this. If you are planning a Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari in 2019 or 2020, do so well ahead of time.  There are over 160 normal Gorilla Trekking Permits in Uganda, but only 4 for the exclusive Habituation Experience as in 2019, there is only one gorilla group undergoing the process of becoming used to humans.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is not just more time with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.  Unlike on a regular Trek where you are an observer, a photographer at best, here you are an active participant in the Habituation Process.  At times people write that they want to have an interactive encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.  In the Wild, there are no interactive encounters unless you have a curious Gorilla who comes and touches you.  We are visitors in the living room of a Gorilla Family in the wild and like in all family situations, things are not always predictable, but they are amazing.

 Our Practical Gorilla Habituation Experience – Information – Tips – Advice -all that you need to know before you go on a Gorilla Habituation Experience on an all-day trek, 4-Hours with a Gorilla Family in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  Most see it as more time with a Gorilla Family, that it is, but it is way beyond a more extended Gorilla Trek, it is an experience that if more realized is the closest to a Gorilla in the Mist experience of Dian Fossey, of encounters that David Attenborough has described. When you go on a Gorilla Habituation Experience, it is best to know as much as possible, to step with an understanding of what will take place.  The Gorillas will provide enough surprises that will delight you.

More than anything you need to know that the gorilla habituation Experience is not just more time; it is an authentic experience in the wild; there are no mountain gorillas in zoos.  $1,500 may seem like a lot, it is the most expensive Tourism Activity in Africa, yet it is our guess based on the enthusiasm of Clients that people would be willing to pay a lot more for this one-of-a-kind experience in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Practical Experiential Gorilla Habituation Experience – Information – Tips – Advice

Know Before You Go-

 Is Gorilla Habituation Experience worth the Expense?

Four 1,500 Gorilla Dollar Stretches into 4-hours with a Gorilla Family in Uganda:

Gorilla Permits make Gorilla Trekking the most expensive Tourist Attraction in Africa.  When looking for Value more are turning to the Gorilla Habituation Experience where a 1,500 USD permit does not just give you 1-hour with a Family as it does in Rwanda but stretches further into 4-hours on an all-day trek in the Rushaga Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is in the opinion of our clients a priceless experience without compare.

A 1,500 USD Gorilla Permit in Uganda gives you an all-day trek with 4 hours of being with the Gentle Giants of the Forest. Please keep in mind that presently, there are only four habituation permits per day, that compares to 160 Gorilla Trekking Permits in Uganda.

 Where in Uganda can I participate in the Gorilla Habituation Experience on Safari?

The answer presently is, only in the Rushaga area, which is in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The Habituation Experience cannot be done in Buhoma, Ruhija or Nkuringo Area of Bwindi nor in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, but only in Rushaga.  The Gorilla Habituation Experience has its trailhead in the Rushaga apart from the normal Gorilla Trekking Trailhead.

Getting to Rushaga from Entebbe by Road is nine to ten-hour drive. Via Aerolink it is a ninety-minute flight, that at the end id quite scenic, but adds on extra dollars to your safari Cost.

The Shortest route by road is from Kigali, Rwanda.  Fly into Rwanda and Trek Gorillas in Uganda.  Kigali is a regional airport, and we have been using it for over five years. It has proven to be the most convenient route to Rushaga for the majority of our Clients.

 Meet the Gorilla Family that you can visit during the Gorilla Habituation Experience:

There is presently only-  the Bikyingi (Bikingi)  that you can spend 4 hours with on an all-day trek.  There were two groups, but one was released into General visitation in the Nkuringo area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The Permit Prices are now posted on the Uganda Wildlife Tariffs for 2019- and no price increase is upcoming until the end of the year.

If Trekking has proved to be a once in a lifetime experience, then the Gorilla Habituation Experience is a once in eternity moment.  At least that is what we hear from our clients.  One recent client called it the “Icing on the Cake” of their time in Uganda.

The best way of getting your Gorilla Habituation Experience or Gorilla  Trekking Permits:

 Compare Gorilla Trekking with the Gorilla Habituation Experience:

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is not the activity for all trekkers. Most trekkers quite happy spending one hour with a Gorilla Family, others are intrigued by spending 4 hours with the Gorillas.

Here is the information that you will need to make the right choice for you. We will do our best to explain the difference and guide you to what is best for you.

If you want a one hour with the Gorillas experience than the Gorilla Trek is for you, if you want more time with a Gorilla Family, learn more about their habits, and ways then it is the gorilla habituation for you.

Just let us know your intent about the Habituation Experience, and we will give you advice as which lodges are right for you, the easiest way of getting there and what are some of the other activities that you can add onto your safari in Uganda and Rwanda.

Unlike most TripAdvisor commentators we know Mountain Gorillas, we know each one of the activities.  We have done them for ourselves.  We might steer you in the way of Gorilla Trekking twice Gorilla Trekking instead the Habituation Experience.

 Best Time of Year for a Gorilla Habituation Experience:

A Gorilla Habituation is 1500 USD for one Permit. One wants to make sure that one goes on this activity at the right time of the year – what is the dry season or high season. If you go during the dry or high season, it also means that spaces for your Gorilla Habituation Trek may not be there and choice lodges may already be booked.

Planning is the key, and we would suggest that you plan the Gorilla Habituation Experience at least six months before your planned safari, to make sure that there is a space for you. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a rainforest, and it can rain all year-long, generally during the night or early morning hours.

The Best time of the year for the Gorilla Habituation Experience is the same as for Gorilla Trekking.  We suggest Mid-December through March and June through October.

 Getting to South Bwindi Forest for the Gorilla Habituation Experience:

Many roads lead to the Rushaga – Nkuringo Areas for a Gorilla Habituation Experience. Drive from Entebbe or Kampala:  That is a long drive of about 10 hours, it can be broken up if you take in other parks such as Kibale Forest and Lake Mburo Park which cut down your long drive times.

Fly to Kisoro from Entebbe with Aerolink:  This is a  1 1/2 hour scenic flight and then a 45-minute drive to Rushaga or Nkuringo for lodging. Fly into Kigali, Rwanda and take the 4-hour plus scenic drive to the Rushaga – Nkuringo Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which has become a favorite option for those going on a Gorilla Habituation Experience.

You can also fly into Kigali from Arusha or Nairobi and do the Gorilla Habituation in Uganda, the same applies if you fly in from South Africa.

 Safaris with the Gorilla Habituation Experience: We have a few Gorilla Habituation Experience listed on the link above on our site.  Here is the good news.  Any Safari with Gorilla Trekking can be changed to a Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari.

It may mean that the safari might be adjusted on lodging and drive-times, however, usually, there is no problem including the Gorilla Habituation Experience instead of normal Gorilla Trekking.

There are four entry points for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, only one where the Habituation Team meet, Rushaga allows you to go on a Gorilla Habituation Experience.

Since the beginning of the Gorilla Habituation Experience, we have taken many satisfied clients on the all-day experience. 

We have had two clients complain – with one client, it was something done by Uganda Wildlife and resulted in not being a  full 4-hours with a Gorilla Family.  The second complaint had to do with location and movement. People forget we are a facilitator, a sort of Gorilla Encounter Matchmaker. We do not control the actual date only the events before and after.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits:

Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits are 1500 USD each. To get them, you must go through an AUTO Tour Operator such as ourselves. That partner with the UWA in the promotion and Sales of Gorilla Permits.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is no longer a Pilot Program, no longer in a Test Phase but is part of the many activities offered by Uganda Wildlife Authority as of 2017 and is now listed as such in the 2018 – 2019 Tariffs issued by UWA.

Once you tell us that you would like to go on a Gorilla Habituation Experience and give us dates, we will check for availability of Permits and lodging. Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits are best paid for immediately upon booking a Safari with us.

This is to secure a space on the date or dates that you requested.  Please Note:  Due to the great Trekker Migration to Uganda from neighboring countries has been a shortage of permits in Uganda, the best antidote is to book ahead, and we could add – well forward.

 Must ReadAvoid Missing out on Gorilla Permits in Uganda:

The Number one Permit Mistake made by African Travelers is that Gorilla Trekking is an afterthought, an add-on.

Such planning often results in no Gorilla Trekking or Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits.

The way to avoid hearing that Permits are sold out is simple.  For the African, it means reverse planning, not beginning with the Serengeti or Masai Mara that can be done anytime but starting with the Gorilla Trekking part of your time in Africa.

Avoid hearing the permits are sold out on the dates you gave us.  Read our suggestions.

Other Mistakes made by Gorilla Trekkers

 Paying for your Gorilla Trekking Safari:

We take the pain out of the process.  The down-payment is for the Gorilla and other permits for your safari and a lodge holding payment.

The balance is due 30 days before the Safari. Payment can be made via Bank Transfers or Credit Card using our PesaPal System.  East Africa does not have PayPal.

A fee of 3.5% is charged for using Credit Cards.  The regular fee is 5% or above for credit card use in East Africa.

We, in turn, buy the necessary permits for you to secure your spot on the Habituation Experience.

We buy permits before the arrival of your money into our account since your safari depends on securing them first.

 Gorilla Tourism and Gorilla Conservation:

Does Gorilla Tourism complement  Conservation or do the Gorillas lose out in the process A look at how Gorilla Trekking and Conservation can compliment each other and Gorilla Tourism has become a significant source of the funding of Conservation through the Permits.

The Loser in this conservation is the Batwa People who lived for thousands of years in the forest along with the Gorillas. They were evicted when the present Gorilla Park was formed in Uganda.

Gorilla Tourism could become detrimental to conservation if the Gorilla Trekking Rules were not adhered to, something that has not happened.

Gorilla Tourism fuels gorilla Conservation.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Lodging:

There are many lodges in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Most are located in the Buhoma area of the Park. Lodging for the Gorilla Habituation Experience is best in the Rushaga or the Nkuringo area of the park near the entrance to the Forest.

Forty minutes from Rushaga, you can stay at the exclusive Clouds Mountain Lodge, which is a favorite seeking an out of the ordinary Lodging experience while Trekking.

An hour from the Trek Those are the best options with no complaints from clients we have had stay there.

Lodging enhances your Gorilla Habituation Experience – for the gorilla habituation experience there is a lack of choices for luxury safaris, the southern area is not as developed as the Northern area of the park.

 What to wear and bring along on your Gorilla Habituation Experience Trek:

The suggestions for a Habituation Experience are the same as for a Gorilla Trek with some additions. You will need a Daypack that is waterproof, lunch from the lodge, add some snacks, 3 liters of bottled water. Rain Jacket or Poncho, long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy gardening gloves, hat.

We would also suggest insect repellent, not many mosquitoes here, but flies, ants – one reason we ask you to wear what we consider protective clothing for your comfort, for extra support and to free yourself up while trekking we recommend that you use a walking stick readily available and engage the services of a porter.

You are all set for the Gorilla Habituation Experience.

Please Note – Recently there was a recent Wasp Attack in Ruhija while people were trekking.  This happened because a Gorilla knocked down a nest.  Right clothing that we recommend helps in such a rare case that can occur anywhere in the world.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Rules:

The Rules and Guidelines are the same for Gorilla Habituation Experience as they are for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.

Your state of health is of importance that you do not infect the gorillas with what you have.

If you are ill on the day of the Gorilla Habituation – you will need to cancel The distance you keep from the gorillas, the use of no flash, no eating, drinking or smoking in the presence of the gorillas. No loud noise and cower down when a gorilla approaches you.

A recent study in Kibale Forest revealed that Chimpanzees could die of the Common Cold and the case is similar to Gorillas

Do not leave your Common Sense at home – you are not in a zoo, but in the wild.

 Am I fit enough for the Gorilla Habituation Experience?

In 2013 a 94-year-old woman was carried on a stretcher on her Gorilla trek and fulfilled her lifelong dream to see the Mountain Gorillas in her lifetime – she did.

She was carried by 12 men in relay teams and did it – most that go gorilla tracking are a bit younger, though we have clients that were 80 years old and did just fine. One should be in reasonable shape and state of fitness to track the gorillas and do the Gorilla Habituation Experience.

The gorilla group requiring the most stamina and strength is the Nkuringo Gorilla group since you have to ascend and descend 600 at the beginning and the end of the trek – however, Porters can be used to carry your daypack, and walking sticks can be purchased, or some lodges have them available for their guests. Both Uganda and Rwanda have tough groups to track and easier ones – we will work with you according to your fitness level and stamina.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari Extensions and add-ons after the Trek:

Uganda is more than Gorillas, you can add-on parks and places in the Pearl of Africa that will enhance your time on a Safari here.

Most Visitors to Uganda do not realize that the Pearl of Africa is home to the Big 7 – the Big 5 plus Rhinos There are many things to see here, things and places that are often beaten Tourist Map – Things that you will be able to do and see in neighboring Tanzania or Kenya.

We know Uganda and Rwanda, we live here and promote both countries because we are passionate about them and the hidden places that they offer for you to see.

Relax and Chill Out after the Trek

Uganda is more than Mountain Gorillas – sadly, that is a reality not realized by most travelers.

 Gorilla Habituation Experience Reviews:

TripAdvisor has a page where people are meant to review the Gorilla Habituation Experience.  You will have a hard time find someone who completed it.  Opinions by Armchair experts, people who lack the experience, views invalidated by the lack of knowledge.

We added this page since some of the clients read it and had second thoughts regarding the Habituation experience.

 That Added Plus – Kabiza Wilderness Safaris- we know Gorillas

Experiential Gorilla Treks and now Gorilla Habituation Safaris represent an investment made by you.  Our commitment is to give you a memorable Experiential Gorilla Adventure Safari, and that includes Gorilla Habituation Experience Safaris. We will update you on the path of planning your Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari.

Our Tour Guides know the ins and outs of the Gorilla Habituation Experience and give you one of the Best activities in all of East Africa. Kabiza Wilderness has become a leader in this one-of-a-kind experience in the Rushaga Area of Bwindi Forest.

We give you that added plus to make your Gorilla Habituation Experience a memorable Time in Uganda which includes our vast experience with the Gorilla Habituation Experience,

A Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari to us is more than a sale – but connecting you with a most meaningful experience.

At times people write that they want to have an interactive encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.  In the Wild, there are no interactive encounters unless you have a curious Gorilla who comes and touches you.  We are visitors in the living area of a Gorilla Family in the wild, and like in all family situations, things are not always predictable, but they are amazing.

Gorilla Habituation Experience – Information – Tips – Advice – Please contact us with any questions that you might have about this once in a lifetime experience.