Gorilla Habituation in Rushaga Sector – Gorillas of Bwindi Forest National Park
Gorillas are some of the sturdiest, stunning and striking creatures in the wilderness, not only for their sizes or their force, but also for their human-like behaviors. Being the largest living primates, these apes reward all gorilla trekking lovers with a life time experience. Within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, mountain gorillas are habituated in the Rushaga sector and the whole habituation process lasts for four hours.Gorilla watching in Uganda is successful simply because they are well habituated in Bwindi.
With over 12 habituated gorilla groups, Uganda’s Bwindi is a home to half the whole world’s gorillas’ population living in the jungles of East and central Africa. This habituation experience is a newly introduced activity by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in 2016 and can only be done in Uganda within the Rushaga sector. The Bushaho gorilla group and the Biking group are the two groups of gorillas in Rushaga that are open to people to join and familiarize.
What is the Gorilla Habituation process?
Most people think Habituation is the same as gorilla trekking but the two differ but have similar thrills once you try each out.
I can call this the humanizing process; the process involves the training of the gorillas so as to get used easily to the human presence. Mountain gorilla researchers go further and study the behaviors of each and every individual as they make habitual checkups to analyze the capability of these apes to relate or even communicate with the people. Additionally, they are given names, they interact and they behave with no difficulty with each other and by doing all this extensively, they also learn how to talk. This process takes 4 hours and only 4 people are allowed to interact with gorillas per day in the form of training them.
Trekking involves a group of a limited number of only 8 persons to trek a particular group of the already habituated gorilla group or family. This one is all about gorillas getting familiarized with the people’s presence and it takes only one hour.
A Ugandan Gorilla permit for the habituation process goes for $1500 per 4 hours and per person.
Gorilla trekking is for $600 per person and per 1hour.
How to book a gorilla tracking safari (habituation experience)
It’s always wise to book your gorilla permit in time, remember the habituation permit is limited to 4 people per day so advance booking is so important. This permit is however booked directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices in Kampala. But you can still book through your tour operator.