Budget Gorilla Habituation Safari
Looking for budget gorilla habituation safari in Uganda’s Bwindi forest national park? Well, Gorilla habituation can be best described as the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this is normally first done by a group of researchers and rangers who visit the gorilla family daily for a period of 2-3 years until they pass the mocking stage and get accustomed to human presence in their natural habitat.
Gorilla habituation experience is when tourists join a group of rangers, scientists, and researchers in their day-to-day activities of habituating a mountain gorilla family. Gorilla habituation experience can only be done in one national park in the whole world and that is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park a home to more than half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the entire world. In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, mountain gorilla habituation can only be done in the Rushaga sector located in the southern part of the park.
Gorilla habituation is a bit more expensive than gorilla trekking but budget travelers can adjust to a budget habituation experience by sleeping in budget or mid-range accommodations. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has got several lodges travelers can sleep in ranging from budget, mid-range and luxury so for budget gorilla habituation safaris you can choose to sleep in lodges giving low rates. Some of the cheap accommodations in the Rushaga sector include Nshongi camp, Rushaga gorilla haven lodge, Bwindi backpackers lodge, and many others.
Budget gorilla habituation safari can also be done during the low season, though the gorilla habituation permit price stays the same, different lodges offer discounts for their accommodation compared to prices during the dry season though gorilla habituation during this season can be very difficult as the trails are slippery.
You can also have a budget gorilla habituation experience by choosing a cheaper tour operator, tourists can do this by comparing prices given by different operators for overall gorilla habituation experience. Tourists can also cut some costs by traveling directly to Rwanda to Kigali international airport and then take 4-5 hours’ drive through Katuna or Cyanika border to Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is close to the border instead of flying to Entebbe international airport and drive for 9-10 hours to Rushaga sector for gorilla habituation.
Mountain gorillas are diurnal animals, they normally begin to look for food very early in the morning at 6 am until mid-day when they take a rest and this period is important for grooming and group bonding. The mountain gorillas again begin to look for food in the afternoon up to 6 pm when they build their nests different from those of the previous day.
Mountain gorillas have long and thick fur that helps them to adapt to cold environments at the high attitudes they live, they share 98% human DNA with their nose prints different from each other just like human thumbprints are unique to each of them, the baby mountain gorillas are vulnerable like human babies when they are born and breastfeed up to 3 or 4 years.
Price of gorilla habituation permits
Gorilla habituation permits cost $1500 per person per trek and these are only sold to persons ages 15 and above. People with infectious diseases such as flu, cough, and diarrhea will not be allowed to take part in the habituation experience for fear of infecting the endangered mountain gorillas which share 98% of their DNA with human beings.
When to do mountain gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi
The best time for mountain gorilla habituation in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is definitely the dry and warm months of June to September and December to February. During these months, there is less rainfall that is likely to interrupt your gorilla habituation experience and the roads leading to the park are accessible.
What to carry for budget gorilla habituation?
You need to pack hiking jeans, long-sleeved shirts, garden gloves, a rain jacket, a camera, a hat, sunglasses, waterproof hiking boots, insect repellents, energy snacks, enough drinking water, a face mask, and sanitizer.
In conclusion, beside gorilla habituation safari in Bwindi, travelers may engage in other activities such as bird watching, batwa trails, forest walks among others. You may opt to extend your safari to other travel destinations in Uganda such as Lake Mutanda, Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elizabeth national park and lake mburo national park for canoeing, boat cruise and wildlife encounter.