Difference Between Gorilla Habituation And Gorilla Trekking
What is the difference between gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking? Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation have become the sought tourists’ activities in east and central Africa. Gorilla trekking can be done in Virunga national park in DR Congo, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, and volcanoes national park in Rwanda while gorilla trekking can only be done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Rushaga sector in Uganda.
Mountain gorillas stay on higher elevations of sub-tropical rain forests. They are herbivores animals with their diet composed of plant life such as fleshy leaves, grass, shoots, vines, stems, edible roots, and sometimes eat small insects, ants, and termites. Mountain gorilla predators are mostly human beings and leopards. Mountain gorillas are shy and gentle animals but can become very aggressive when disturbed, mountain gorillas show threatening signs of an attack before charging at their opponent persists this can lead to attack which can even later lead to death.
So, what’s the difference between the two activities?
Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this process usually takes about 2-3 years although some gorilla families can take about 15 months as rangers and researchers keep visiting a gorilla family on a daily basis and observe each individual behavior in which they are later given names when the researchers and rangers are sure that the family can be trekked, they undergo a mocking exercise and if they pass they can then be open for trekking by tourists. Gorilla trekking involves visiting a gorilla family which is already habituated and used to human presence for a maximum of 1 hour where you get an opportunity to observe these gentle apes and take pictures.
Number of trekkers
Gorilla trekking is limited to 8 people trekking a single gorilla family in a day while gorilla habituation is limited to only 4 people visiting a gorilla family in a day. This means that its easy-to-get gorilla trekking permits when gorilla habituation permits might be hard to get especially in the peak season.
Price of permits
Gorilla habituation permits in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi cost $1500 per person while the cost of a gorilla trekking permit differs according to the country you are going to trek from. Rwanda permits cost $1500; DR Congo permits cost $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season, Uganda gorilla trekking permits are $700 foreign nonresidents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 East African citizens.
Time spent with mountain gorillas
Gorilla habituation gives tourists extra time to spend with mountain gorillas in that visitors spend hours studying and observing gorillas while gorilla trekking gives tourists only an hour of observing mountain gorillas.
There are two gorilla families undergoing habituation in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and these are Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families.
How to book a gorilla permit
For one to be assured of meeting face to face with mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, it will all begin with securing a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit is a document issued by a government body in charge of national parks allowing you to spend some time with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You can book a gorilla permit directly from the Uganda wildlife authority or Rwanda development board or through any trusted tour operator like Africa Adventure vacations with dates.
What are the chances of seeing mountain gorillas on any trek in Uganda or Rwanda?
in Uganda or Rwanda, chances of meeting eye to eye with mountain gorillas are high? The chances of seeing these endangered primate species are 98%. A group of rangers and trackers normally traces these mountain gorillas and then use radio calls to communicate to rangers at the briefing center about the location of this group. If one fails to see mountain gorillas some terms and conditions apply.