The Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience In Rushaga
The Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience In Rushaga was introduced in January 2014 in Bwindi forest national park. Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence before they can be opened for trekking by tourists. The tourists interested in gorilla habituation will join researchers in the gorilla habituation process and participate in the activity.
This is more advantageous than gorilla trekking because you spend more time with mountain gorillas compared to the gorilla family and the number of people in habituation is also reduced to only 4 people.
Gorilla habituation can take 2-3 years to be completed depending on the gorilla family, during the habituation period researchers and rangers keep visiting the gorilla family on a daily basis learning and studying each gorilla’s behavior and they are given names in the long run as gorillas also get used to human presence.
When the researchers think that the mountain gorillas are ready to be visited, they introduce a mocking exercise where they go with some people to trek that gorilla family, and once the family has passed that mocking exercise they will then be introduced to trekking. Gorilla habituation can only be done in Uganda in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, there are only two groups being habituated and these are Bikingi gorilla family and Bishaho gorilla family.
Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits
Gorilla habituation permits in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park cost $1500 per person per trek. This permit allows you to get involved in the habituation experience for a maximum of 4 hours as you observe mountain gorillas, watch them, do daily activities, and take photos. You are advised to purchase your gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months before the actual trekking date to avoid disappointments due to high demand. Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and shs250,000 for East African citizens. In Rwanda, it’s $1500 and in DR Congo it’s $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season. Only children above the age of 15 and people without infectious diseases such as flu, cough, and diarrhea are allowed to trek mountain gorillas.
Best time for Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience In Rushaga
Gorilla habituation can be done at any time of the year but the best time for gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is during the dry season which occurs from June to September and December to February. The rest of the wet season can be hectic because of muddy and slippery trails although mountain gorillas can be easily found as food is abundant so they don’t move for long distances.
Packing list for gorilla habituation
Tourists coming gorilla habituation or gorilla trekking should include some things in their packing list for example; good waterproof hiking boots, sunscreen, a walking stick, garden gloves, a lot of drinking water, energy-giving snacks, long-sleeved clothes, good quality camera, insect repellents, and so much more.
Accessing Rushaga sector
Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be accessed by road transport or air transport means. By road transport you can drive from Kigali through Cyanika border to Rushaga taking you only 4-5 hours, you can also access the sector from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, and the Rushaga taking you 9-10 hours. By air transport, you can fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi airstrip taking you about 45 minutes.
Where to sleep during Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience In Rushaga
When going for Uganda gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, tourists can book accommodation in Rushaga region of Bwindi. Some of the accommodation facilities Nshongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Gorilla Village Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, Clouds Mountain Lodge among others.