Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi Forest

Gorillas in the Mist

Gorilla trekking is one of the top tourist activities in Uganda. It’s done in two destinations namely; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park.  The two gorilla destinations are situated in far south western Uganda and can be accessed from Entebbe Airport via Masaka- Mbarara – Kabale (8-9hrs drive) or from Kigali Airport via Katuna border – Kisoro (3-4hrs) to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla trekking is more dominant in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park than Mgahinga Gorilla National Park because BINP hosts many habituated gorilla families than MGNP with one.  The procedure of gorilla trekking is the same in both parks. The trek begins with briefing which is conducted at 6:30am at the park headquarters and thereafter at around 7am, guest walk into the jungles to look for gorillas.

Gorilla trekking requires average levels of fitness to every body above 15 years of age. Elders with no required fitness can be carried on stretchers (African ambulance) at an extra cost.  The guest must hire four or more porters to lift him/ her from the briefing point to the gorillas and back.

Uganda Gorilla trekking cost US$800 (FNR), US$700 (FR) or UGX250,000. However, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) revises tourist activities tariffs every after five years. Gorilla tourism earns Uganda a lot of foreign exchange because it’s a daily activity, all year round.

Gorilla trek is done in Rushaga Sector, Ruhija sector, Buhoma sector and Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. On the other hand, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also offers exclusive gorilla trekking safaris in the Virunga Region.

Gorilla habituation process takes between 2-3years when gorilla experts visit a certain gorilla family for training aimed at making the gorillas familiar to human beings. Gorilla habituation is done until the gorilla family is fully trained. Thereafter, a gorilla family is officially launched for Gorilla trekking.

Gorilla Habituation process allows the trekkers to see gorillas for 4hrs compared to normal gorilla trekking at 1hr.  Tourists who are willing to pay US$1500 are allowed to go gorilla habituation with experts. During the trek, visitors are guided by the experts/ primatologists or game rangers to participate in gorilla habituation process.

Gorilla habituation process aimed at making gorillas get used to human beings. The end result is the promotion of gorilla tourism.



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