A Gorilla Habituation Experience permit is a legal document issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, permitting visitors above the age of 15 to participate in this adventure. The Habituation Experience can only be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in the Rushaga sector, through a process where mountain gorillas are gradually acclimated to human presence for trekking purposes.
The cost of obtaining a permit for a Gorilla Habituation Experience in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is as follows: 1,500 USD for non-residents of Uganda, 1,000 USD for residents of Uganda, and 750,000 USD for citizens of East African countries.
To book a Gorilla Habituation Experience permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there are two options available:
To ensure availability, it is recommended to book Gorilla habituation experience permits in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 3 to 6 months prior to your planned trekking date. These permits are highly sought after and tend to sell out quickly, particularly during the dry season months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. As there are only four permits available daily, booking in advance is the best way to avoid last-minute disappointment.
The Gorilla habituation experience offers a unique opportunity for tourists to immerse themselves in the natural habitat of semi-habituated mountain gorillas. The experience involves a guided trek through the tropical rainforest in search of these majestic primates, followed by a four-hour encounter with them in their natural environment. The day begins with an early morning briefing on the rules and regulations to be followed during the trek. Participants are divided into groups of four and accompanied by a team of researchers, scientists, and park rangers. Along the way, the trek may also include encounters with other primate species, bird species, and diverse plant and tree species. Once the gorillas are located, participants are allowed to spend four hours observing and learning about their behaviors, including feeding, breastfeeding, grooming, and naming. Photography is also permitted during the encounter.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers a variety of accommodation options for those looking to take a Gorilla habituation experience safari. These options range from budget-friendly to luxury and include options such as Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Gorilla Hills Eco Lodge, Karungi Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Bwindi Backpackers and Nkuringo Homestay.
The main sector for the experience, Rushaga, can be accessed by driving from Kampala, through Masaka and Mbarara to the park headquarters. This drive typically takes around 8 to 9 hours.
Alternatively, scheduled or chartered flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield can be taken to Kisoro Airstrip, From there one can be transferred to the Lodge or Park Headquarter by road.
For further assistance in securing a Gorilla Habituation Experience permit, travelers can reach out to Trek Africa Expeditions for information and support. Additionally, the tour company’s website offers the opportunity to book an affordable package for the unique experience.