Uganda chimpanzee gorilla habituation experience tour

UGANDA Chimpanzee & Gorilla HABITUATION experience tour - 5 Days

5-Days All inclusive, Private safari. Includes the Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience (4 hours with Bwindi Gorillas) and  full day chimps habituation experience in Kibale.

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedThe 5-days chimpanzee gorilla habituation experience tour gives you a chance to do the intimate Chimpanzee  habituation Experience with Kibale Chimps (and other primates) and 4 hours Gorilla Habituation experience in  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

We start at 07:00AM from Kampala or Entebbe at your hotel (or airport if you are arriving same day before 12PM), drive to Kibale NP doing a forest walk that day. The next day is  spent with the chimps and other 11 primates in Kibale. After we drive south to Bwindi Impenetrable NP, the home to the mountain gorillas. It is here that we track the mountain gorillas. When you find them, instead of the standard hour with them, you spend an incredible 4 hours!

You can choose to fly back from Bwindi after the tour or drive and enjoy the scenery along the way. Also, you might want to drive and depart from Kigali (which is about 4 hours drive only).

Uganda Chimpanzee Gorilla Habituation Experience Tour - 5 Days

  • Day 1: Start the chimpanzee gorilla habituation experience tour when you guide meets you at your hotel in  Entebbe or Kampala/ or Entebbe Airport, drive to Kibale National Park; guided primate walk in Bigodi Wetland
  • Day 2: Full day chimpanzee habituation experience plus other primates
  • Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 4: Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Day 5: Return to Kampala - Entebbe, or opt to be dropped to Kigali instead.

Bikingi Gorilla Family member - for Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

Bikingi Gorilla Family member - for Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

Detailed Itinerary for the 5 Days Uganda Chimpanzee Gorilla Experience Habituation Tour 

  • Day 1: Start the Uganda gorilla and chimpanzee habituation tour from Entebbe Airport or your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala, and drive to Kibale National Park

The safari should normally commence at 8 AM. The local tour guide shall arrange to meet with you at your place of stay on the previous night (or airport if you are arriving on this day). S/he will be briefing you about the tour, the chimpanzee and gorilla habituation experience preparations, and give more information about the entire journey before you set off driving for about 5 hours to Kibale National Park. 

We shall be driving on surfaced roads most of our time today. We traverse traditional village farms of millet, corn, banana, and coffee and you are free to even interact with the farmers and take photos with them.

We plan to be at the lodge/ camp in time for lunch. After lunch and a bit of unwinding, we can proceed to visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a locally conserved and managed swamp and forest awesomely rich with biodiversity.  We arrange with a good local guide here to take us on a walk. Expect to meet lots of blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, and bush pigs among the wildlife in this place. There is also a traditional cultural village experience along the walk where you engage with the local people in activities like traditional beer making, coffee roasting, traditional medicine processing, food preparation, music, and dance.

We shall then return to our pre-booked accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation options available (all on a full board basis)

Upper Luxury: Ndali Lodge | Kyaninga Lodge (a little distant though)

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Chimpundu Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

  • Day 2:  Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Plus Other Primates

Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale starts at 6:30 AM from the park headquarters. The tour guide shall ensure that you get all the assistance you need to be at the park offices in good time for the pre-habituation experience briefing and accreditation. You will then be allocated a group of rangers and chimpanzee habituation staff to accompany you to a troupe of chimpanzees specifically set aside for tourists to experience chimpanzee habituation. The chimps you go to have been receiving visitors for some time and therefore might not be so afraid when you approach but also, they are still wild. The intent is for visitors to have a true experience of what scientists go through to make the chimpanzees safely available for standard tourism viewing.

Walking through the Kibale forest is normally not so physically straining and can be rewarding with other primates' sightings. The forest has at least 11 other primates, as well as larger mammals like elephants and buffalo. It can be 1-2 hours before you see the chimpanzees. You shall first hear them hauling and hooting in the forest canopies. The noise is unmistakable and so the guides will follow through to its source.  

When you reach the chimpanzees, the guides give further instructions for your safety and then you can proceed to enjoy the experience. The chimpanzee habituation allows you several hours of observing the chimps during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviors. The chimps will be going on with their normal routine of hunting, patrolling, playing, fighting, copulating, breastfeeding their baby chimps, and several other engagements as you take your notes and photographs.  

After several hours of watching them, the chimpanzee habituation experience will end by the soft trek back to the park office. Here you will be awarded tracking certificates before your driver transfers you back to the lodge/ camp for overnight and dinner.

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Upper Luxury: Ndali Lodge | Kyaninga Lodge (a little distant though)

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Chimpundu Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

  • Day 3: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for the Gorilla Habituation Experience

Our drive today is going to be about 6 hours from Kibale to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The best idea is to set off no later than 8 AM from the lodge. This drive is marked by stunning savannah grassland views, green-carpet terraced hills, the famous Virunga ranges, and crater lakes' views. Numerous stops can be accommodated for you to enjoy the scenery and take photographs as well. We hope to be in Bwindi in the late afternoon.

Bwindi overnight accommodation for the gorilla habituation experience 

Upper Luxury: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge 

Luxury: Four Gorillas Lodge | Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

  • Day 4: Full Day for Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Gorilla habituation is the process of getting a wild mountain gorilla group to get used to human presence without taking the mountain gorillas out of the natural range. Habituation also gets the gorillas to be safe to visit so that chances of them attacking or charging to humans are eliminated completely. Ultimately, successful gorilla habituation will have the gorillas just going about their normal routine even in the presence of humans and this is normally not less than 2 years of some hard work.

The Bwindi gorilla habituation experience opens a unique window for tourists to have deeper insights into this process. A maximum of only 4 tourists can do the gorilla habituation experience per day and they are allowed up to 4 hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas. As the rangers and researchers go about their usual observations routine, you too will have the opportunity to be involved in the gorilla habituation. You will be allowed to take all the notes and photographs, ask all the questions you have, and observe every act of the mountain gorillas' daily life.  

The gorilla group for the habituation experience (for tourists) has been receiving human visitors since 2015 and is literary fully habituated. The gorillas will therefore not be running away from you or even charging at humans. Uganda Wildlife Authority has allowed the gorilla habituation experience be done with this gorilla family so that tourists get the maximum benefit.  

You will usually be trekking for between 1-3 hours before arriving the presence of the gorillas. Bwindi is an afro-montane forest with thick undergrowth. Trekking along its hills and slopes presents a moderate physical challenge to some but there are numerous stops planned for, so that all are can reach the gorillas and back. 

touched by gorilla habituation experience

Bwindi overnight accommodation for the gorilla habituation experience 

Upper Luxury: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge 

Luxury: Four Gorillas Lodge | Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

Day 5: Return to Entebbe (or Kigali on request) to end the Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzee habituation experience tour

The Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzee habituation experience tour ends with the transfer back to Entebbe or (if you prefer and request) Kigali. The drive to Entebbe is about 7 hours while driving to Kigali from Bwindi takes about 4 hours (but you will need another visa for this). 

You could also choose to fly from Kisoro to Entebbe if you prefer not to drive. There is a flight that leaves Kisoro at 8 AM and arrives at Entebbe at 11:25 am daily and the fare is about $270 per person (but this changes a lot!).

Those driving shall be traversing the grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. 

A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stop here. We will be in Entebbe in the evening before your flight back home.

End of service for the Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzee habituation experience tour.


Included in Prices for the Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzee habituation experience tour

  • Our exclusive 4 hours gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale National Park
  • Accommodation with meals indicated on programme
  • Bottled drinking water on the vehicle
  • Services of a good experienced English speaking tour guide/driver
  • Transport on tour as well as hotel transfers in safari land cruiser


  • Tips for drivers and other staff
  • Flight tickets and departure taxes
  • Travel documentation (visas)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Optional excursion
  • Beverages other than mineral water in the vehicle

Talk to a Uganda Safari Consultant

Enquire about this special wildlife experience and habituation safari and tour prices.

Talk to one of our destination experts to start planning your Uganda safari.


  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (for your Gorilla Habituation Experience)

The park is located in south western Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle, inhabited by four gorilla groups. Amongst the dense vegetation the Columbus monkey jumps from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds, searching for fruit and edible plants.

It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

The best time to visit Uganda is late December to late February, and from June to September, as the weather at this time of year is generally dry, and warm. Temperatures average at around 25 degrees Celsius.

  • Kibale National Park for Chimps Habituation Experience

Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial) dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants and, even now, the park contains the largest population of this subspecies in Uganda. Although they're rarely seen, and dangerous, the signs of these elephants' presence are abundant.

However, Kibale's claim to fame is its enormous variety of primates and its families of habituated chimpanzees - it's home to an astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate densities in the world. Here, on a daytime or evening guided forest walk, you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees.

The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive - there are at least 325 species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition, there are over 144 species of butterflies.


Mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, for the last 14 years, no one has trekked the gorillas and failed to see them in Uganda. Certainly, you won't be the one with bad luck! On the trek, once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed an hour with the gorillas and you can only go not more than 6 meters from them.  As the gorilla tracking can sometimes take a full day, you will need to go with your packed lunch and lots of drinking water when trekking to the gorillas.

Gorilla trekking timings and conditions vary tremendously as the gorillas move continuously through the rain forest. It is good to be prepared and remember the weather can change with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths.


  • Secure chimpanzee and gorilla Habituation Experience permits early

Gorilla habituation experience is the most popular foreign tourist activity for Uganda. On every single day, only 4 tourists can do the gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi. Uganda's gorilla habituation experience is USD1500 per person and allows you 4 hours with the mountain gorillas.  This means the competition is quite high for the few gorilla habituation experience permits in Uganda and it becomes hard to secure gorilla habituation experience permits a few days to your Uganda gorilla habituation tour (although it is often possible with luck more so in the green season months of October, November, April and May).  It is best to have your gorilla habituation experience permit fully confirmed at least 4 months in advance.

  • Assess your fitness levels for the gorilla habituation experience 

There is a likelihood you could walk for 3-6 hours on a gorilla trek. Gorillas are located deep in Bwindi forest with thick undergrowth over several steep volcanic slopes. Gorilla groups keep roaming this forest looking for their favorite food. They are never stationed in the same place over days. Your gorilla habituation trek will follow this same trend and it is quite unpredictable knowing how long or tough your gorilla trekking shall be. The longer trek is not necessarily a problem, just something to be prepared for.  A bit of moderate physical fitness is needed for gorilla trekking in Uganda.

  • Guides & Porters for the gorilla habituation experience

You will be guided through the forest on your gorilla tracking by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide whom you will meet at the departure point in the morning of your trek. Your guide can help you book a porter (or two!) so that you can track without having to carry the few essential items listed below in a day pack which you should bring with you. The porters are from the local community and very used to the local conditions and can assist in pushing, pulling and supporting you during your trek to the gorillas. They are usually an additional fee, over and above your safari cost, and you should budget on approximately USD15-20 per porter per day as a fee with additional tipping being optional.

As the porters do not have tracking permits they will be stopped a short distance from the point you will be viewing the mountain Gorillas. Please remember to take whatever you may need from your bag to view the gorillas and rather leave valuables at the lodge/camp.

You will be allowed up to one hour for viewing of the gorillas from when they are sighted by your group. This is to ensure that the wild animals are not overexposed to human presence. Whilst in their presence you will also be required to keep minimum distances from them – generally between 5-7 metres and your guides will ensure this is enforced.

What to pack on gorilla habituation experience tour

  • Plenty of water – 1-2 litres per person
  • High energy snacks in addition to your packed lunch provided by the lodge/camp
  • Spare film and batteries for videos and cameras
  • Gloves (gardening type are good)
  • Waterproof bag to protect photographic equipment
  • A hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and band-aids might be useful
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket/poncho
  • Walking sticks are made available at the start of the trek for some of the steeper and more slippery tracks and may prove to be very handy.
  • Gorilla Habituation Experience  Age Limits

Videos & Photography for Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda

In Uganda, it can be difficult to capture good photos under the dark canopy of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, as the name suggests! If you are very lucky, you may encounter your gorilla family in a clearing.

Here are a few tips for photographing the gorillas in Uganda:

  • If you’re taking photos using a standard point-and-shoot camera, then make sure your camera is fully charged.
  • Always take extra memory cards.
  • Remember that flash photography is not allowed when you are with the gorillas. Make sure you have your camera manual with you so you know how to disable the automatic flash and automatic focus light functions.
  • We recommend a good SLR camera. The best lenses are those with a wide aperture such as f2,8 which allow in max light and are best in gloomy conditions.  A 24 – 70 mm and a 70 – 200 m is a good combination. If you have space then consider a 300mm and a wide angle but it’s a steep walk so consider hiring a porter. A 50 mm 1.4 lens is also ideal for low light shooting and something to consider as a standard lens.
  • Professional filmmakers require permission and need to purchase filming permits in advance from UWA (Uganda)
  • Keep your camera and/or phone in a waterproof bag (such as a large Ziploc bag). Cue: you’re in the rainforest.

Professional photographers, film makers or media should advise us at the time of booking as special procedures are required as well as costs to be incurred for photographing and filming.

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