Gorilla Habituation Experience

UGANDA Gorilla HABITUATION experience Tour cost - 3 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedUganda Gorilla Habituation Experience Tour  - Spend (4 times) more time with mountain gorillas - Tour cost from USD1854  per person (based on 4 persons) - See below here.

The aim of this Uganda gorilla habituation experience tour is that you spend more time with the mountain gorillas than the usual in the shortest time possible. The gorilla habituation experience permit will allow you to have 4-hours with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi (more than the standard 1 hour) without spending more nights/days on the gorilla trek tour.   This is the ideal safari to Africa for travelers who would love a deeper than ordinary experience with the rare mountain gorillas.

The tour can start on any day (so long as there are gorilla permits available/ booked for you). We normally start from your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe but can also start/end  from Kigali if requested. The standard for this gorilla habituation tour is to drive to/from Bwindi but we can as well book flights for you if you don't like the long drives.

Uganda (Bwindi) Gorillas Habituation Experience Tour - 3 Days

  • Day 1: Start the 3 Days Uganda gorilla habituation experience tour from your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala (or Kigali on request) and drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (daily flights also available from Entebbe Airport)
  • Day 2: Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience (4 hours with the mountain gorillas)
  • Day 3: End the gorilla habituation experience tour with a return drive to Entebbe (flights from Kisoro to Entebbe also available)

2022 Tour Cost of Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Habituation  Experience - 3 Days 

Solo travelers are welcome on this 3 days Uganda gorilla habituation experience tour, they only pay the cost of 1 person. All the other tour prices are based on 2 or 3 people sharing a room. You can pay the extra single room supplement if you prefer not to share a room. The maximum number of persons for this tour is however 4 persons only. If your party is more that 4, we would have to make the tour 4 days because only 4 persons can do the gorilla habituation experience on any single day in Bwindi.

If you are traveling in March, April, May, October, or November, please mention it to access special season offers for the gorilla habituation experience tour in Uganda. 

 

Rushaga Gorilla Camp

Ichumbi  Gorilla Lodge

Chameleon Hill/ Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

1 person

 USD2,352

USD2,610

USD2,782

USD3,986

2 persons

 USD2,006

USD2,146

USD2,307

USD3,253

3 persons

 USD1,905

USD2,045

USD2,206

USD3,152

4 persons

 USD1,854

USD1,994

USD2,155

USD3,101

Single Room Supplement

USD 40

USD150

USD 160

USD   400

 

Video of Bikingi Gorilla Family Members Playing when I did the Gorillas Habituation Experience

 

Bikingi Gorilla Family member - for Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

Bikingi Gorilla Family member - for Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

Detailed Tour Program for the 3 Days Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience

Day 1: Meet in Entebbe or Kampala (at your hotel), Drive to Bwindi National Park ( daily flights available)

We start the Uganda gorilla habituation experience from your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe at 7 Am. We can also arrange for the tour guide to pick you up from Kigali to start the tour if you prefer so. Most of today is spent driving and enjoying the beautiful landscapes along the way to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the home of the mountain gorillas in Uganda.

En route, you should be meeting several local communities going on with their farming on extensive coffee and banana plantations, others making African drums, and others raring their livestock. 

We shall also be having a stopover at the Equator crossing point if you are starting the tour from Kampala/ Entebbe. It is one sight considered by many a top beautiful scenery in Africa - the pathway of the sun!

As we go along, we shall be traversing mountains, tropical rainforests, and bamboo forests during the 8-hour journey.

Accommodation options

Upper Luxury: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge | Mt.Gahinga Lodge

Luxury: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla LodgeChameleon Hill Lodge or Gorilla Safari Lodge

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge | Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Haven  

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 2: Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

We have an early morning entry into the mountain gorilla’s sanctuary. Our intimate gorilla habituation experience allows you to accompany the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Bwindi gorilla habituation team for the entire day, allowing you to have a minimum of 4 hours in the presence of a mountain gorilla family.

Since regular permits only allow 1 hour, this is 4 times the amount of time spent up close with gorillas – more than any other safari operator! During this time you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate and breastfeed until they build their nests at bedtime.

The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long-lasting memories. Spending more time with them than the norm means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. The gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other.

The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Once the gorillas are sighted, you will be guided to within 6 meters of the gorillas, and be able to sit all around them while gazing into their big round eyes as the researchers note health, behavior, and other characteristics.

A gorilla habituation process takes a period of 2-3 years and it involves an advance team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority making frequent visits to the gorilla family. Upon establishing that the group is used and welcoming to tourists, the gorilla family becomes ready for tourists’ visits.

With the gorilla habituation experience, you move with researchers to experience how mountain gorillas are habituated. The price for mountain gorilla habituation experience is now at USD1500.00 and one can stay for up to four hours.

A maximum of only 4 visitors per day is being allowed to visit the gorilla habituation experience, compared to the 8 visitors on a normal Trek. One thing is certain, the Gorilla Habituation Experience is a one-of-a-kind, exclusive activity in which only a select few can participate.  It is a learning experience, you learn from the researchers, trackers, rangers, conservationists, who are all part of the Habituation Process.

Overnight accommodation 

Upper Luxury: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge | Mt.Gahinga Lodge

Luxury: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla LodgeChameleon Hill Lodge or Gorilla Safari Lodge

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge | Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Haven  

Day 3:  End the Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience Tour with a return drive to Entebbe

Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Entebbe, driving down 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’. 

Not to miss as we traverse Mbarara are the impressing longhorn Ankole cattle. 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.

 

2022 Tour Cost of Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Habituation  Experience - 3 Days

Solo travelers are welcome on this 3 days Uganda gorilla habituation experience tour, they only pay the cost of 1 person. All the other tour prices are based on 2 or 3 people sharing a room. You can pay for the extra single room supplement if you prefer not to share a room. The maximum number of persons for this tour is however 4 persons only. If your party is more than 4, we would have to make the tour 4 days because only 4 persons can do the gorilla habituation experience on any single day in Bwindi.

If you are traveling in March, April, May, October, or November, please mention it to access special season offers for the gorilla habituation experience tour in Uganda. 

  Rushaga Gorilla Camp Ichumbi  Gorilla Lodge Chameleon Hill/ Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
1 person  USD2,352 USD2,565 USD2,704 USD4,096
2 persons  USD1,988 USD2,128 USD2,268 USD3,426
3 persons  USD1,900 USD2,040 USD2,180 USD3,338
4 persons  USD1,854 USD1,994 USD2,130 USD3,294
Single Room Supplement USD89 USD150 USD 160 USD   400

Included in the 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Tour Cost

  • Our exclusive 4 hours gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Accommodation with meals indicated on 3 days gorilla habituation tour program
  • 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 cruisers

Excluded in the Tour Cost for the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Tour

  • 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.

Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris - 2020 Travellers' Choice Award

What past clients say about the Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience Tours

  • star rating  This was our second trip to Uganda with Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris in 9 months. My husband and I originally went for the wildlife (which is incredible) but quickly fell... read more

    Jet35625975716
    5th September 2022

    star rating  Ivan did an excellent job coordinating our trip and was very flexible through many changes due to Covid. He also was very accommodating to my dietary needs with our lodging... read more

    Sarah L
    12th August 2022

    star rating  We took a last-minute trip to Uganda in June 2022. Ivan helped arrange an amazing 9 day safari. Leaving by car from Kampala, we stopped at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison... read more

    TravisCrum
    9th August 2022

    star rating  We had a great trip in Uganda thanks to Ivan's organisation of our last-minute trip. He managed to ensure we had Gorilla tracking permits for my partners birthday, despite the... read more

    aajwenner
    13th July 2022
  • star rating  It was perfectly organized by Ivan. Ahmed, our driver/guide, drove us in a safe and professional way and saw to it, that every check-in and check-out at the lodges was... read more

    Ivy G
    29th June 2022

    star rating  What an amazing trip! I can’t say enough about the experience we had! My son and I did the 4 day gorilla trek, absolutely unbelievable experience! The following day I... read more

    Littlcheflucy
    14th June 2022

    star rating  With GORILLAS AND WILDLIFE SAFARIS we did an eight-day expedition in Uganda. We arranged the program in advance from the Czech Republic and already at that time Ivan recommended and... read more

    Lukáš Z
    5th June 2022

    star rating  With GORILLAS AND WILDLIFE SAFARIS we did an eight-day expedition in Uganda. We arranged the program in advance from the Czech Republic and already at that time Ivan recommended and... read more

    Lukáš Zeman
    1st May 2022
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UGANDA GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE TOURS

touched by gorilla habituation experience

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.

Gorilla in Bikingi gorilla family for gorilla habituation experience tour in Bwindi

Mountain gorilla are trained for tourism with humans through a process known as gorilla habituation. This process is conducted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and could go on for at least 2 years. After the habituation, mock tourism (a kind of trial tourism) is conducted on the gorilla group, allowing a limited number per day for about a year. After this the gorillas are opened for real tourism.

In Bwindi, the gorilla habituation experience is done with Bikingi gorilla group. The group is moderately challenging to trek although all elderly people trek it with mild difficulty. Needless to say, physically challenged people will find it difficult to reach the gorilla group. It will take about  3-4 hours to reach these gorillas. Once you reach them, you are allowed to witness the counting of the nests, dung heaps, and how many gorillas are in the group, you participate in the researcher note-taking just as you continue going about your usual tourist experience.

THE MOUNTAIN GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE

Gorilla habituation is the process through which a gorilla family gets used to human visits. A great opportunity to spend 4 hours with the Bwindi mountain gorillas instead of the standard 1 hours for USD1500 per permit per person. The habituation experience is done Bikingi Gorilla Group of Bwindi, in Rushaga Sector. 

A gorilla habituation process takes a period of 2-3 years and it involves an advance team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority making frequent visits to the gorilla family. Upon establishing that the group is used and welcoming to tourists, the gorilla family becomes ready for tourists’ visits.

With the gorilla habituation experience, you move with researchers to experience how mountain gorillas are habituated. The price for mountain gorilla habituation experience is now at USD1500.00 and one can stay for up to four hours.

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.

TIPS FOR THE BEST GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA

 Secure Gorilla Habituation Experience permits early

Gorilla Habituation Experience is the most popular foreign tourist activity for Uganda. On every single day, only 5 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.

Physical 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.

Uganda Gorillas and chimps habituation experience tour

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

The age limit for gorilla  habituation experience  is 15 years and the authorities are very strict on this! With special written permission however, a 14yr old might pass.

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) or RDB (Rwanda).
  • 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.

Uganda gorilla habituation experience bwindi