Gorilla habituation experience is a newly introduced activity in Bwindi impenetrable Forest National park where tourists are allowed four hours to stay in the presence of the gorillas making observation and taking photography and interacting with the gorillas.
Bwindi impenetrable Forest national park is located in South Western Uganda bordering DR Congo in the south. This is a tropical rain forest which is always covered by mist atop. The forest is made up of three parks; Buhoma sector in the north, Ruhiija sector in the central, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector in Southern sector.
The park covers an area of over 380 square Kilometers and is rugged in nature standing at an altitude of 2607 meters above sea level and is covered by thick forest the reason it was named impenetrable forest.
Bwindi impenetrable Forest National park is a home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas with the current population estimated to be over 400 gorillas with the other half living in Virunga mountain ranges which covers Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda. There are 12 Gorilla groups habituated for gorilla tracking currently and two groups spared for gorilla habituation experience.
Gorilla habituation experience is done in Rushaga sector and this allows only four people per day to do habituation contrary to Gorilla safaris where a maximum number of 8 people are allowed to visit a gorilla family and spending one hour with the gorillas as opposed to gorilla habituation experience where you stay four hours with the gorillas.
There are various reasons why gorilla habituation experience is preferred over gorilla tracking adventure.
Unlike a normal gorilla trek, this experience offers something far more immersive, complex and powerful. The unrushed nature of the habituation trek allows for a far more relaxed appreciation of the everyday gorilla-family scenes that unfold amongst the trees of Bwindi. But it also presents photographers with the time they need to capture the perfect shot, making this ideal for those seeking to photograph gorillas.
For someone who wants to explore the gorillas more, they have been doing double gorilla tracking which implied tracking and trekking in the forest twice for two days, yet spending two hours with the gorillas yet for two consecutive days. On contrary, gorilla habituation experience allows you four hours with the gorillas at a time, yet tracking in one day.
In addition, for someone with fewer days on tour yet want to explore the gorillas more, gorilla habituation experience is better as one will learn how they behave over an hour; learn how they make nests, breastfeed, and general day’s activities of the gorillas.
Unlike gorilla tracking where each group is visited by eight people, gorilla habituation experience allows four people per day to visit. This implies there is less congestion during the gorilla observation experience. This offers better time to explore the gorillas without congestion and this will offer great time to interact freely with the gorillas.