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Gorilla discovery is a safari tour and travel company based in Uganda, fully licensed to conduct safaris within Uganda and Rwanda. We offer several tours and safaris in Uganda including Gorilla Tours, wildlife adventures, mountaineering trips

What is the difference between a one hour and a four hour gorilla experience in Uganda?

What is the difference between a one-hour and a four-hour gorilla experience in Uganda

What is the difference between a one hour and a four hour gorilla experience in Uganda?

What is the difference between a one hour and a four hour gorilla experience in Uganda? The Bwindi impenetrable forest is popular as a natural habitat for endangered mountain gorillas this amazing destination is located in south-western Uganda. It covers an area of 331 kilometers squared with over 550 individuals.  It has a rich biodiversity that cannot be found elsewhere not only in Africa but in entire Africa. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park encompasses several features of interest including volcanoes, waterfalls, jagged valleys, and dramatic mountain ranges. Each year this region receives thousand and thousand birders to see over 350 birds that found in the park. Bwindi forest is the only destination in the whole world where one can go for gorilla habituation.   Most travelers are wondering about how is gorilla habituation different from gorilla trekking, at the end of this article, everyone will know the difference.

Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi

Gorilla habituation is the process of making gorillas used by people in their presence. Mountain gorillas are naturally wild creatures and they can’t feel comfortable with any intruder in their presence. To visit them, they must be used to humans. Gorilla habituation takes like 2- 3 years managed by a team of researchers, trackers, rangers, and conservationists.  This process is done by identifying a good gorilla family, spending a short period of time with it every day, and observing to know more about their behavior. This process helps to win the gorilla’s trust so that they can allow people in their presence whenever they choose to. When this process is complete, the habituated group can be open for gorilla trekking or to tourists.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) introduced gorilla habituation for tourists who want to spend more time with mountain gorillas. Currently, this experience is done in the Rushaga sector with two gorilla families which include; Bushaho and Bukingyi gorilla families.

Trekking gorillas of Bwindi forest.

Bwindi forest is home to 19 habituated gorilla families which open for gorilla trekking every day. Spending one hour of interaction with mountain gorillas is an amazing experience, which is carried out by only 8 people with one group per day. A gorilla trekking permit goes at $700 per person per trek. This park has four gorilla tracking trailheads and these include; Rushaga and Nkuringo trailhead in the south, Buhoma trailhead in the north, and Ruhija trailhead in the east. Each day, there is the availability of 144 gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi impenetrable.

What is the difference between a one hour and a four hour gorilla experience in Uganda?

Both gorilla habituation experience (four hour gorilla experience in Uganda) nd gorilla trekking (one hour gorilla experience in Uganda) involve hiking deep into the forest of Bwindi, guided by a well-trained tracker searching for an assigned gorilla group. They also offer a wonderful experience that is different from other homes of mountain gorillas in Africa. Please note, tourists below 15 years of age are not allowed to participate in both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation.

Trekking the gorillas of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park takes like 2-4 hours depending on the speed of trekkers and assigned gorilla family you are tracking. After encountering your allocated gorilla family, you have an opportunity to spend only 1-hour interacting and observing them in their natural habitat. While Gorilla habituation allows you to spend 4 hours with unique creatures in the Rushaga zone in the south areas of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Gorilla habituation gives a great chance of understanding of gorilla behavior and gorilla tracking than on a normal trek as well as having long hours of observing and photographing the primates.

A maximum of 4 people are allowed to participate in gorilla habituation experience and it is only done in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi forest whereas gorilla trekking is carried out by 8 people to track the assigned gorilla family.

Gorilla habituation experience is guided by a team of primatologists and researchers, this makes it to be a wonderful adventure experience and educative whereas a standard gorilla trekking is led by park rangers and guides.

Gorilla trekking can be done in all gorilla tracking sectors of Bwindi. This means tourists have right to choose any gorilla region he/she wants while gorilla habituation is carried out in only Rushaga sector which is found in the south region of Bwindi.

The gorilla habituation experience is expensive than a normal trek. It goes at 1500USD per person per trek while a gorilla trekking permit goes at 700USD for foreign nonresidents per person, $600 for foreign residents, and 250,000 Ugandan shillings for East African citizens per person per trek. All gorilla permits in Bwindi are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or you can book with Africa Adventure Vacations. Tourists are also advised to book their gorilla permit in advance especially those who wish to travel during the high season.

What to pack for gorilla trekking.

You’re required very early in the morning with your gorilla permit and passport.  A passport and gorilla permit must be introduced at park offices to confirm whether the passport is yours if you’re old enough because one of the gorilla trekking rules is that travelers below 15 years of age are not acceptable to trek.

A passport is also used to know the gorilla group one can manage to trek. Some families need you to be strong enough. These are items you need on your packing list which include; a long-sleeved shirt, a good camera with extra batteries, a rain jacket, hiking boots, garden gloves, insect repellent, a walking stick, energy drinks, and others.

The best time to do gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking are in the Bwindi forest.

Gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking in the Bwindi forest can be done all year. But they are best during the dry season months of December-March and June-October when the hiking trails are not too slippery and muddy hence hiking experience is excellent. Whereas the wet season is also good to do gorilla trekking because during that time their more food in the forest and primates are no longer moving long distances. Even in this season, primates look healthier and more beautiful. But, all hiking trails are used to be slippery and muddy, as it can rain for the whole day. Please note, Bwindi forest is found in the tropical rain forest so any time of the year it may rain. Therefore, you have to come when well prepared at any time you wish to trek.

Reasons to book with Africa Adventure Vacations.

Traveling to a new place is so exciting and it is one of the greatest experiences one can ever encounter. You get a chance to encounter the food, culture, and natural resources of the area. Africa Adventure Vacations is the best tour operator that can help you experience all the amazing cultures in Africa plus the authentic wildlife. Africa Adventure Vacations can help you to save money and restless nights trying to look for where to go. We are experienced and well informed and passionate about what we do. Africa Adventure Vacations is locally raised and has got a business license. We are quick to respond to any kind of questions from our clients. We have got the best tour packages and pricing. Our company can afford the group size that you would like to come along with. Get in touch with our safari expert for detailed information on the difference between a one hour and a four hour gorilla experience in Uganda.