Gorilla Habituation in Uganda, Bwindi National Park
A gorilla habituation experience is the process where wild mountain gorillas get used to the presence of humans. In Uganda, gorilla habituation is only done in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the Rushaga region
Two gorilla families have been put aside for gorilla habituation experience and are located in the Nkuringo and Rushaga side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi impenetrable forest is the only park in Uganda that offers the Gorilla Habituation Experience with 11 habituated families that include, Mubare, Busingye, Habiyanja, Rushagura, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro, Nshonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahungye and Nkuringo.
While these families are in different locations of Bwindi, Gorilla Habituation only takes place in Rushaga- Nkuringo area South of Bwindi Impenetrable forest. The two families available for visiting are the Bushaho and Bukingi Group which they are trying to habituate.
It involves different groups of people like the trackers, conservationists, researchers and rangers among others who take a period of about 2 to 3 years completing this habituation experience. During habituation process, the people get to understand the gorillas deeper and individually, know their behaviors and even get to the point of naming every single one of them.
The exercise involves visiting a selected family of wild gorillas every day until it gets used to these researchers and when its time, all gorilla individuals are identified in terms of their sex, age and later given names.
This experience only restricts the persons to a maximum of 4 each day, thus bookings for this kind of activity are to be done 6 months prior to the actual habituation day specifically during the months of December all through to March and July to October.
Gorilla Habituation Experience is not for everyone because it takes more effort, more money for permits costing US$1500 for each person which is different from the US$600 paid for gorilla tracking, at times more endurance since you are four hours with a Family plus there is the trek in and the trek out so fitness level is needed to do the Habituation Experience.