Gorilla Habituation Experience In Uganda

An up-close encounter with the Mountain Gorillas is one experience that everyone should be yearning to embrace and have. The Gorilla-Habituation experience is not only a mere glance of these peaceful and gentle giants of the tropical rainforests but a close-by interactive encounter with them. You encounter Gorilla Family in the wild, just as close to a little family reunion! Unbelievable as it may sound, these well-trained little giants, for about two to three years with close monitoring adopt on how to commune with humans. To achieve this, researchers visit an identified and marked Mountain Gorilla group over a while on routine and daily basis. During this time, the researchers get to know more about the individual gorilla’s behavior and way of life. In the end, the gorillas get accustomed to the researchers and scholars, hence tagging them with names for identity reasons.

Gorilla habituation in Uganda

In October 2014, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park introduced the Gorilla Habituation experience, for the clients who were interested in knowing more about how the mountain gorillas behave, live and commune with other rainforest habitats. This was done in consultations with the UWA, the regulatory body in charge of Wildlife Conservation in Uganda.

There is nothing comparably amazing like having a close-by experience with the Mountain Gorillas for just more than an hour. You have such a golden chance to spend a longer time with these giants within their set aside families for this activity. It is only in Uganda where the Gorilla Habituation experience is granted, taking place in Rushaga Sector, which lies in the Southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The value of this experience is worth more than just the money paid to have it. With 1,500 USD paid for the Gorilla Habituation Experience, you get to spend 4 hours with the gorillas with the groups that are set aside for this, as compared to 700 USD that permits you only an observation duration of one hour. With the one-hour Gorilla trek, you will only view the gorillas within in their natural homes. However, with the habituation experience, you may participate actively in the learning and habituation exercise.

Where can I get the best Gorilla habituation experience?

Currently, it is only in the Rushaga region, lying in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable forest where gorilla habituation takes place. The only trailhead within the Mist-forest lies in the Rushaga region. The other usual gorilla tracking trailheads are in regions of Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo, and Mgahinga. The southern part of the Impenetrable forest borders Rwanda, which grants it easier and faster access to the area of Rushaga.

It takes nine (9) to ten (10) hours’ drive by road getting from Entebbe international airport to Rushaga. This almost a full day drive, which renders the Habituation Experience only, be possible the following day. A one hour and 30 minutes’ fly-in safari to either Kihihi or Kisoro from Entebbe airport makes the journey shorter, followed by a drive to Rushaga in the south. This, however, adds some more dollars to the holiday cost! This may in turn, make it look feasible for one to go on with the gorilla habituation experience, for the flights are early in the morning.

Another option is to directly fly into Rwanda via Kigali airport and take on a gorilla trek in Uganda. This is the shortest route while using the road. It is a four (4) hours’ drive from Kigali to Rushaga. The majority of our clients have preferred this to the nine (9) to ten (10) hours’ drive from Entebbe International Airport. This may be a combined Uganda-Rwanda safari, depending on the number of days booked by our clients. This kind of safari may include both Gorilla habituation experience and Wildlife adventure like in Kibale NP (Chimpanzee Tracking and Habituation), Queen Elizabeth National Park and much more.

When to have your Gorilla Habituation Safari!

Gorilla trekking and Habituation Experience can take place throughout the year. However, the best time is from June through October, and December through February or March. This, therefore, calls for our clients to do an early planning for their safaris, given the fact that the Gorilla Habituation permits are on high demand during those periods. We, therefore, stand in and run the entire process of making your dream safari a success. We advise that you secure the Gorilla Habituation permit early enough so that there is no rush hour when the demand is skiing up! A Gorilla Habituation permit goes for $1,500 per person granting them the chance to be with the Gorillas for four (4) hours, unlike the $700 for the Gorilla trekking permit that only lasts for an hour.

Accommodation places

Finding a comfortable and best-fitting Lodge during this experience must be one of the most rewarding factors. There are quite many lodges in and near Bwindi Impenetrable rainforest. The choice of a Lodge during your Gorilla Habituation Experience is dependent on our Clients’ budgets utmost needs. We help in the booking of the Lodge /Hotel as a prior review and recommendation from us and based on the availability of space at that particular time of need. The highest number of Lodges are located in the Buhoma region of the park. However, for those specifically enrolling for the Gorilla Habituation Experience, lodging within Rushaga or Nkuringo regions would be best. Listed below are some of the recommended accommodation places depending on your budget.

Luxury: – Gorilla Safari Lodge – Chameleon Hill Lodge

Mid-range: – Rushaga Gorilla Camp – Ichumbi Lodge

You could also opt for an Exclusive stay at Clouds Mountain Lodge at more cost, which is about forty-five (45) minutes from Rushaga. This is a super luxury Lodge.


The Gorilla Habituation Experience is a very fascinating and treasurable moment. An encounter with the “Gentle-Giants” is a living testimony. You will be only a few meters close to or away from them. There are some rules and regulations ought to observe as you head out for this wonderful experience.

  • No people below the age of Fifteen (15) years are eligible for the Gorilla Habituation safari. Groans from these Giants are at times intimidating.
  • All persons suffering from easily communicable diseases like diarrhea are not allowed to get close to the gorillas. This is to protect the gorillas from contracting the diseases
  • No people without Gorilla trekking permits get the chance to undertake the Gorilla Habituation Experience nor the Gorilla trek.

“Do not” as you head for the Gorilla Habituation Adventure.

The Mountain Gorillas are gentle and peaceful. However, if threatened, they groan out loudly and beat their chests as a sign of territory ownership! As a trekker, we advise that you observe orderliness and obey the conservation regulations set up.

  • Stay in a group and give the gorillas’ right of way.
  • Be mindful of the distance kept away from the gorillas.
  • Do not make loud noise when around the gorilla
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are highly prohibited while in the presence of these beings
  • We caution you not to use the flashlights of your cameras while photographing. 

What to pack on the Gorilla Habituation Safari experience

As you plan for your Gorilla Habituation Safari experience, you need to a few items in your bag pack. Have yourself a raincoat, a hat, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, hiking boots a camera, some little snacks, packed lunch prepared from the Lodge and a walking stick. Because you are to trek in a dense forest, you should also carry insect repellants. With these above, head for your utmost Gorilla Habituation Safari experience.

What else can you go after your Gorilla Habituation Experience? 

Depending on the number of days booked for, you may engage in more activities after your Gorilla Habituation Experience. The Pearl of Africa is a wonderland, full of amazing adventurous options to explore. You may also wish to go on a Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale National Park, go Birding and have a vast coverage of wildlife.