MOUNTAIN GORILLA HABITUATION; A NEW ACTIVITY IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
For all along the world travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda have been primarily engaging in mountain gorilla trekking which provides for only one hour of direct encounter with these species. The introduction of mountain gorilla habituation is seen as a detailed encounter which many have been waiting for so long.
Unlike the gorilla tracking, the travelers on Uganda gorilla safari interested in gorilla habituation have got the opportunity to last four complete hours with the giant apes in their natural habitat as they forage, play and socialise among other behavioural aspects.
The Mountain gorilla Habituation is apparently still limited to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park conducted only in its southern region of Rushaga where five habituated gorilla groups of Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Mishaya and Nshongi are found along with other two groups of Bikingi and Bushaho which are still under habituation.
The gorilla habitation is just like gorilla trekking is controlled by Uganda Wildlife Authority and as a result its permit can be obtained at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Headquarters along Kiira Road Kamwokya at a cost of $1500 per permit. The travellers interested in this activity on gorilla safari tour in Uganda can book direct with UWA or through a tour agent like Prime Uganda Safaris and Wild Gorilla Safaris.
Mountain gorilla Habituation is a profound endeavour because even the existing habituated groups had to undergo the same encounter before people were allowed to visit them. Habituation commenced in 1991 in Buhoma and by 1993, the Mubare gorilla group had started to receive the visitors. The Uganda Wildlife Authority continued with the process and now, Uganda features thirteen (13) habituated gorilla groups of which twelve (12) are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park while the remaining thrive in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – Uganda’s second gorilla refigium. All these can be explored on Uganda gorilla tracking safaris and tours at a cost of $600 per permit.
The Mountain gorilla habituation activity is guided by expert researchers from the UWA’s Department of Research and Monitoring and offers in-depth understanding of these worldly critically endangered species than ever before.