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Are you planning to visit Uganda to see the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, but you are finding it hard to choose between Gorilla Trekking or Habituation Experience one is best in this article we explain the details what is the difference between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience for you to choose the best option for your trek to visit the mountain Gorillas.
Both Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Habituation Experience involves walking/trekking into the forest to following a given trail to search for endangered gorillas, the main difference is during gorilla trekking you visit gorillas already used to human presence while during gorilla habituation you visit gorillas not used to human presence. Here below is the detailed difference between Gorilla Trekking or Habituation Experience which one is Best.
In terms of the best gorilla trekking experience, the Chances of seeing gorillas during gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience are 98% so whichever option you choose to visit the gorillas you will be able to see these great apes in their natural environment. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi also gives you the option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, gorilla habituation permits costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking.
In terms of affordability, it is much cheaper to see gorillas during gorilla trekking this is because the permit costs USD700 per person per trek than the gorilla habituation experience which costs USD1500 and spend up to four hours with mountain gorillas
In terms of time spend with the gorillas: Are you interested in spending much time with the gorillas then booking gorilla habituation is the best option where you spend 4 hours encounter with the gorillas. For the normal gorilla trekking you spend only one-hour encounter with the gorillas.
In terms of distance walked to see gorilla during gorilla trekking vs gorilla habituation experience, the issue of walking longer or short distance depends on the given gorilla family allocated to you on the day of trekking. In both gorilla trekking with gorilla habituation experience gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of a given individual. If for example, you want a shorter trek, you will have to inform the park authorities on the very day of trekking so that you are allocated such a family. If you want a medium or longer trek, then you do the same. It should be noted that while they will try to give you a family that requires shorter walks, the behavior of gorillas might affect the experience if for example gorillas decide to move further as you look for them you will need to move a longer distance still.
How is gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest is done in 4 sectors which include Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi and Ruhija sector in the North Eastern part of Bwindi both sectors are located close to Queen Elizabeth National Park making it easy to combine gorilla trekking with game viewing if you are trekking at these sectors. In the southern Part of Bwindi it is where Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors are located close to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking and Golden monkey tracking. Each sector has different habituated mountain gorilla families open for gorilla trekking with Rushaga sector having many families compared to other sectors.
How much is Bwindi gorilla trekking
A Gorilla Permit costs USD700 per person per trek for Foreign Non-Residents, USD600 for East African Residents and USD70 for East African Citizens. This Gorilla permit gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest once you find them on your trek. A 3 Day Uganda gorilla trekking from Rwanda costs USD1290 per person all inclusive.
How to book Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Forest National Park
You will need to secure your gorilla permit in advance to confirm you have booked Uganda gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority, this can be done at their headquarters in Kampala or Kisoro for tourists arriving in Uganda through Entebbe it is recommended to purchase their gorilla permits from Kampala and for tourists arriving in Uganda through Kigali they can purchase their permits at the branch headquarter of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kisoro town which is 1-2 hours drive to Bwindi. Eco Adventure Safaris is one of the best gorilla safari companies which can purchase for you your gorilla permit in advance and on short notice, once you confirm your dates and share them with us via email or WhatsApp we will first tentatively reserve the gorilla permits for you online and then send you an invoice for you to make payment and once money comes through on our account we will purchase your gorilla permits immediately and send you scan copies of your permits for your records and perusal and this will confirm you have purchase your gorilla permits for your gorilla
What is the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda?
The best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown
What to wear during Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
You might be probably wondering what to wear for your trek, below is a compiled list on what to wear;
- A long armed sweater since the park gets cold
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Water proof hiking boots
- A hat and sun glasses depending on the weather though this is optional
- Cameras and long lasting batteries since photography are very important to keep your memories alive. Always remember to keep our flash off.
- A pair of Binoculars. This will help you to see the vast birds Bwindi impenetrable forest has among other primates
- Gardening Gloves; these will help you when you a holding onto trees are branches through the trek.
- A rain coat; Since Bwindi impenetrable forest is rainforest, the rain is unpredictable so to be on a safer side, you will be required to carry along a coat.
- A mosquito Repellent; since it is a forest, it has different dangerous insects so its advisable to carry it along or wear it
- A sun screen; Well this is optional but depending on the season, it might get too hot and you end up getting sun burns on your skin so to avoid that, you will need a sun screen.
- You should not wear very bright colors since this will charge or scare away the gorillas.
- Black and Blue colors are also not recommended since they attract Tsetse flies So I would recommend neutral colors.
Where to stay during Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park is done in the northern part that is Buhoma and Ruhija and in southern part that is Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. In Rushaga lodges, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Icumbi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and Karungi Camp. In Nkuringo lodges you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge or Lake Mutanda Resort, all these lodges are close to the start point of Gorilla Habituation and Gorilla trekking.
Gorilla Habituation Experience for now is only done in the southern side of Bwindi that is in Rushaga Sector.
In the northern part, in Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ride 4 a Woman among others, In Ruhija you can stay at Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Agandi Eco Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, and Broadbill Tented Camp among others.
Why book Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Habituation Experience with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local tour operator in Uganda, we take pride in customizing tailor-made Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Including Uganda gorilla trekking from Kigali Rwanda. We have a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 20 minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. Contact us here about Gorilla Trekking or Habituation Experience which one is Best.