Do you want to spend extended time with famous mountain gorillas? Be part of one of its kind mountain gorilla habituation rewarding you an incredible gorilla watching experience. Gorilla habituation/adaptation is only done in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park Uganda in two gorilla families of Bushaho and Bikyingi are presently undergoing habituation. Gorilla habituation is a process of keenly training and familiarizing of wild mountain gorillas to the presence of human beings. The entire group of participants in the habituation process involves travelers, rangers, conservationists, and researchers. The process of habituating gorillas takes about 2-3 years after which the gorilla family is introduced to travelers for trekking.
Unlike gorilla trekking that takes an hour, habituation experience is an all-day interaction in which travelers spend four hours with a gorilla family as they observe and learn more about these gentle giant. A maximum of four travelers are allowed to trek gorillas along with conservationist, researchers, and park management staff for four hours after which they hike back to the starting point. Just like in gorilla trekking every participant in habituation experience must have a permit as a pass to the gorillas.
Due to the wild characters of the unhabituated gorillas, trainers in the first days of habituation keep a big distance away. As time goes on, they keep climbing closer as they to the gorillas until when they confirm that the wild species are now used to people and then opened to trekkers.
Regarding the costs, a gorilla habituation permit is quite expensive costing 1500usd from the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) a government body responsible for Uganda’s tourism and wildlife conservation in Uganda. Travelers who intend to take part in the habituation process are required to book and pay for permits in advance (At least four months before) for purposes of timely allocation of the permits.
For the safety and good health of the endangered species, participants in gorilla habituation experience are reminded to keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas. More still, travelers are cautioned to turn back their backs in case of sneezing and coughing to avoid the spread of human-wildlife diseases such as cough and flue spread through the air. Mountain gorillas are the closest relatives to human beings sharing approximately 99.8% of human beings hence susceptible to human beings.
Gorilla habituation experience provides travelers and researchers with an in-depth understanding of the endangered species. This makes it easy to devise conservation hence ensuring gorilla tourism.
Conclusively, therefore, mountain gorilla habituation is a once a lifetime experience every traveler should take part in only done in Uganda.
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