For many people coming face-to-face with gorillas in their natural habitat is the ultimate wildlife experience. Rwanda Eco Company and Safaris or Beyond Kigali City Tours will do all the ground arrangement for you, to make sure, you have the best of you time while habituating the gorillas, be part of the team to habituate the gorillas in Bwindi, as gorilla habituation, is only done at Bwindi – Rushaga sector, where only 4 clients are allowed to habituate the gorillas per day. There is no known actual definition of the Gorilla Habituation Experience. However, it can simply be known as the act of training wild gorillas to become used to the sight of human presence.

It involves different groups of people like the trackers, conservationists, trackers, researchers and rangers among others who take a period of about 2 to 3 years completing this habituation experience. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Uganda Wildlife Authority introduced mountain gorilla habituation experience to all interested clients effective 1st January 2014. All those interested in the habituation experience pay USD1500.00 per person per experience per day. According to Uganda Wildlife Authority, two gorilla families have been put aside and dedicated for this experience in Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Maximum number for people for experiences a day.

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. Only 4 individuals allowed for this experience per day makes the permit so competitive, therefore you have to book in advance only through a tour operator as they are the only ones with access.

It is only done in Uganda. Since this kind of experience is hardly existent in Rwanda and or the Democratic Republic of Congo, one can only find it inside the Ugandan borders at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Unlike gorilla trekking permits, the gorilla habituation experience permits are too competitive since only 4 people are allowed for the activity per day, meaning for the two groups, its only 8 people are allowed for the habituation experience. The price is $1500.00 which is the same price as trekking in Rwanda, in Volcanoes national park, but the advantage here is that more hours are given to you, to stay with the gorilla.

Gorilla Families for Habituation

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. It’s for this reason that gorilla habituation safaris can only be done in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. By participating in the Gorilla Habituation Experience you are supporting the crucial work in habituating gorillas and ensuring their survival. It is truly humbling to think that you will be one of the first humans to meet these gorillas.

What is unique about Habituation Experience?

This experience offers a more relaxed and enriching encounter with the gorillas. You’ll feel less rushed, and you’ll have plenty of time to fully absorb this incredible wildlife experience. During your time with your gorilla family, you can immerse yourself in their world as they continue to go about their daily lives – feeding and interacting with each other, under the watchful gaze of the mighty Silverback. On this experience you’ll get a better understanding of gorilla tracking and gorilla behavior than on a normal trek. All those interested in Gorilla habituation safaris should contact us for more details.

How to get your permit for gorilla habituation experience

You can get in touch with Rwanda Eco Company and Safaris or Beyond Kigali City Tours and they can book a permit for you and your group. The permits are sold by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and it is recommended to book your permit in advance as there is a limit to the number of participants per day. Passport details are required, and we will reply within 24 hours after enquiring about the availability of permits. Permits are only sold through reliable tour operators who have access and full information about them.

What to bring for the experience

  • Light rain jacket
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Packed lunch and drinks
  • The correct attire (long pants, long sleeve-shirts, hat, etc.)
  • Gloves (garden gloves)
  • Hiking boots
  • Walking stick