Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience is open all year however the dry season which is normally June to September, December to January is most preferred because the mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers are in high spirits. During habituation experience adventure, expect to meet semi-habituated mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. These primates may have some odd behaviors like running into hiding any time, hooting and going into hiding.
Gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists follow a semi-habituated gorilla family in the wilderness with researchers and habituators to have four hours with them. At the moment, the southern sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only home to the mountain gorillas under habituation. Only two gorilla families are open to gorilla habituation experience.
Chimpanzee habituation experience is an adventure where tourists escort a team of researchers and rangers in the forest to have four hours with semi-habituated chimpanzee community. Kibale National park and Kaniyo Pabidi forest near Budongo forest are few of the habitats where chimpanzee habituation experience is a happens.
In the past, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking were the only safaris you could do to have access to these primates however gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience is happening to give tourists more time with these special primates.
In the wet season which is normally March, April, May and November, demand for gorilla and chimpanzee permits tends to lower. This opens chances to getting last minute permits although not all the time. In case you wish to travel on a discounted primate safari budget the low season may be a great option.
It is best to book the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari atleast 6 months to a year upfront. Securing the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation permits is key as this is the only entry ticket that allow you to participate in this adventure.
This is due to overwhelming demand for gorilla habituation permits worldwide yet supply is limited to maximum 4 per family. Most tourists secure there gorilla habituation permits in advance to avoid last minute panic while trying to find availability.
Other than the gorilla or chimpanzee permit, you need to book accommodation to used during this safari.
What are the requirements for booking gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience Safari?
Where to go for Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only home for gorilla habituation experience in Uganda. Gorilla habituation experience was started in 2014 with the aim of giving tourists extra time with the mountain gorillas since may has complained that one hour of gorilla trekking was not enough. Upon locating the mountain gorillas, only four hours are allowed in front of these primates and later depart to allow these primates carry on with there daily life.
At the moment two gorilla families are open for gorilla habituation experience in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale National Park is most applicable during this Uganda primate adventure. You can attend the morning or afternoon session but you must know that these are semi-habituated chimpanzees that may not behave normally because they are still frightened by human presence.
Book the Gorilla habituation Permit
To confirm any gorilla or chimpanzee safari, you must posses a permits. both gorilla and chimpanzee permits have a limit to how many can be issues per troop. This creates permit scarcity especially in the peak season which is June to September, December to January.
As you book the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience permits, you must have a date and number of permits. This assists with checking gorilla and chimpanzee safari availability and avoid moving back and forth.
At Arch Safaris and Tours when we receive your enquiry about wishing to do a gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari, our tours consultant checks for availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority list.
Upon finding both gorilla and chimpanzee permits, we advise clients to purchase theirs as soon as possible because the status of these permits changes any time without warning.
For identification, later provide your full names as presented on the passport, date of birth, Nationality, passport expiry date and others. These are added to your gorilla and chimpanzee habituation card and upon presenting it on the day of the trek, this information is retrieved.
Select Accommodation To Use During Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience Safari
Choosing where to sleep during the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari creates unforgettable memories during your tour. Upcountry accommodations are categorized into luxury, mid-range and budget facilities.
Although Bwindi has accommodations in different sectors, you must secure those for the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Southern Bwindi accommodations: Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Clouds Lodge, Bwindi Backpacker’s Lodge, Nshongi Camp
Kibale accommodations: Ndali Lodge, Primates lodge, Kibale Safari Lodge, Chimps Nest Camp, Kyaninga Lodge
Great nights offers great sleep and creates great safari memories but you must secure where to sleep in advance especially during the high seasons when options run out prior to starting of season.
Choose means of transport To get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Kibale National Park
No matter your point of safari commencement, you can choose either to travel by road or air transport from Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Kibale National Park.
The distance you drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 530 kilometers travelling for approximately 8 to 9 hours. The nature of the roads in Kigezi sub area is winding and may get messy or extremely dusty and bumpy so you need a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle in great condition.
By air transport, there are daily domestic flights in Uganda onto which you can secure a seat. advance booking is required for the daily domestic flights especially in the high season. These flights can be booked at Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip but you must hire a transfer vehicle too.
Charter flight services are available at Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip for more private safari experience.
Identify Extra Uganda Safari Activities To Combine With Gorilla Or Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Other than meeting the mountain gorillas and chimpanzee in the wilderness, you can spice up your Uganda safari with more activity options. Uganda is the pearl of Africa gifted by nature so there is plenty to see. Uganda may be land locked with no cost line but there is a lot of thrilling water activities you can engage in like white water rafting on River Nile, visit source of River Nile, launch trips and so much more.
You can also enjoy game drives in National parks like Queen Elizabeth National park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National park and Kidepo Valley National Park.
Birding in Uganda is an unmatched experience which you can engage in during this gorilla and chimpanzee safari experience.
This can be possible when you have extra Uganda safari days where you can tailor the right itinerary to soot your needs.
Can I Book a Gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation Experience With Children?
The age limit for gorilla habituation experience is 15 years and over while chimpanzees habituation experience is over 12 years. These ages are set based on the nature of the forest where these primates live.
Both gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience require you to walk in the dense tropical forest with a network of rivers that may over flow during the rainy seasons. It may be challenging for a child below these ages to complete these primates walks.
You need some patience while with the semi-habituated mountain gorillas and chimpanzees but follow keenly the rules of this primate safari. Children under these ages may not bare that level of patience to be with visitors.
Are Semi-habituated Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas dangerous?
Semi-habituated mountain gorillas and chimpanzees are not dangerous because they are familiarized with human presence first for some time although without changing there traits.
In nature the mountain gorillas are serene and calm despite there intimidating outlook which is covered by black fur, has deep brown eyes and walk by knuckle style locomotion.
Chimpanzees have DNA which is 98% close to humans so they also have mood swings but they are habituated to be in human presence for some limited time.
As a tourists you need to pay attention to rules and regulations of gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience given to during briefing.
It is hard to determine what time to take during both gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari. Sometimes you may locate the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees habituation safari in two hours or more depending on factors prevailing in the forest.
While searching for the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees, finding them may be based on the proximity of there food location, in case of power struggle, weather conditions prevailing on safari day, pace of trekkers and so many others.
Upon locating the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees during the habituation experience you have four hours in the company of these primates. Note that these primates may show you some odd behaviors but follow the instructions given by the rangers and trackers in order to complete the entire experience.
How difficult Is Gorilla And Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience is quit tiresome because you take sometime walking in the wilderness. The mountain gorillas live in rugged highlands on the slopes of ridges and plateaus. Sometimes you may be requires to hike in order to find these primates. The vegetation drapes over to obstruct your way but can be trimmed with a machete to create way.
Chimpanzees too have mood swings like humans but do not provoke or mimic them because you may not be aware of what you are communicating.
The topography of Kibale National park where these chimpanzees live in fairly flat but there is some thick under growth which you have to walk through. Wearing the right gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience gears saves you from getting hurt while in the wilderness.
You can hire a porter to lift your bags while you walk to find the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in the wilderness. Request for a walking stick to get you extra support while you walk to find these primates.
How Much Is the gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation Experience Safari?
The cost of the gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safari starts with the price of permits. This doesn’t discriminate whether you are booked on Luxury, mid-range or budget gorilla and chimpanzee safari package.
At Arch Safaris and Tours, we make quotations for our gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience safaris according to number of days on safari, number of people travelling with for this primates safari, additional activities to combine with this safari, time of booking this safari that is low or high season and co many others.
We advise clients to book there gorilla and chimpanzee safaris in advance because the permits are limited yet demand gets over the top every season. it is hard to find gorilla or chimpanzee permits at the last minute during the high season. Even booking other amenities that support this primates adventure is challenging.
What Are The Rules Of Gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation Experience?
In case you have a communicable infection like flu or cough or covid-19, volunteer to stay behind so that you do not pass these germs to the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees.
Do not litter the forest with garbage as this alters the nature of the forest.
When taking photos do not use a flash as this scares the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
Stay in a tight group so as not to scare the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees that are scared of new occurrences in there environment.
Never eat or smoke while in front of the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
Spitting on vegetation is forbidden as this contaminates the food for the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
Four hours are allowed with the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees during the habituation experience