GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE- 1500USD for 4 hours, the lowest cost per hour with wild gorillas.
In Bwindi impenetrable national park unlike in Mgahinga National park, Virunga in Congo and Volcanoes in Rwanda, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) introduced Gorilla habituation experience. This is the newest gorilla tourism activity in Uganda and one of a kind in Africa that was introduced in 2014.
For a mountain gorilla group to be ready for visitor to track it, it takes 2-3 years. Before being open to travellers, researchers, doctors and park staff regularly visit the family and this is where travellers who would want to spend more time with the gorillas use the opportunity to be part.
Only 1 group is available in the Rushaga sector and is open for this activity and 4 people are allowed to visit each group. This means just 4 permits per day that will grant your 3 more hour with the gorillas than the usual one hour of normal gorilla tracking. The gorilla habituation permit is expensive (1500 USD) and they are limited unlike the 152 issued daily for gorilla tracking. Many travellers would want it but these reasons make it elusive.
To acquire the habituation permit, one must plan ahead of time together with his/her tour operator as you might not be able to get one when you wait to purchase it say a week or a month prior to your travel date.
This is the only experience in any gorilla destination that will give you an encounter with wild gorillas. This make you one of the few humans that meet these gorillas before they are introduced to the other travellers when the habituation process is completed.
Be more than an observer and actively participate in the gorilla habituation process, get close to the gorillas and share the cold lounge on the leafy ground with them. The experience is more that the regular gorilla tracking where you just observe, take pictures and spend just one hour.
The biggest secret with gorilla habituation is that you will have the less cost per one hour spent with the gorillas at (375 USD) per hour unlike the 700USD for an hour during the normal gorilla tracking.