How to upgrade your permit from a normal one-hour to a gorilla habituation experience permit.
How to upgrade your permit from a normal one-hour to a gorilla habituation experience permit : Gorilla Habituation Experience is a fascinating experience allowing visitors to stay 4 hours in the presence of mountain gorillas, this incredible experience is only offered in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
It is possible and normal to upgrade your permit from a normal one-hour to a gorilla habituation experience permit.
Gorilla Habituation Experience is a gorilla adventure where tourists follow a team of researchers to a semi-habituated gorilla family in the wilderness and stay with them for four hours.
The southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only home of gorilla habituation experience in Uganda, currently there are two gorilla families open for gorilla habituation. Only a maximum of four tourists are accepted to visit each family.
Gorilla trekking adventure only allows one hour with mountain gorillas, Uganda has 19 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla trekking safari.
To upgrade your gorilla trekking permit from one hour to a gorilla habituation experience of four hours with a gorilla family. You need to write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting for the upgrade through a credible tour operator.
How Can I Upgrade The Gorilla Trekking Permits To Gorilla Habituation Permits
In case you posses a Uganda gorilla trekking permit but you wish to spend more time with the mountain gorillas, you have to write to Uganda Wildlife Authority through a tour operator.
You have to state your interest in upgrading the gorilla permit from one hour to four hours.
………… we contact Uganda Wildlife Authority with your letter. Upon approval of the letter, your gorilla habituation experience permit is upgraded according to the prevailing availability.
You must top up the balance for the gorilla habituation permit to finally be confirmed as an upgrade.
Note: A gorilla habituation permit in Uganda costs US$ 1500 per person and a gorilla permit costs US$ 700 per person per trek.
How Much Is The Balance For The Gorilla Habituation Experience Permit?
Currently, the cost of a gorilla trekking permit is $ 700 per person per trek and the cost of a gorilla habituation permit is $ 1500 per person. Upon approval of upgrade for a gorilla habituation permit (Tour company) will send you an invoice with the balance required to top up your permit which is $ 800 per permit.
Upgrading your gorilla permits gives you extra time with mountain gorillas, instead of one hour, you have an extra four hours with the mountain gorilla. Although, this time you are to meet semi-habituated gorillas.
What Is Included In The Costs Of The Gorilla Habituation Experience Permit?
Gorilla Habituation Experience Permit Cost include
- researcher fees
- park entrance fees
- mountain gorilla conservation
- ranger guide fees
- local community support
- four hours with the mountain gorillas
- government tax and any other items of a personal nature.
What is the difference between Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Habituation Experience?
During gorilla trekking, visitors are allowed only one hour with the mountain gorillas. While on gorilla habituation experience, visitors are allowed 4 hours with mountain gorillas.
The current cost of a gorilla trekking in Uganda is $ 700 per person per trek for non- residents, $ 600 for foreign residents and UGshs 250,000 for East Africa Residents. The current cost for gorilla habituation experience permit is $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
Uganda has 19 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, there are only 2 gorilla families open for gorilla habituation experience.
Gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are sold according the sector that is Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo Sectors, only gorilla permits for gorilla habituation experience are booked for Southern part of Bwindi Forest.
Fully habituated gorilla families are open for gorilla trekking while semi-habituated gorilla families are open for gorilla habituation experience.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Habituation Experience
Gorilla Habituation Experience is a strenuous activity because of the nature of the topography where mountain gorillas live, this volcanic area is where mountain gorillas spend their daily time.
You are required to hike to the slopes or deep the valleys to find the mountain gorillas as they love lounging or feeding in these areas.
Because of the less sun rays penetrating through the dense canopy yet rains fall in the Virunga area at any time, the trails are soggy most of the time. You may have to climb through the thick vegetation full of creepers and thick vines.
Wearing garden gloves helps you hold a tighter grip on the climbers and move forward. One of the escorting ranger guides carries a machete to help trim obstructing creepers along the way to give you access to where the mountain gorillas may be feeding
What is the minimum age for gorilla habituation experience?
Just like gorilla trekking, the age limit for taking part in gorilla habituation experience is 15 years. This is because of the nature of the terrain which is ragged with a number of highlands like plateaus and ridges.
A child below the age of 15 years may be incapable of enduring the hikes and walking through thick foliage may be challenging for a young person.
Following the gorilla habituation experience is important because they help prevent chances of angering the mountain gorillas, a child below the age of 15 years old may need to be in a position to remember the rules of gorilla habituation such as no making unnecessary noise, avoid mimicking the mountain gorillas and so much more.
Gorilla habituation experience normally takes longer period of time because you need help find mountain gorillas, children below 15 years may be incapable of withstanding the long hours in the forest, yet once you start the gorilla adventure, there is only turning back once you conclude it.
Since you are still determining when to return from the forest during the gorilla habituation experience, a child below 15 years may delay the rest of the group which may cause anger and quarreling among the researchers.
The ranger guide follows the slowest trekkers so on one is lost and forgotten in the wilderness of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Volcanoes National Park.