Gorilla habituation is a process where wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to people. Gorilla Habituation may take between two to three years to be completed and during this time, researchers keep on visiting an identified Wild gorilla group on a daily basis.
The gorilla habituation process usually takes two to three years and can go up to five years. The naming of gorilla group members is also done during the stage of habituation. Gorilla habituation usually involves a group of trackers, guides, and researchers who approach a gorilla group in a non-threatening manner with the purpose of finding the best way to communicate to the gorillas.
The key to gorilla habituation is to win the favor of the dominant male and once this is done, closeness to the group can then followed. Once the gorilla group completes the habituation process, they are tested before opening them up to visitors.
The minimum age for gorilla habituation process is 15 years of age. It is recommended that those who wish to be part of the habituation process be fit enough to be able to hike to the steep and more dense part of the forests as these mighty apes tend to move too hard to reach terrain and areas of the park. The sick is not allowed to take part in the gorilla habituation process. Human diseases like flue are a threat to mountain Gorillas. While with mountain gorillas, do not use flash camera lights. Do not imitate or try to make fun of Gorillas. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters away to avoid provoking them.
The best time for gorilla habituation experience is usually during the high seasons that run from December through to March and June to October.
Due to the high demand from tourists for the gorilla habituation experience and given the low number of permits per day, you need to make your booking early – at least 6 months prior to visit is recommended. Permits can be got through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or directly from your tour operator. Your passport information is important for booking tickets.
Ensure you pack along some lunch or snacks as the habituation process usually takes the whole day. It’s also advisable to hire porters who will help you carry your heavy loads and also help you climb steep slopes.