Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience – Uganda provides the greatest opportunities for various Chimpanzee activities in East African region including Chimpanzee habituation experience. Uganda is home to over 5,000 Chimpanzees in the protected and unprotected areas. These five main Chimpanzee destinations in Uganda are Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National, Kalinzu Forest Reserve and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Chimpanzee tracking is always one hour with the Chimpanzee in all the above 5 locations. However, there is another option that allows you to be with the Chimpanzees all day long in the forest.
Chimpanzee habituation experience (CHEX) is a four hour’s activity that occurs in the Chimpanzee community which is undergoing a training to get used to human presence. The daily activities of Chimpanzee Habituation Experience mean an early breakfast, a packed lunch (taken from your lodge) and meet your guide.
From here, you take off to where the Chimpanzees built nests the night before. When you find them you will spend four hours with the Chimpanzees as they rise from their sleep and follow them as you learn about them. Chimpanzee habituation is aimed at getting the Chimpanzees used to human presence and is a long process that can take up to two years before a community of Chimpanzees can safely be considered habituated.
Chimpanzee habituation experience in Uganda is done in either Kibale Forest National Park or Budongo Forest found in Murchison Falls National Park. However, Great Adventure Safaris recommend you to go to Kibale Forest National Park for an ultimate Chimpanzee habituation experience.
A day for the Chimpanzee habituation experience starts as early as 6:00am. You therefore need to wake up early, take an early breakfast and carry pack lunch. You set off before dawn to meet your guide and then your Chimpanzee adventure begins.
Your ranger guide will lead you to the Chimpanzee nests for the night before. The Chimpanzees arise at the break dawn as you approach their nests. And your day of observing the Chimpanzees begins.
You will have half a day to watch the Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Your day will be interesting and memorable as you watch an episode in a whole season of habituation for the Chimpanzee community you are visiting. You will have an opportunity to watch the Chimpanzees leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying.
It is not just watching the Chimpanzees, but you will learn the unique features and differences of Chimpanzees learn how to identify the different Chimpanzees as individuals by their markings, sometimes scars and other unique features that make them stand apart from the rest. After your experience you head back to your lodge with good memories, and the satisfaction of a day well spent. Don’t forget your camera, because during the activity, you will get very nice camera shots of Chimpanzees doing various activities.
There is no better season for habituation experience, however, for convenience, it is best in the months of March, April, May and November, when there is less tourist congestion.
For your convenience, Great Adventure Safaris provide packages that combine Chimpanzee activities and other safari activities. There are great choices of lodging from budget to luxury, serving exotic and local foods. Kibale Forest National Park is only 5 hours from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. For more information, please contact Great Adventure Safaris.
You may be wondering what the Gorilla habituation experience is all about. The practice is all about training wild Gorillas to make them familiar with human presence before they are declared free for trekking. Gorilla training process is an everyday venture, which last for 2-3 years before a Gorilla family is opened for trekking.
Whether there are clients or not, rangers, conservationists, researchers and gorilla doctors must visit a Gorilla family undergoing training for all the 3 years. Travellers are reminded to be extra careful to ensure safety in the presence of wild Gorillas. Also, travellers must follow all trekking rules and regulations like keeping a seven-meter distance, keeping calm, staying within your groups are all highly emphasized.
Whoever wants to be part of this experiential venture must travel to Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It’s the only sector that Gorilla habituation takes place and so you must travel there. Presently, two Gorilla families of Bikyingi and Bushaho are undergoing training and will be opened for tourism soon.
Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience – Just like in Gorilla trekking, every traveller intending to do gorilla habituation experience MUST have an individual valid permit. These permit costs USD1500 per person per trek, which make it quite expensive, compared to USD700 per person per trek for normal Gorilla trekking permits but the experience is worth the penny. Every day, each Gorilla family is visited by four people.
To ensure timely Gorilla permit booking, travellers are reminded to book as early as possible to reserve these Gorilla habituation permits that are highly demanded. Just like a Gorilla permit, Gorilla habituation permit involve park entrance fees, payment for the park rangers and trackers among others. Permits are booked and issued from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and you can as well book them through us at Great Adventure Safaris who offer memorable Gorilla adventure experiences.
Since it’s only done in Rushaga the southern sector of Bwindi Forest, all accommodation facilities should be in this sector as well to avoid backtracking. Fortunately several luxury, midrange and budget lodes and camps have been established in Rushaga region to provide travellers with first class food and sleeping services. These lodes include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla heights lodge Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Four gorillas Lodge and Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge among others. Professional waiters, waitresses, chefs and housekeepers have been hired to ensure excellent and timely service delivery. All accommodation facilities serve travellers with quality services at affordable prices.
Rushaga sector is easily accessible from Kigali – Rwanda connecting through Cyanika or Katuna border in Kisoro and Kabale towns respectively. It takes travellers roughly 3-4 hours to drive from Kigali – Rwanda to Uganda. Border crossing is well done through one of the border points is much easier to access Rushaga sector for your Gorilla habituation adventure experience.
For those with some more time on safaris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park offers a variety of tourism attractions. Gorilla trekking is the most done activity with 18 Gorilla families available every day. Interestingly, Gorilla trips in Uganda are relatively cheaper at a cost of USD700 for a single permit compared to USD1500 in Rwanda for a single permit. Also, enjoy cultural visits to local communities adjacent to the National park to learn more about Uganda traditions and culture. Also, enjoy forest walk, nature walks and bird watching to make your Uganda Gorilla safari to Bwindi forest a complete package.
In general, Gorilla and chimpanzee habituation experience is the best way to meet and spend ample time with the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Book a Uganda Gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with Great Adventure Safaris, and take part in training process of the wild Gorillas and enjoy this lifetime experience.