Embarking on a gorilla trek in Uganda is an adventure like no other, offering a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of these majestic creatures. While the standard gorilla trekking experience is already an awe-inspiring adventure, those seeking a more immersive encounter can opt for the Gorilla Habituation Trek. Bwindi is known for having more than 50% of the worlds Mountain Gorillas. In this piece, we will explore the key differences and experiences between the two, delving into the captivating world of mountain gorillas in the heart of Uganda.
The Standard Gorilla Trek:
The classic gorilla trek is a bucket-list adventure that takes you deep into the dense forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here is what you can expect:
- Cost $800 pp
- Limited permits are available each day
- Groups of up to eight people trek per gorilla family.
- A one-hour visit once you have found the gorillas
- Limited direct interaction with gorillas
- Observe from a respectful distance
- Restricted to habituated gorilla families
- As they are habituated, they are used to humans so do not move around as much (benefit – much easier to get good photos and videos).
- Varied trek duration (2-8 hours).
- Moderate to challenging hikes through the jungle.
- A magical encounter with gorillas in their natural habitat.
- Opportunity for stunning wildlife and scenic views.
- A unique and unforgettable experience.
The Gorilla Habituation Trek
For those seeking a deeper connection with gorillas, the habituation trek offers a more extended and immersive experience:
- Cost $1500 pp
- Extremely limited permits
- Longer trek duration requires early morning starts.
- Smaller groups, often four visitors per gorilla family.
- Spend up to four hours with gorillas.
- Witness a wider range of gorilla behaviours.
- As they have not been habituated yet (this can take up to 3 years) they are not used to humans. They move around a lot more and you will very possibly witness charging. This can make the experience very exhilarating and exciting. However opportunity for photographs is less easy.
- Experience the habituation process first-hand.
- A full-day trek (4 to 8 hours) for habituation.
- In-depth exploration of gorilla habitats.
- For this trek you will need a higher level of physical fitness being on the move more during a longer trek.
- Closer and more prolonged contact with gorillas
- Observe as researchers habituate wild gorilla families.
- Gain a deeper insight into gorilla behaviour and social dynamics.
Thank you to the Africa-Reps and Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge for kindly sharing with us the above video of a Gorilla whilst they were on a Habituation Trek.
Whether you choose the standard trek, the Gorilla Habituation Trek or both, the experience of encountering these incredible creatures is bound to be a life-changing adventure. The decision ultimately depends on your preferences, as both options provide a unique insight into the world of mountain gorillas. If budget allows the habituation trek is worth the extra money and makes an amazing addition to the standard trek. Whichever you choose, the memories of sharing a moment with these gentle giants in the heart of Uganda’s lush jungles will stay with you forever.
To further discuss holiday plans and ideas please do get in touch to chat through options with our passionate African experts. Get in touch