Gorilla Habituation is the process of making Gorillas familiar to human being hence facilitating Gorilla trekking. The process involves scientists/ primatologist in conjunction with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger guides to study and regularly visit a particular Gorilla family until it get used to human beings. The process of gorilla habituation takes between 2-3 year and after confirming the calmness, and familiarization of Gorillas with humans, the group is officially launched for trekking. On the other hand, Gorilla trekking involves moving through the jungles to meet a particular gorilla family.
In Uganda, gorilla habituation is among the tourist activities done in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Visitors willing to go gorilla habituation escorts scientists to see how habitation of gorillas goes about. Unlike Gorilla trekking, Gorilla habituation allows trekkers spend four hours with Gorillas.
Though Gorilla trekking allows visitors stay with Gorillas for only one hour, below are some of the reasons why the writer of this article insist on Gorilla trekking over Gorilla Habituation:
The cost of Gorilla trekking is by far fair than that of Gorilla habituation. Currently (20th Oct 2020), Uganda charges US$700 per Gorilla trekking pass compared to that of Gorilla habituation at US$1500.
Gorilla trekking is more convenient than Gorilla habituation. According to Uganda Wildlife Authority, two Gorilla families are put a side and dedicated for Gorilla Habituation. On the other hand, there are over 15 Gorilla families reserved for Trekking.
Mgahinga National park offers no Gorilla habituation activity. Only Gorilla trekking is done and if you need Habituation, drive to Rushaga sector hence incurring more costs in terms of fuel and time.
There is Gorilla trekking in all the two National Parks (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga national Park) while Gorilla habituation is only done in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park.
For Gorilla Habituation, clients move to meet semi- habituated Gorillas which can run away or behave in unusual manner that can force researchers to stop the activity any time. On the other hand, Gorilla trekkers move to meet already habituated Gorilla family which is used to human being.