The gorilla habituation experience goes beyond the normal gorilla trekking adventure to a much wider and longer time exposer to the critically endangered mountain gorillas, only done in Bwindi national park with the company of researchers and local guides. In reality, mountain gorillas are wild animals that if not habituated would not be able to stay in close proximity with human being. However, the habituation experience has made the wild animals get used to human presence – hence gorilla habituation aides gorilla tours in Uganda as it’s a training process for mountain gorillas to get used to seeing human-being without sensing any threat. The habituation process entails rangers and guides following a certain group of mountain gorillas at a distance after which they start coming nearer. The Habituation process takes a long time of taming these gorillas; 2 to 5 years as the guides and rangers mimic the behavior of the mountain gorillas as they pretend to eat, move, beat the chests and even grunting as the real mountain gorillas. There are 13 mountain gorillas that are so far fully habituated in Uganda 12 being in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and one in Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Presently there are two mountain gorilla families available for tourists to get involved in gorilla habituated in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Travelers who take part in the experience spend four hours with the mountain gorillas, which provide them with in depth knowledge concerning the endangered species. A mountain gorilla experience permit is at 1500 USD and can be accessed from the Uganda wildlife authority. A maximum of four people are allowed to participate in the activity, participants are required to follow very well the cautions while in the activity because the mountain gorillas are still wild and change anytime. It means that the experience can only be got from the two families, which are:
Bushaho gorilla family
This is located in the Nkuringo section of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park along side Nkuringo family in the same area. The family has eight members including 1 silver back, 1 juvenile, 1 infant, 3 adult females, black back ad I sub adult. Bahati a silver back who broke Nkuringo family to make its independent family leads the family. The name bushaho was derived from the topo name of the site at which the family was first sited. The gorilla family is not yet open to trekkers but rather those who want of experience the habituation.
Located in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, bikyingi gorilla family is comprised of 22 mountain gorilla members.