Congo Gorilla Habituation definitely better than the normal trek-Congo safari news

Congo Gorilla Habituation definitely better than the normal trek-Congo safari news

If you have heard about gorilla habituation in Africa then definitely it must have been to Uganda’s Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Many therefore think gorilla habituation is done only in Uganda, however, Congo Gorilla Habituation is one more of an experience rather than the normal gorilla trekking.

Research has showed that the Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest number of mountain gorillas among the Virunga ranges shared with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. However, these gorillas are wild gorillas and not open to trekking except the 9 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking after habituation.

What is Gorilla Habituation?

Congo gorilla habituation

Before a gorilla family is opened up for gorilla trekking by tourists, it undergoes gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation can literally be referred to as the process of taming or training wild gorillas such that they get used and behave “normally” in the presence of human beings.  Gorilla habituation is a painstakingly slow process in which guides approach the gorillas and try to behave like them each day with or without tourists for a full year. After a year, tourists are allowed to go for habituation such that the gorillas get used to white skin and cameras. After about a year and a half of gorilla habituation with tourists they are opened for gorilla trekking. This about 3 years’ time could seem like a long time for a specie to get used to humans but this is incomparable to chimpanzees that can take even 10 years to get fully habituated.

The gorilla habituation experience is a four hours activity where tourists go to the jungle alongside rangers, researchers and gorilla doctors who help you learn more about the gorillas since they spend more time learning the behavior of each gorilla. Gorilla Habituation experience starts at 7:30am local time with a briefing from the headquarters then after the four hours are counted from the time you see the gorillas, always remember to utilize your time well.

Where is Congo Gorilla Habituation done?

Congo is one blessed country on planet earth. It’s the only country that has a natural habitat to both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas open for Congo gorilla trekking safaris. Mountain gorillas are found in Congo’s Virunga National Park which has been re-opened to tourism in the February of 2019 after it had been closed for about 8 months. Lowland gorillas are found in Kahuzi Biega National Park situated in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Both parks do gorilla habituation with the most reliable Congo Gorilla Habituation experience at Kahuzi-Biega National Park with the most visited group for habituation being Chimanuka family.

What is the cost for a Congo Gorilla Habituation permit?

Gorilla habituation means more time with the gorillas and definitely costlier than the normal trek. Mountain Gorilla Habituation costs USD 600 whereas lowland gorilla habituation costs USD 500 per person per day. Once payment is made the fee isn’t refundable and tourists below the age of 15 are not allowed to trek.

Though Uganda, Rwanda and Congo all have gorillas in their natural habitats, there isn’t gorilla habituation in Rwanda because all the gorilla families there were already habituated therefore you can go for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda rather. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also doesn’t offer the gorilla habituation experience since it has only one gorilla family which is also already habituated and open for Uganda gorilla trekking safari tourists.

When planning a Congo safari, don’t miss out on the habituation experience it offers more of a wild experience.

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