The Republic of Uganda
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country is located on the East African Plateau. It borders by Kenya to the east, South Sudan to the north. The DRC Democratic Republic of the Congo is to the west while Rwanda to the south-west and Tanzania to the south. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Spreads within the Nile basin and hence has an equatorial climate.
Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers, unlike the Bantu-speaking populations that migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Meanwhile, in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the British, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962.
Uganda has 60 protected areas, including ten national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable, Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo, Mgahinga Gorilla, Mt Elgon, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Semuliki national park.
Habituation is a process of training or an act to make animals get used to the sight of visitors or a certain situation. Researchers use habituation to understand the animals more. In Uganda, there is both Gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation.
Gorilla habituation is done in Bwindi Impenetrable national park by researchers/conservationists, rangers alongside the trekkers. This type of excursion was introduced in 2014 by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. A gorilla permit goes for US$ 1,500 for this memorable experience. There are only 8 permits available per day as each gorilla group can only accommodate 4 people. There are 11 habituated gorilla groups, however, only 2 have been put aside for habituation in Nkuringo and Rushaga in the southern part of the park. This habituation experience lets the trekkers spend longer than the usual one hour of the gorilla trek with the gentle giants, but 4 hours analyzing their behaviour though not all the gorillas are fully responsive to the program yet. So some might hide or act unpredictably in the presence of the visitors as it is still an ongoing process. If you are interested in doing such an excursion, ensure to book your permit 6 months ahead to be accorded a date. It is only in Uganda, you can experience habituating mountain Gorillas.
Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo forest. This is more like the gorilla habituation, but you have to be strong-hearted as you get much closer to the Chimpanzees and spend almost half or even all day in the forest with the Chimps. This activity is done by one ranger and a maximum of 4 trekkers. The permit costs US$ 200 for foreigners and US$ 70 for East Africans. In Kibale, there is a new chimpanzee group in its young stages of habituation that can be visited at US$ 100 per trek. Visiting this group might be tough as these chimps are still a bit wild.
The best time for habituation trip would be the least busy tourist season in the months of March, April, May, October and November. So there you have it, would you love to spend more time in the company of these primates? Then habituation is the activity you should opt for. We handle both habituation and tracking permits purchase and can plan for you a suitable package once you reach out to us.