Experience gorilla tracking and habituation in Uganda

Endangered Mountain Gorilla, Bwindi forest in Uganda.

Experience gorilla tracking and habituation in Uganda

It’s a real privilege to experience gorilla tracking and habituation in Uganda. These enchanting mountain gorillas only live in the Virunga mountains, spanning DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Although numbers historically plummeted due to poaching, loss of habitat, disease and civil unrest, tireless conservation efforts have pulled the species back from near extinction.

Studies show that mountain gorilla numbers have been rising steadily in recent years. In late 2018 they were officially reclassified from critically endangered to endangered.

Still, sustained and careful conservation is required to ensure mountain gorillas numbers continue to grow – and one way to help these gentle giants is to visit them. Gorilla tourism provides essential funds for conservation projects and benefits local communities.

To see mountain gorillas in their natural environment, go gorilla tracking or take part in gorilla habituation – an experience which involves spending time among gorillas and slowly and gently introducing them to the presence of humans.

Gorilla tracking in Uganda

The Venture Uganda team can arrange gorilla tracking experiences for guests at either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Trek through the forest to view the mountain gorillas, following a briefing in the early morning. A maximum of 8 people plus guides and porters are allocated a gorilla family to track, and you may spend between 2 and 8 hours tracking the family.

The amount of time spent tracking depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The location of the gorillas
  • The terrain
  • Fitness levels of the group members

Once found, you can spend an hour with them, watching them go about their daily activities – eating, playing, grooming and relaxing.

The gorillas you will spend time with on a gorilla tracking experience are already habituated and are used to humans observing them. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, take photographs and immerse yourself in this magical experience.

Gorilla habituation in Uganda

Alternatively, Venture Uganda guests can also see mountain gorillas by accompanying researchers and guides while they carry out gorilla habituation work.

Unlike gorilla tracking, with the habituation experience you can spend more time with the gorillas (around four hours) and learn from the researchers/guides who move with them.

Book in advance

If you want to track gorillas, we would always recommend that you book your trip well in advance (preferably more than 12 months) when permits are more readily available.

Although some last-minute permits can occasionally be found, there can be a rush to pay and secure them. In addition, there is no system for booking online, with permits only secured by payment. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If you would like to book or adapt one of our safaris or tours to include a gorilla tracking or gorilla habituation experience or if you would like us to create a tailor-made itinerary, please send us an enquiry form telling us about your requirements.