Gorilla Habituation in Africa – How Is It Done?

Following a period of 50 years ago, the prominent researcher Dian Fossey started her pioneering studies about mountain gorillas. In her study, he shortly realized that for her to study the mountain gorillas very well including their behaviors in detail, she had to find the ways of getting making these gorillas to come to her close presence while in the forest. He named this process a habituation process. Currently, all the mountain gorilla groups in the republic of Rwanda are habituated and protected by the Dian Fossey Fund. The staff of Dian Fossey Fund up to present do keep quite a considerable distance away from the gorillas though these gorillas find more relaxed in the presence of human beings.

Presently, the endangered mountain gorillas regardless of the country you are going to view these countries from be it Rwanda  in Volcanoes National Park or in Uganda in the national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park,  you will find these gorillas in groups. There are types. There are those which are in natural families and those which are habituated. To participate in any of these activities, you must have a gorilla permit which belongs either to the gorilla habituation experience or gorilla trekking experience. The experienced derived is almost though the is a different with the number of hours you will be allowed to spend with these gorillas depending on the category to are going for.  You will spend  few hours with gorillas under the habituation process than those under gorilla trekking activity. In all processes however, each group is dominated by a male gorilla which is called silverback. The silverback controls the gorilla group. It offers protection, looks for food and general control in gorilla group or family.

Currently the gorillas groups are being monitored. The monitoring include their way of travelling in a way that they are not cross the boarders of the neighboring country. Of course in this regard, the neighboring country is the republic of Congo.  The gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla national and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park do cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This unstable movement of these gorillas therefore calls for gorilla monitoring. Habituating any gorilla group usually takes quite a long time before they become used to human prescence. The habituation  process is done by researchers and today Bwindi offers travelers with an experience to see the great apes for up to 4 hours on a gorilla habituation tour.

The habituation process is not the same as the domestication process. These are two different aspects. When you are with the gorillas under the habituation process, you will feel like you are in the integrated part of the environment. The staff expects that within a few more weeks, the new female will tolerate the presence of humans just as do the other gorillas in her group. There is an annual ceremony called the Kwita Izina ceremony. This ceremony is the naming of the ceremony held in the republic of Rwanda annually. It is carried out in September along with all the infants which would have been born during the past year. In case you are planning to come for gorilla tracking or trekking this year, you should book and come in September. This will allow you to participate in this gorilla naming ceremony called the Kwita Izina ceremony. It is quite an interesting ceremony you will have to experience for your life time.

In conclusion therefore, the all the gorilla groups in the national parks do belong to a group. When you are allocated a gorilla permit, it will indicate the family or family of the gorilla your are going to track. Your accommodation should also be near the gorilla family to avoid a lot of hustle in the morning to reach your pack headquarters.

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