Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations : Gorilla trekking is the most interesting activity where by you get an opportunity of spending time with the habituated gorillas in their natural habitat. There are about 1063 mountain gorillas in the world and 459 mountain gorillas are found in Uganda the pearl of Africa which makes it the best gorilla trekking destination. In Uganda mountain gorillas are found in two national parks namely Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbors the highest number of gorillas in Africa and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Gorilla trekking is also done in other destinations like Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Kahuzi Biega national park which harbors the Eastern lowland gorillas and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations before departing for gorilla trekking
- Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo allows a maximum of 8 people to visit each habituated gorilla family. This will therefore help to minimize behavioral change and the risk or disease transmission.
- Visitors should always wash their hands before going for gorilla trekking activity.
- Visitors must be fifteen years of age and this due to the fact that children do not listen to instructions for example keeping quiet while in the presence of the gorillas and they tend to have diseases like mumps, measles, cold, flue, chickenpox among others which can be transmitted to the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations on the way to the gorillas
- Always keep your voices down so as to be able to view other wildlife species in the forest such as animals, birds and other primates.
- You will be informed by the guide to get ready when you are approaching the gorillas
- Do not leave rubbish in the wild therefore whatever you take should be carried back after trekking.
- Gorilla trekking rules and regulations when you are with the gorillas
- You should stay in your group so as to allow the gorilla to move freely and carry out their daily activities without feeling threatened.
- Keep your voices low while in the presence of the gorillas though you are allowed to ask questions to the guide.
- You should keep 7 meter distance away from the mountain gorillas so as to minimize disease transmission.
- Do not smoke, eat or drink anything while in the presence of the gorillas because this will increase the risk of food falling which increased transmission of diseases.
- Do not touch the mountain gorillas because they are wild animals.
- You will be allowed to spend one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas but in case the gorillas charge, become nervous or agitated you will finish the visit early.
- Flash light cameras are not permitted when taking photos because they disrupt, frighten and may provoke an aggressive reaction which might cause a gorilla to charge.
- In case the gorillas charge, follow the guides’ instructions, do not run away or look directly into the eyes because that will increase the risk of gorillas attacking you, crouch down and move away slowly.
- Keep your voices low after the visit until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas
General health rules
- In case you want to use the toilet while in the forest, you should inform your guide who will dig a hole with a panga and after easing yourself you should cover the hole
- In case you want to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, turn your head away and cover your mouth and nose so as to minimize the spread of bacteria to the gorillas because they are vulnerable to human diseases
- If you are feeling ill or suffering from any contagious disease, you should volunteer to stay behind because mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases however your money will be refunded or another gorilla trekking safari will be arranged.
- Do not leave any rubbish for example food, bottles among others in the wild and keep your backpack in place where the young gorillas cant approach to check what is inside so as to reduce aggression of gorillas towards visitors and reduce the risk of disease transmission.
- Only one group of 8 people is allowed to visit the habituated gorilla family per day and this is to minimize stress, behavioral disturbance, risk of disease transmission and also to allow the gorillas to carry out their daily routine.
What to pack on your gorilla trekking safari
On your gorilla trekking safari you are advised to carry various equipment’s such as hiking shoes, garden gloves, hat and sunglasses, insect repellent, long sleeved shirt and trousers, camera, rain jacket, backpack, a pair of binoculars, packed lunch, drinking water, long cotton stockings among others.