Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations; Gorilla trekking is the most famous activity which involves moving on foot into the dense forests in search of the mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. There are a total number of 1063 mountain gorillas in the world and half of the gorillas are found in Uganda which makes it the most visited gorilla destination. Mountain gorillas in Uganda are found in two destinations that is Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of one habituated gorilla family Nyakagezi whereas Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors namely Buhoma sector in the north, Nkuringo sector in the south, Ruhija sector I the east and Rushaga sector in the south. All the habituated gorilla families are available for trekking on a daily basis and the activity starts early in the morning at around 8:00 am with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations which include the following,
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
General health rules
- Gorilla trekking allows a maximum of 8 people for each habituated gorilla family per day. This helps to minimize the risk of disease transmission, behavioral disturbance or stress to the gorilla group and the risk of human disease transmission.
- Keep a distance of 7 meters (21 feet) away from the mountain gorillas so as to prevent the gorillas from getting infected with human diseases.
- If you are not feeling well, you are advised not to visit any gorilla family and your money will be refunded or an alternate visit will be arranged for you.
- Do not leave any rubbish during trekking.
- Always wash your hands before going for the gorilla trekking experience.
- In case you want to use the toilet while in the forest, you can ask your guide to dig up a 30cm deep hole with his panga and cover it up when you are done.
- If you want to cough or sneeze while in the presence of the gorillas, turn your head away or cover your nose and mouth so as to minimize the spread of bacteria.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations on the way to the gorillas
- Always keep your voices low while trekking in the forest so as to view other wildlife species such as birds, animals like bush pigs, forest elephants and other primates like l’hoest monkeys
- Do not throw any rubbish in the forest during trekking therefore whatever you bring should be carried back with you after trekking.
- Always listen to the guides instructions while trekking in the forest.
- You will be takes to where the trackers observed to mountain gorillas the day before and follow gorilla trails looking out for gorilla nests along the way.
- When you approach the mountain gorillas, you will be alerted by the park guide to get ready
- You must stay in your group at times during trekking so as not to get lost while in the forest or while in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations when you are with the gorillas
- Keep your voices low while in the presence of the mountain gorillas though you are allowed to the guide some questions about the gorillas.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke while in the presence of the mountain gorillas because some food particles might drop down hence increasing the risk of disease transmission.
- In case the gorillas charge, follow the guides example crunch down slowly, do not attempt to run away as it might increase the risk and do not look directly into the gorillas eyes.
- 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 which gives you an opportunity to observe their behaviors, habits, lifestyle and watch them carry out their daily activities. However if the mountain gorillas become nervous or agitated, the park guide will finish the visit early.
- After the one hour in the presence of the gorillas keep you voices down until you are 200 meters away.
- Use of flash photography when taking pictures is not allowed as the flash light can agitate the gorillas.
What to carry for your gorilla trekking safari
- Comfortable hiking shoes to keep you feet dry especially during trekking in the wet season.
- Insect repellent to protect your body from insect bites
- Energy snacks and drinking water to keep you hydrated
- Waterproof rain jacket to protect from rainfall because Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park are rainforests therefore it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season.
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to keep you warm especially during morning hours.
- Camera and extra batteries to take pictures and record the moments to show people back home after the safari.
- A pair of binoculars for clear viewing of wildlife species from a distance.
- Back pack to carry your gorilla trekking items for example camera, energy snacks, insect repellent among others.
Gorilla trekking is the most interesting and exciting activity that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Uganda and for more information about gorilla trekking rules and regulations you can contact us at Achieve Global Safaris.