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Gorilla Trekking Tips and Guidelines

Gorilla Trekking Tips Everyone Should Know

A Baby Mountain Gorilla gazing at trekkers in the gorilla highlands of Bwindi

Gorilla Trekking Tips and guidelines are a great way for one planning a gorilla tour in either Uganda or Rwanda. However many people may be unaware on the basic tips and advice while preparing for this exciting and lifetime memorable adventure. African Safari Journeys presents you the most useful tips you have to consider very important if you are to have a memorable gorilla trekking safari in Africa.

For most travelers, Gorilla trekking is by far one of the most sought adventures in Africa and especially in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo where the endangered mountain gorillas can be found. For at least every traveler, this is one off the highest ranking activity for an amazing trip and experience of the African soil and its beautiful indescribable creatures. Gorilla trekking times do vary and can be anything from as little as 30 minutes to 7 hours! But your efforts will be rewarded when you finally come face-to-face with one of nature’s greatest animals.

On a typical day of gorilla trekking, all visitors with their gorilla permits assemble at the park headquarters in the respective groups for a briefing where the gorilla trekking rules and regulations are spelled out before the search for mountain gorillas begin. These trekking rules and regulations were typically designed and formulated to help protect the endangered mountain gorillas and travelers from the possibility of disease transmission from human to gorilla hence gorilla conservation.

A. What Should You Pack for Gorilla Trekking?

The fact that the gorilla trekking activity involves a lot of walking on rough, mountainous terrain, travelers are advised to:

a) Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
b) Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
c) Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
d) Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
e) Bring a photo of film camera. Please Note that; Camera Flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.
f) For more information about Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations, kindly contact our office via email or phone call.

B. What You Should know On The Way to the Gorillas

a) Travelers are highly tipped to lower down voices as they approach a given gorilla family. This not only keeps the highland giants undisturbed but also allow you to able to see and hear the great bird sounds and other primates available in the forest.
b) You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way
c) You are kindly advised not to leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back with you
d) A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorilla families and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
e) When you approach the Gorillas, the guides will tell you to get ready and hence follow their advice throughout the trekking activity.
f) As you approach the Gorilla habitats, your guides will inform you when to get your cameras ready.

C. When You are with the Gorilla Group

a) As a visitor, you are all advised to keep a distance of 7m-10m from the gorillas, though the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close and therefore, when they come closer to you, you need to move away to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
b) As you spend time with the gorilla group, avoiding making sudden movements and to keep your voices low so that the group remains relaxed.
c) Although these mountain gorillas are now used to seeing people, do bear in mind that they are still wild animals and can sometimes react unexpectedly, so always heed your guide’s and trackers’ instructions.
d) You are not allowed to eat or drink when you’re with the gorillas. This is because as the food particles fall, there is high risk of the gorillas getting infected with human diseases.
e) Flash photography is not permitted, when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully. The flashlight can make the gorillas feel threatened and cause them to become violent.
f) Do not touch the Gorillas. They are wild animals.
g) Sometimes the Gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example by crouching down slowly, and do not look at the Gorillas in the eyes. Wait for the gorilla to pass you by and do not attempt to run away (this will increase the risk of attack).

D. General Health Rules

Generally, the mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases and so can easily get infected if any of the visitors is sick of contagious diseases such as flu. Additionally, more health tips and regulations are given below;

a) While in the presence of the gorillas, visitors are required to turn their head away and to cover their nose and mouth if they feel the urge to cough or sneeze.
b) Also, it is important not to leave any rubbish in the park, since foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
c) If a visitor needs to use the bathroom, the guide will dig a hole that will be filled afterwards.
d) Don’t go for the gorilla trekking if you’re sick. During or a day before, inform your park warden about it and you will receive a refund for your gorilla permit.
e) Keep away at least 7 metres from the gorillas to avoid them getting in touch with human complicated infections

If you need additional practical information about Gorilla Trekking Tips/Rules and Regulations, kindly contact us as you are planning your trip.