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GORILLA TREKKING RULES

Gorilla trekking rules, Mountain gorillas are unique wildlife species with 98% of their DNA same to that of humans making them to be susceptible to human infectious diseases. To reduce the risk tourist visit might have on them while on gorilla safari, a set of gorilla trekking rules and regulations have been stipulated and they are a must to be observed by every trekker on a search for a mountain gorilla group family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Virunga National Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

Gorilla trekking rules are also well-known as dos and don’ts for gorilla tracking, safety measures, guidelines, or gorilla tracking etiquette. The park official from a respective gorilla safari park you visit shall brief you on these rules and regulations at 7:00 am before you begin your search for mountain gorillas at 8:00 a.m. They include;

  • Before you depart for an actual search for mountain gorillas, the park official shall put you in a group of 8 visitors and allocate to you to only 1 (one) habituated gorilla group family. This is one of the essential gorilla trekking rules aimed at reducing disturbance of gorilla behaviors in the wild and also exposing them to human infectious diseases.
  • Prior to hitting the jungles to look out for mountain gorillas, ensure you have washed your hands.
  • En-route to trek mountain gorillas, make sure you maintain your voices low. This will help you concentrate on your adventure with the opportunity to spot bird species and other wildlife species. But you are free to ask your park ranger guide any question for clarification and for you to have an in-depth understanding on these creatures’ daily behaviors.
  • Never leave rubbish in the gorilla habitat. If you carried anything with you on the gorilla tour, ensure you have returned it.
  • A valid gorilla permit is mandatory for every trekker on a gorilla safari in Uganda to have or while on Rwanda gorilla trekking tour and Congo gorilla tour. Uganda issues her gorilla permits at US Dollars 700 for foreign non-residents, US Dollars 600 for foreign residents, and Uganda shillings 250000 for citizens in the East Africa community. Rwanda gorilla permits cost US Dollars 1500 and, in the DRC, you can obtain a gorilla permit at US Dollars 450.
  • While with mountain gorillas, ensure you maintain a distance of 7 meters approximately 21 feet away from mountain gorillas. Don’t touch gorillas even when they get close to you.
  • Keep with your group you departed with from the park headquarters to kick start with trek mountain gorillas.
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking close to mountain gorilla is highly a prohibited habit on a gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC.
  • At times, mountain gorillas can charge against you but never be tempted to run. No need to panic but ensure you follow what your park ranger guide tells you to do. Calm down and avoid direct eye contact with these apes, lower your eyes down because this is a sign of submission.
  • Flash photography isn’t allowed and if in any case, your camera has a flashlight better you turned it off before taking pictures of mountain gorillas to avoid them charging against you.
  • Once you come across a gorilla family group allocated to you by the park official during the briefing period, you will be allowed to spend only 1 hour with these apes, learn about their daily behaviors and also take as many photos as possible.

What to carry on a gorilla trekking tour

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Packed lunch/snacks and plenty of bottled drinking water
  • Daypack
  • Camera with no flashlight
  • Binoculars
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Trousers
  • Socks
  • Sweater
  • Rain jacket/poncho
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries

Best places to go for gorilla trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking is only carried out in the 4 gorilla safari parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda. The others include Volcanoes National Park in Ruhengeri area-Northwestern Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Eastern DR Congo.

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