Gorilla trekking rules
The gorilla trekking rules and regulations are standard and apply to gorilla safari destinations of Uganda and Rwanda so as to ensure the thriving of the critically endangered mountain gorillas and at the same time the satisfaction of gorilla safari tour undertakers.
Before heading for tracking in the forest.
1. The number of people allowed to trek each gorilla family are limited to Eight (8) people per day.
2. You have to wash your hands before departing for gorilla trekking experience.
On your way to gorillas:
1. Avoid noise while on your way looking for gorillas.
2. Avoid littering in the forest as you pose danger to gorillas and other fauna and also destroy the ecosystem setting.
3. You first walk to the point where the gorillas were last seen yesterday and then track them from there.
4. Pay attention to the guide’s alert message about the closeness of gorillas.
When you’re with gorillas:
1. You have to maintain a seven (7) m distance (21ft) away from gorillas in order to prevent gorillas from human diseases that can be easily transferred since the DNA is close within two species.
2. Do not stray a way from other trekkers while having a direct encounter with gorillas. Stay in one batch.
3. You have to keep the voices very low and you are free to ask some questions to the guide in an orderly manner.
4. In case the gorilla charges, you have to follow the guides instruction where you are required to crouch slowly, avoid eye to eye contact and create a way through for gorillas. Desist from running.
5. Avoid flash photography and be careful of your moves in the process of taking pictures.
6. Avoid the temptation of touching gorillas.
7. One full hour is availed to you to maximize your interaction with gorillas. However, this may be altered and the session comes to an end before reaching one hour in case the gorillas charge.
8. Keep the voices very low until you are 200m away from them.
General health rules
Due to close DNA with human beings, Mountain gorillas can easily contract the diseases that are suffered by people. Therefore, it is important to note of the following;
1. Be able to respect the carrying capacity of a gorilla family per day.
2. For a sick or an infected gorilla trekker with a contagious disease, he/she is required to voluntarily remain behind as alternative gorilla trekking activity can be arranged or a refund can alternatively be made.
3. In case you want to sneeze or cough, you are required to turn away your head in the opposite side of the gorillas and close your mouth.
4. Respect the seven (7) m gap from the mountain gorillas.
5. Avoid throwing rubbish some of which include food packages as they possess harmful bacteria that would infect gorillas if they test on the dumped food.
6. In case you want to ease yourself, let the guide know so as to dig for you a 30cm hole after which you will carefully cover with soil.