Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda, Rwanda & DR Congo
Gorillas are one of the endangered species of primates in the world. The tracking rules and procedures are uniform throughout the 3 countries since the gorilla range cuts across territories and roam freely across borders and have been skillfully designed to try and to protect the threatened mountain gorillas’ health and safety. Gorillas are 98.6% genetic composition of human therefore are susceptible to human diseases and infections there for prevention measures have to be taken before they catch any disease and below is a set of guidelines to help you be ready.
1: Sick people are not allowed to trek because the Mountain Gorillas are susceptible to human diseases so they can easily get attacked by human diseases therefore to protect the great Apes and conserve them, the ill have to be left out.
2: A group of 8 visitors are allowed to trek the gorillas each day, despite the fact that the demand for gorilla trekking is very high, this is aimed at minimizing disturbance to the Mountain gorillas, stress and possible risk of transmitting human borne diseases.
3: The age limit for visitors is 15 years because the level of maturity of visitors at this age is high and there is limited fear of the appearance and sheer size of the apes. Visitors below this age may also fail to get to the gorillas as the way is quite strenuous.
4: Only one hour is allowed for visitors to spend in the presence of with the gorillas; this is for conservation reasons and to reduce on the risk of causing stress, behavioral, disturbance, and other possible reasons that may lead to rage.
5: Do not carry flash photographic as you take pictures, Move slowly and carefully in order not to cause suspicion. This causes suspicion to the gorillas and upsets the Gorillas and they may later become very aggressive despite the fact that they are known for being gentle and shy.
6: A distance of 7 meters from the gorillas is allowed to visitors. The further you are from them, the more relaxed they become and in case the great apes get closer to you in about two or three especially the curious juveniles, you are advised to retrieve slowly retreating to about 5 meters but in case this is not possible, then the visitors have to stay still where they are.
7: In case the place is quite comfortable, visitors should sit or crouch as they are watching the Gorillas. Visitors should not raise hands or arms, or point, nor stare at them. This can be frightening to Gorillas in case you stand taller than their height when you stand taller than them, they get threatened or aggressive.
8: While you approach the gorillas or on the search for the gorillas, visitors should not clear vegetation close to Gorillas for a clearer view. This can disturb or frighten the Gorillas and If necessary, the guides will clear away vegetation.
9: Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas and in case you need to enjoy some energizers, drinks you need to eat or drink before approaching the gorillas or you need to stand in about 200 meters of them.
10: While in the presence of the gorillas, visitors must remain as quiet as possible or whisper to each other. The wild has other stinging nettles like bees, ants that may cause itch on you, you are advised not to scream.
11: Those who have caught a cold while trekking or in case something enters your nostrils, you need to sneeze or cough, turning away from the gorillas as you try to cover your nose and mouth. This will minimize the spread of airborne bacteria or viruses that may be incubating.
12: While in the Wilderness and you feel like easing yourself, ask the Uganda wildlife Authority ranger guide to dig a hole then cover all faucal materials to about a 30 cm, Some of this material may be baring some infectious material that may transmit diseases to these animals.
13: Empty containers and all rubbish must be removed from the park, and visitors are requested to be particularly careful not to drop small items, such as, like the film boxes / canisters, tissues or handkerchiefs.