18 Rules and Regulations Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo

To ensure a successful and ethical trekking experience, visitors must follow several rules and regulations carefully. These guidelines protect the gorillas and safeguard the visitors and the environment.

Gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers a unique opportunity to witness the iconic and endangered mountain gorillas in their natural world. However, it is essential to remember that these beautiful creatures are highly suspicious of the presence of humans, and their conservation is paramount. To ensure a successful and ethical trekking experience, visitors must follow several rules and regulations carefully. These guidelines protect the gorillas and safeguard the visitors and the environment.

In this article, We have compiled a list of regulations that travelers should consider before embarking on a gorilla monitoring undertaking. Mountain gorillas are susceptible to infections from humans because of their lower immunity. Likewise, It is critical to note that even though the gorillas are habituated, they continue to be wild animals. Mount gorilla can only be see in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda , Bwindi NP in Uganda , Virunga N.P in DR Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla N.P in Uganda

Rules and Regulations of Gorilla trekking

1)Always wash your hands before going out to meet the mountain gorillas.

2) The Uganda Wildlife Authority only allows a maximum of 8 visitors to trek a single gorilla family of habituated mountain gorillas daily. Thus, it minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.

3) The Wildlife Authority issues gorilla trekking permits to anyone over the age of 15 who possesses the permit.

4) You are not supposed to litter the park or the forest. Whatever you bring to the forest should be brought back with you, however small it may be.

5) As you trek mountain gorillas, you are supposed to keep your voice as low as possible. No shouting or loud noises are allowed while trekking.

6) Observing gorillas should be done at least 7 meters away. This makes the group more relaxed and uninterrupted. However, if gorillas come close to you, you can interact with them.

18 Rules and Regulations Gorilla Trekking
18 Rules and Regulations Gorilla Trekking

7) Observing gorillas requires tourists to stay close together. The forest is not a place where you can spread yourself around randomly.

8) Don’t smoke, eat, or drink in the presence of mountain gorillas. As a result of falling droplets or passive smoking, they may be more likely to contract diseases.

9) Gorillas can charge, so be careful not to stare directly at them when they charge. Looking directly into the gorillas’ eyes is a sign of disrespect. Crouch down slowly and never run away. You cannot outrun the gorillas in their natural habitat.

10) Taking pictures of gorillas requires tourists to move slowly and carefully. It is strongly recommended that flash cameras are not used as they scare gorillas when they see them.

11) There is no contact allowed between visitors and gorillas. These are wild animals.

12)To avoid disturbing the gorilla group, you are supposed to keep your voice down once you have found and observed the gorilla group until you are about 200 meters away from it.

13) Mountain gorillas can only be viewed for one hour at most, but if the gorillas feel disturbed during your visit, the guide might tell you to leave early if they feel disturbed. For gorilla habituation, you will spend up to 4 hours.

14) Visitors with contagious diseases cannot visit mountain gorillas. Suppose you have a disease and the staff does not notice it. In that case, it is highly recommended that you volunteer and stay behind to prevent transmitting diseases to gorillas. If one gorilla falls ill, the entire family could be wiped out because gorillas lack immunity.

15) If you need to relieve yourself while in the forest, your guide will dig a hole at least 30cm deep. After easing yourself, cover this hole.

18 Rules and Regulations Gorilla Trekking
Bwindi Impenetrable Nationalpark

16) You must turn your head far away from the direction of the mountain gorillas if you feel the urge to sneeze or cough while you are with them. As a result, diseases are less likely to spread.

17 ) Mountain gorillas live on the slopes of mountains, so hiking boots are essential for steep muddy slopes. The weather can sometimes be unpredictable, and it might rain, so you may need a raincoat, warm clothing, socks, and gardening gloves as the weather can get unpredictable.

18 ) Trekking gorillas can take up to 8 hours. You should bring a packed lunch, energy snacks, and plenty of water with you.

It is best to go mountain gorilla trekking during the dry months of June to September and December to February, which are the best to trek gorillas in the wild. During this time, the roads to the parks are very accessible, and the trekking trails are not muddy. Getting to parks might be difficult in the wet season. It will be necessary for you to have a four-wheel drive vehicle. There is a fee for a gorilla permit of $400 in Congo, $1500 in Rwanda, and $700 in Uganda. The gorilla permits can be obtained through the respective countries’ governments or tour operators. You must get gorilla permits in advance if you’re buying permits in peak season. If you follow all the above rules and regulations, you will have a safe gorilla trekking experience. 

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