Gorilla trekking rules and regulations

Gorilla trekking rules and regulations

Gorilla trekking is one of the safest primate experiences considering several safety measures also best referred to as the rules and regulations which every traveler must observe. The guidelines are standard across the 3 countries where gorilla trekking is usually enjoyed that is Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The rules and regulations were set purposely to ensure visitor and gorillas’ safety. Uganda, Rwanda and DRC host a total of 1063 mountain gorillas that are left on planet earth. These endangered apes range within Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park and these protect half of the world’s population whereas the rest are in the Congo’s Virunga N/Park and Volcanoes National Park in Musanze region.

Rules & regulations/safety measures for gorilla trekking.

  • While on gorilla holiday, strictly 1 (one) habituated family is what the official from the respective parks will permit you to trek. This is a standard measure applied in everyday gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.

Also, the one gorilla group is limited to only 8 holidaymakers and the intention is entirely to limit any changes that may occur on these endangered apes in the wild or even not to have them exposed to infectious communicable diseases.

  • Before you consider booking a gorilla holiday, first, bear in mind that strictly grown up persons above 15 years are accepted. You won’t have a chance to book a gorilla permit if you aren’t of the age bracket. Some circumstances are unavoidable especially if parents travel with children who are almost clocking to their 15th birth day.

Here, such parent is required to present prove of child’s birth certificate. If you are below 15, usually you are looked at as a child and children are known to be carriers of cough, flue, measles and these are infectious communicable diseases that park management believes can easily be spread to these species.

  • The one unforgettable moment that every trekker expect is taking pictures and in just an hour, everyone could be on a rush. But, not all cameras are suitable, first, flashlight cameras are never recommended and those free from flashlight are the best.

Where you have no choice and you happen to get along with a flight camera, the park official/guide shall advise you to turn it off. This should be done prior to taking photos, failure to do so may mean a huge risk as the flashlight may get these apes irritated or charge on you or the rest of group of trekkers.

  • Habitat hygiene is essential to be maintained while on gorilla trekking. The same way you found it, is the same way it should be left or make it a better place for these apes to live in. In case you go with bottled water, let the empties be returned to dumping points at the respective park head offices or trail heads where you began your trek.
  • Considering the harsh times of covid-19, there is need to save the lives of gorillas and always put on your mask, regularly sanitize or wash your hands. The park official may not let you go track mountain gorillas/Lowland gorillas if you happen to be ill/sick.
  • No matter the gorilla destination, it is mandatory to keep a distance of 8-10m from gorillas whether it is in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC.
  • Human wastes must be buried 30m deep as directed by the park official.
  • During briefing, you will be told of a magical hour and you get to enjoy it upon finding a gorilla group and it means strictly 1 hour. However, don’t dwell on direct eye contact with these apes.
  • If the gorillas charge, the park official’s/guide’s instructions/directions shouldn’t be neglected. Try to observe what they tell you to ensure everyone is safe.