Gorilla Trekking Guidelines

Mountain gorilla trekking is conducted in only three countries of which Uganda features to be one of the most exceptional destinations that you shouldn’t miss out in your bucket list. In Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest feature as the only two protected areas where mountain gorillas are tracked every day by trekkers. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is best described as a lifetime experience.

Uganda is proud to be a home to over 480 mountain gorillas which represents about half of all the individuals that thrive on earth today. Like any gorilla destination in Africa, visitors on Uganda safari are also required to follow some rules and regulations while on mountain gorilla trekking adventures in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park. These rules are not intended to oppress visitors but rather to assist protect these critically endangered species, their habitat, the local residents around the parks and ensuring that visitors are equally safe guarded and able to enjoy their adventure without any harm.

Below are some of the rules and regulations to be followed by intending visitors on gorilla safari in Uganda, either in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park;

Your Health

If you have any signs of sickness or illness, the park management has a right to deny such a visitor from visiting the rare mountain gorillas in the Jungle. This is intended to protect these endangered species from acquiring any human infectious diseases. Mountain gorillas share about 95% of their DNA with humans and this makes them very susceptible to human infectious diseases. This means that if you are not a 100 percent well, you are required to discuss such matters with the park official to be given another chance to visit gorillas when you are feeling well. Don’t be a culprit for any endemic and in case of sneezing or cough, you are advised to cover your mouth to prevent any spread of diseases from humans to the mountain gorillas.

Number of Visitors Per day

Only eight (8) visitors are allowed to visit one gorilla group per day. While you are with these Great apes in the wild, you are given only one hour of face to face encounters, exploring the general behavior of these unique creatures and also take their photos. NOTE: You are not allowed to use Flash camera when taking pictures of gorillas in the Jungle.

Age Limit

Only persons above 15 years are allowed to go for gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park.  This is intended to prevent any risk of exposing these creatures to juvenile illnesses such as mumps, chicken pox, measles and many others. As well, children below 15 years can easily be threatened by the mountain gorillas and they can easily scream and in the process, this can irritate the gorillas.

Flash Light

While taking photographs, flashlight cameras are not allowed because the flashlight can irritate the gorillas. In case your camera has a flashlight, you are advised to turn off your flashlight off.

Maintain Distance of 7 Meters

All tourists are encouraged to keep a distance of 7 to 8 meters from the gorillas at all times. Always keep bags and other items in safer places out of reach of gorillas. All these rules and regulations are intended to reduce the spread of diseases, stress and behavioral disturbance and many other things. Most visitors often break this rule given the excitement that comes after getting a group of gorillas. You are also not allowed to touch gorillas.

Keep Together

Try to keep together in a group without separating or surrounding the gorillas. Always keep within your group company.

Don’t Shout in the Jungle

Always keep your voices low while in the forest. This is to reduce the risk of irritating the gorillas in the wild. However, in case you have any question you can ask the guide and at times you may just sit down as you enjoy your experience.

Be Submissive

In case the gorillas charge against you, you are encouraged to stand still and you are also required to lower down your head to show that you are submissive.

Don’t Eat, Drink or Smoke in-front of the Gorillas

Do not eat, drink or smoke while in the forest. You are also encouraged to bury any waste products at least 30 cm deep.

Don’t Litter in the Jungle

Do not leave any litter in the gorilla habitat. Any trash (bottles, wipes) must be carried back to the park headquarters and be dumped to dustbins.

With the above tips, gorilla trekking rules and regulations are basically the dos and don’ts anyone intending to track mountain gorillas must follow. These regulations are mainly intended to protect these critically endangered species from contracting human infectious diseases.