Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

Gorilla Trekking Rules and regulations

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

Gorilla Trekking Rules and regulations were put in place to try to protect and conserve the mountain gorillas ensuring that the population of these endangered creatures does not decline over time. The gorillas are extremely vulnerable to human diseases and are liable to easily get infected if the distance between them an infected human being isn’t controlled, yet they are wild animals which can as well charge and become furious if too many visitors get too close to them just like humans would do against to protect their young ones. This explains why UWA the body in charge of the wildlife conservation in Uganda came up with the gorilla trekking rules and regulations that lay guidelines all trekkers are required to follow and observe throughout the trekking exercise. Most of the guidelines are laid out on the trekking day during the briefing exercise in the morning before the hike into the forest begins. However, we bring you in this blog, the common guidelines you should know in as far as gorilla trekking rules and regulations is concerned.

 

What you need to observe before the Actual Trek begins:

  1. Only a maximum number of 8 persons are allowed to visit a particular gorilla group and this is done during the briefing where you are divided into groups of persons each. may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. The allocation of 8 visitors per group helps to minimize behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
  2. It is advisable that visitors wash their hands before going into the hike to search for the gorillas. This is simply basic sanitation and personal hygiene.

 

On Hike into the Forest Trekking the gorillas:

  1. Always keep your voices low. This will give you the opportunity to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest before you meet the gorillas
  2. DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you. Hence we advise you to carry a backpack where such rubbish can be kept in during the hike into the forest
  3. You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
  4. When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.

Guidelines to Observe on Meeting the gorillas:

  1. Please maintain a distance of 7 meters (21 feet) at all times from the gorillas. This helps that gorilla group to stay relaxed as you study their behavioral activities without interrupting them.
  2. You must stay in your group when you meet the gorillas.
  3. Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
  4. Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
  5. When the gorillas charge against you (which is rare). Follow the guides example (do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass).
  6. Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  7. Flash photography is Strictly NOT ALLOWED! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  8. Do not attempt to touch the gorillas. They are wild animals and therefore can be dangerous against human nature.
  9. You are entitled to a maximum of 1 Hour with the gorillas. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
  10. After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.

 

Health guidelines for the gorilla trek:

Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might pose to them:

  1. Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  2. If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternative visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
  3. If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  4. Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
  5. Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  6. If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.

 

What to You Can bring on your Gorilla Trekking Safari:

  1. Comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
  2. Put on earplugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
  3. Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
  4. Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
  5. Bring a photo of a film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.

 

For more information about Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations, kindly contact our office via email or give us a phone call today. We wish you a nice trekking activity in Uganda.

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