Planning to track mountain gorillas but not sure of which rules and regulations to follow? Whether you plan to track mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, there are a number of set rules and regulations you must observe at all times while with these creatures in their natural habitat. These are mainly dos and don’ts that everyone must follow and most importantly, before you hit the jungles to search for these creatures, you will have a briefing on these measures by one of the park officials. These measures are not just set for the sake but for safety of the endangered mountain gorillas whose lives are at a risk of extinction and today remain not more than 1004 in the world and only restricted within Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
For any plans to visit Africa and particularly mountain gorilla homes, make sure that you observe the set rules and regulations at all times. If you observe the rules, you will have the best of your gorilla safari adventure. They include among others;
A maximum of 8 visitors are permitted to track only 1 habituated gorilla family. This measure is aimed to reducing cases of behavioral disturbance on these endangered creatures and also higher risks of exposing them to human infectious diseases. The fact that mountain gorillas share about 95% of their DNA with humans; they are undoubtedly a few most susceptible creatures to human infectious diseases.
Make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly with detergent before setting off to the jungles to look out for these rare creatures. You will find soap in the toilets at the park headquarters and water is available so that after you have helped yourself, you clean your hands.
If you are planning to go on gorilla trek in Bwindi, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park, you are advised to always keep your voices low at all times. This however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask any questions, feel free to ask your guide any questions, you will be accompanied by park guide. Noise in most cases irritates these creatures and the fact that humans are foreigners in their habitat, they can easily do harm and to avoid this and also to help you observe them without scaring them off, you have to keep your voices low.
Do not liter park. This is one of most significant measures when it comes to gorilla trekking. So for anything you take to the forest must be brought back-for instance the bottles of waters, what you used to carry your snacks and others.
Upon finding the habituated gorilla group that is assigned to you, you have an hour of magical encounter with these beautiful creatures and for you to take their pictures, explore their general behavior. This applies whether you are planning to track gorillas in the DR Congo, Rwanda or Uganda.
Also, a distance of 7 meters must be observed all the time while tracking these creatures. Avoid body contact with gorillas and this rule is of great significance as it helps protect these critically endangered creatures from spread of human infectious diseases.
Smoking, eating or drinking is never allowed while on gorilla trek. Such acts put these creatures at higher risk of catching human infectious diseases.
When the gorillas charge against you or get irritated, make sure that you stand still and avoid direct eye contact, never try as this puts you into more risks. Do as your guide tells and that is why you have to keep around with your guide and group.
While taking photos of mountain gorillas, flash cameras are not welcome and if yours has, make sure that you have turned it off before taking photos. Flash lights tend to scare them off or make them irritated and they can easily cause harm to you.
You are advised to move slowly and keenly. Avoid waving or pointing arms at the gorillas.
Do not touch gorillas even when they get close to you.
Only persons above 15 years are allowed to take part in gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda or DR Congo.
No trekking gorillas when you are sick. In case you are coughing, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing.