Gorilla trekking is a lifetime experience which reward travelers with a face to face encounter with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Travelers who have trekked mountain gorillas before review gorilla trekking safaris as a best lifetime experience which no traveler should miss on his/her African safari. Worldwide, mountain gorillas only live in only three countries namely Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.This tells that whoever intends to do gorilla safaris must travel deep into the rainforests of Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. The trekking experience is exceptional in each destination hence would be better for a traveler to do a combined gorilla safari cutting across all gorilla destinations for a memorable experience guided by Africa Adventure Safaris
The listed Rwanda gorilla trekking regulations have meticulously bene designed to protect and ensure the well being and health of the mountain gorillas as well as the safety of the gorilla trekkers. Mountain gorillas are very vulnerable to human diseases and infections, as well they can become stressed out due to many people visiting them and coming very close to them or conduct in a way that is intimidating and disturbing. The gorillas like humans are very protective of their young ones, and its best if going for gorilla tracking to read and obey all the rules to the letter.
Group visiting Frequency
Per day, each gorilla group is scheduled to be visited once by a maximum of 6 or 8 permitted guests, with the gorilla interaction lasting a maximum of one hour. This is to minimize behavioral destruction and stress.
Incase a tourist shows signs of sickness; the park staff has the right to refuse a visit to gorillas in order to protect the gorillas from contracting a human illness or disease. If you are not feeling well, then please inform your guides. Do not be the person responsible for a potential epidemic. If you do sneeze or cough in the proximity of the gorillas, then be sure to cover your mouth, preferably inside your shirt, in order to prevent any aerosol transmission.
Minimum Trekking age
Before confirming any gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, travelers are reminded to be sure of who is eligible to trek gorillas. For anyone to qualify for a gorilla tour, all Gorilla trekkers must be at least fifteen years old, in order to minimize risk of exposing the gorillas to childhood diseases such as mumps, chickenpox, measles etc.
Flash photographic is not permitted as it can upset or frighten the gorillas and may provoke an aggressive reaction or charge.
Make sure to maintain a distance of at least seven meters or 21 feet away from the gorillas at times. If they approach closer … juveniles often come to within one or two metres, then you should slowly retreat. If this is not possible, then you will be asked to remain where you are. You should follow the guides instructions at all times. Keep your backpack and other items in places where young gorillas cannot approach to play about.
Visitors often would rather break this seven meter rule, being wrapped up in the excitement of the experience, but please be careful not to. If you break the rule then the guides may pull you off the sighting and terminate the trek.
In some instances guides may take you in closer in the hope of making you happy and perhaps getting better photos. Please do not do this and report any such behavior to park headquarters.
Remember that this forest contains almost half of the world’s population and a serious epidemic disease could be catastrophic for the species. Don’t let this happen.
Visitors should remain in one group, make sure not to spread and surrounding the gorillas. This allows them plenty of room to move where they want to, without feeling threatened, which may provoke a charge.
Where possible, visitors should sit or crouch whilst watching the gorillas. It can be very intimidating or threatening to the gorillas if you stand tall and stare, they may feel threatened.
Body language is important and visitors should not raise hands or arms, point or stare. To gorillas these behaviors are signs of threat or aggression.
Do not disturb
Visitors should not clear vegetation close to the gorillas so that they get a better view as this can cause serious disturbance. The guides will clear away any vegetation if it is possible and necessary.
If you are at the back of the group of visitors and cannot get a good view, then make this known to your guide and he will try to get you into a better position.
If a silverback gorilla beats his chest, displays or charges, do not run away. Your guides will be on hand. Although a charge may be frightening, the safest thing to do is remain still, keep low and look down. To our knowledge no visitor has even been hurt by a wild gorilla in this area.
Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted within 200 meters of the gorillas.Food and other remains can be a source of infection.
Visitors should be as quiet as possible, and whisper. Never scream, even if you are bitten insects. Making a lot of noise may cause some gorillas to react aggressively, but most will simply move away.
Bury your doings
Please go to the bathroom before you set out. If you need to go to the toilet whilst in the forest, then you need to borrow a machete from the guides and dig a 30cm or 10″ deep hole and then fill it in properly afterwards. Faces can be highly infectious to gorillas and other animals.
Leave no litter
Make sure not to leave any trash on the ground. This may be a source of infection for the gorillas.
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