By far Gorilla tracking is one of the best wildlife adventures that allows you the opportunity to stand face to face with the endangered mountain gorilla species of Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Mgahinga national park.
So to make your gorilla tracking safari experience to Bwindi impenetrable or Mgahinga national parks more enjoyable and memorable, you got to follow a few set of rules and regulations put by the Uganda wildlife authority to protect and conserve these gorillas.
Note: Before tracking the gorillas you need to observe a gorilla tracking permit at Uganda Wildlife Authority at $600 only.
Guidelines before setting off in the wild for Gorilla tracking or Gorilla trekking safari
- The maximum number of visitors allowed on a group to go for gorilla tracking/ gorilla trekking are 8. The limit is 8 visitors per group since this reduces disease transmission to the gorillas from humans since gorillas share almost 98% of our DNA. It also prevents emotional upset or behaviour disturbances to the gorillas
- Keep your hand clean before going for the gorilla tracking safari. Wash your hands with clean water and soap before the trek
- Children below the age of 15 years of age are not allowed to track the gorillas. The minimum age for tracking the gorillas is 15 and if younger than that you won’t be permitted to go for gorilla tracking or gorilla trekking.
During the gorilla trek
- Along your way, keep your voice tone low as this may scare away wildlife such as birds and small mammals. Remember your trekking in the forest and should not afford to miss out on seeing them. But you will be allowed to ask your guide questions about the trek and other important information.
- Don’t litter any rubbish in the park or along the way. You should keep it in a safe place till you finish the trek since animals might eat it and get ill.
- The guide will direct you to the place where the gorillas last slept and this will be you starting place to trek the gorilla as they move daily. Trackers will go before you locating the gorillas along the way.
- On reaching the gorillas, the guide will inform you
With the gorillas
- Keep a radius of 7metres (21ft) away from the gorillas. The far you stand, the less likely the gorilla group will be threatened and less likely to acquire diseases from humans
- Voices should be kept down all the time when with the gorillas for the best experiences and after your interaction with the gorillas move a distance of 200 metres before showing your excitement and speaking out loud.
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke in the presence of the gorillas because if a ting particle of food left behind can cause sickness to the gorillas
- Always stay as a group while the gorillas don’t split up and around the gorillas since this can make the nervous
- Don’t come in contact with the gorillas, don’t touch them. They are wild.
- Avoid waving and pointing hands at gorillas they my charge. Always move carefully and slowly when with the gorillas.
- If the gorillas charge, don’t panic and run away, follow the instructions of your ranger guide, be submissive and crouch down, don’t star the gorillas straight in the eyes. Be calm and let the pass by.
- Using flashes while taking photographs is not allowed as this may make the gorillas become aggressive.
- You will be allowed a 1 hour interaction with the gorillas while on a gorilla tracking safari and a 4 hours interaction with the gorillas while on a gorilla habituation safari. But if the gorillas become uncomfortable with human presence the guide may call off the safari before the time ends.
Health tips on the Gorilla safari
Gorilla share 98% of our DNA so human borne diseases can be easily transmitted to them or from the gorillas to the humans. So you need to keep these simple guidelines in mind.
- If you are sick or ill, don’t go for the gorilla safari as this may be dangerous to the gorillas. You gorilla permit funds will be refunded to you or another visit can be arranged for you.
- If you need to ease yourself in the forest, ask the guide to dig a hole for you with his panga 30cm deep and cover it well after use.
- If you need to cough, sneeze, while with the gorillas, move back or turn back and cover your nose and mouth before doing so to prevent bacteria from infecting the gorillas.
What to bring/wear on a gorilla tour
- Wear comfortable safari boots since the trek is slippery and steep
- Wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts to avoid being bothered by the dense forest e.g. avoid scratches from small branches
- Carry packed lunch with and sufficient water to help in your trek
- Carry sunscreen lotion, rain gear or hat for some reasons the weather is unpredictable here. Don’t forget to bring your insect repellent with you.
- Bring your camera with you.
For more information about gorilla tracking, its guidelines, and more feel free to contact us