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General Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda

General Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda

How to trek the Mountain Gorillas

For those planning to do a mountain gorilla safari, the following briefing information applies, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority‘s ‘Gorilla Rules’:

Before departing on your gorilla trekking or gorilla tracking tour

A maximum number of 8 visitors may trek to visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas per day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.

Always wash your hands before you go gorilla trekking.

En route to trekking the gorillas

Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.

DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest on your gorilla safari should be carried back out with you.

You will be taken to where the guides have observed the Mountain Gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail. Look out for the gorillas’ nesting sites along the way!

As you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will alert you.

When you are with the gorillas

A 7 meter (21 feet) distance from the gorillas should be observed at all times. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.

You must stay in a tight group when you are near the gorillas.

Keep your voices down at all times but feel free to ask your ranger guide questions.

Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking will inevitably increase the risk of morsels of food or droplets of drink being left behind. Even the tiniest leftovers could increase the risk of transmission of disease to the gorillas.

Move slowly and carefully. Do not point or wave your arms.

Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.

Occasionally the gorillas charge. Don’t panic. Follow your ranger guide’s example: crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes; wait for the animals to pass. Do not attempt to run away.

Your subjects are black animals in dim light so use the right camera settings. Flash photography is not permitted under any circumstances.

The maximum time you can spend with these wonderful animals is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide may decide to finish the visit early. This is for your safety and for the safety of the gorillas.

After the visit, you are bound to be excited! But please keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.