Follow the Gorilla Tracking Etiquette – Rules – Guide lines – Enjoy
Make your Gorilla Trek more enjoyable follow the Rules and Guide lines
Here a are Gorilla Tracking – Etiquette – Rules – Guide lines that will make your Trek in Rwanda or Uganda more enjoyable. It begins with the right clothing so you are comfortable on your Trek, protect you for flies, nettles and scratches from branches – follow the instructions you are given at orientation in either Uganda or Rwanda and enjoy.
Here are the Gorilla Tracking Etiquette – Rules – Guide Lines for Rwanda and Uganda
It begins with the right waterproof boots, since often there is a muddy trail, an early morning mist or rain that evaporates soon. You will need long trousers such as sturdy jeans, you are in tropical Africa, however if you wear shorts you can get stung by nettles, bothered by flies (not mosquitoes), you also avoid get scratched by branches. There is no straight trail to a Gorilla Family.
Long-sleeved shirt, not short-sleeved for the same reasons one does not wear shorts. Again, this is for your protection. A hat comes in handy especially a wide-brimmed one, but a cap like a baseball one will do, again for your protection once the sun comes out. You should have some gardening gloves to protect your hands, those that are leather like.
You should have a light day pack where you can pack two liters inside and anything else such as your lunch, some granola bars, etc. Inside of the day pack you can also pack a poncho or light rain jacket.
Pack the right clothing for your trek and wear the proper clothing for your protection.
Before you set off on a Mountain Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda:
Each Trek begins with an orientation, that applies to both Uganda and Rwanda. Often Gorilla Groups are assigned, however you have a chance for your input and preferences.
Be in reasonable shape and have the level of fitness for the group you will be tracking depending on the terrain you will be covering. Their easier treks and you can ask for one. Remember the average trek is 5 hours plus in both countries with various levels of difficulty.
Minimum Age is 15 for Gorilla Trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda. Have no communicable diseases or cold or flu, TB, diarrhea and any other communicable diseases, Having any communicable disease means canceling the trek, this is for the protection of the gorillas who can catch such things from humans.
To ease the burden of the Trek on you and keep you focused on the beauty of you surroundings hire an inexpensive porter and support a Ugandan and or Rwandan family. Obtain a tall walking stick to steady yourself on the Trek since often the path can be steep or there is no path.
The Gorilla Trek in Uganda and Rwanda:
Up to 8 visitors are allowed on a tracking (trekking) team since more would disturb and or emotionally upset the Mountain Gorilla group you are visiting. This limit of 8 visitors also reduces the Mountain Gorillas exposure to illnesses that humans may have.
As you travel through the forest keep your conversations low, silence might be the best since otherwise you might miss other wildlife or the abundance of birds found at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda and or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Pack it in and pack it out. Do not leave anything behind such as rubbish since it would spoil it for the next visitors and pollute the park.
Your Mountain Gorilla Tracking experience will begin where the guides found your Gorilla group the day before and track them to their new location since they move daily. Pre-trackers go out ahead of you to locate your gorilla group.
Mountain Gorilla Etiquette Guidelines:
Keep a distance of about 6 to 7 meters which is about 15 feet from the Mountain Gorillas. This way you protect the mountain gorillas from diseases and illnesses humans may be carrying and not seem threatening to gorillas since you
Stay together as a group when you are in the presence of the Gorillas to reduce potential confusion of the gorillas.
Voices need to be kept low and it is best to keep silence and just treasure the moment with the Mountain Gorillas. Keep your voices down until you are well out of range of the Mountain Gorillas.
Do not take food or drinks and no smoking in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas.
Don’t stare straight into gorillas’ eyes – this can be seen to be aggressive. Don’t ever run from a gorilla – if one approaches you just act submissive and crouch down. If you sneeze or cough, turn your head away from the gorillas so as not to spread your germs. No flash photography is permitted. Do not make a lot of movement when taking pictures-keep it calm. There is no touching or attempting to touch the Gorillas.
Gorilla Trek Health Guide Lines:
Since Mountain Gorillas are closely related to us they are susceptible to diseases carried by humans.
If you are not well, let it be known and remove yourself from the gorilla tracking team.
If you need to cough, sneeze, blow your nose, move your head away from the gorilla in order to keep the risk of infection to a minimum.
No smoking, eating of food or drinking of beverages is allowed in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas.
If you are ill- cancel your Gorilla Trek – this is best for all concerned including the Mountain Gorillas.
The Guidelines for Gorilla Trekking are there to protect you and the Mountain Gorillas – enjoy your time with the Gorillas of Uganda and or Rwanda. All put into place for the conservation of Mountain Gorillas and your safety.
If you have any questions about the Gorilla Tracking – Etiquette – Rules – Guide Lines – Please contact us.