Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines for Uganda and Rwanda

Posted by on March 15, 2018

Rules and Guidelines for Gorilla Trekkers

Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines – The Do’s and Dont’s for Gorilla Trekkers


 Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines help to keep everyone safe, secure and healthy.  The same applies to the Gorilla Family you are visiting.  They can catch a cold, the flu, intestinal problems and more.

The rules and guidelines for trekkers are for the protection and well-being of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Simple Do’s and don’ts that are easily followed.  

Your permit Dollars pay for the conservation of the Gentle Giants in the Forest, they also help the local community to see that Gorilla Trekking by receiving a portion of the Gorilla Permit which is used to pay for the infrastructure of nearby villages.

The Gorilla Trek begins with packing right for it, wearing the right footwear and clothing on the day of your safari and enjoying your time with a Gorilla Family.

The Same Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines apply to the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience in The Rushaga Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda except for only 4 participants and 4 hours in the presence of a gorilla Family.


 Before you set off on your Mountain Gorilla Trek 

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.  There are easier treks and you can ask for one.  Remember the average trek is 5 hours plus in both countries with various levels of difficulty. People with Disabilities can be carried in and out on Sedan Chairs by porters.

Minimum Age is 15 for Gorilla Trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda, if you have younger than 15-year-old children we will provide an activity for them. Ig

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 your surroundings engage the services of a 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.


 Rules for Gorilla Trek:

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.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience which is four hours with a gorilla family can also be taken in the forest and here only 4 visitors are allowed to a group.

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 a 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 Photography


 Gorilla Trek Health Guide Lines:

Since Mountain Gorillas are closely related to us they are susceptible to diseases carried by humans.  You, in turn, can catch diseases from them.

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 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.


 What to wear while Gorilla Trekking:

It begins with the right waterproof boots since often there is a muddy trail, an early morning mist or rain that soon evaporates as the sun comes

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 getting scratched by branches, burned by nettles.  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 daypack, you can also pack a poncho or light rain jacket.

The Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines are there to protect you and the Mountain Gorillas – enjoy your time with the Gorillas of Uganda and  Rwanda. All put into place for the conservation of Mountain Gorillas and your safety.