When setting out for your gorilla tracking safari, there are many procedures and protocols you need to know in order to keep safe and have a better experience.
Mountain gorillas are classified as endangered species by the IUCN and because of that, gorilla tracking rules /protocols have been put in place by the responsible agencies and organizations. The protocols are meant to protect the mountain gorillas from any illnesses or danger and also protect the visitors from any potential attack from these gentle giants (mountain gorillas) and enhance visitor experience.
Without doubt one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences is the thrill of the close encounter with the reclusive mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and therefore, we must ensure that the gorillas are well protected and conserved for the future generations to also have a taste of this thrilling gorilla tracking experience. Below are the things one must know and observe/put into consideration while embarking on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda.
Before you set out
- Do not visit the gorillas if you have a cold or other infectious illness. This is because there is a possibility of transmitting such infectious illnesses to the mountain gorillas
- Minimum age for tracking is 15 years
- Human waste should be buried 30cm (12”) deep
- Maximum number of visitors is eight persons per gorilla group
When you are with the gorillas
- Maintain a 7m (21ft) distance from the gorillas
- Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted on the tour
- If you must sneeze or cough, cover your face and turn away from the gorillas, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans
- Visits are limited to one hour per gorilla group per day
- Do not use flash photography.
Uganda has the best chance of viewing the delightful mountain gorillas with the fact it boasts two national parks where they have been habituated for human visits. The two national parks are Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
It is important to note that mountain gorillas are only found in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo in the entire world. Tracking gorillas requires one to have a gorilla tracking permit which must be reserved early in advance.