Planning to trek mountain gorillas in Africa? Do you know any of the set rules and regulations you have to follow while on gorilla trek? Well, if your plan is to take part in gorilla trekking while on safari in Africa, take note of the existing rules and regulations. These are actually set safety measures meant not only to safeguard mountain gorillas but also for you while in search for these unique creatures in the wild. On actual trek, you will be briefed on these at the respective park headquarters before you embark on actual trek. In Uganda, you will gather at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in any of 4 main trailheads (Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga), Mgahinga National Park headquarters; Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The following are some of the set rules and regulations that you have to observe at all times while on gorilla trek whether in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo.
- Only 8 visitors are allowed to track habituated gorilla group. This is mainly intended to reduce cases of behavioral disturbance on these creatures and the risks of exposing them to human infectious diseases. Remember that mountain gorillas share about 95% of their DNA with humans making them very susceptible to human diseases.
- Before setting off for the actual trek, make sure your hands are washed. This rule usually applies before the actual trek and you can find water at the park headquarters as well as soap.
- While on your way to trek these rare creatures, you will be required to keep your voices low at all times. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask any questions. You are free to ask any questions, you will be accompanied by park guide. Noise in most cases irritates these creatures and the fact that humans are foreigners in their habitat, they can easily do harm and to avoid this and also to help you observe them without scaring them off, you have to keep your voices low.
- Never leave any rubbish at the park. This is another important rule when it comes to gorilla trekking. So anything you take to the forest must be brought back-the bottles of waters, what you used to carry your snacks and others.
- Once you get a gorilla group that is assigned to you, you have an hour of face to face encounter with the mountain gorillas, take their pictures and explore their general behavior. This applies whether you are planning to track gorillas in the DR Congo, Rwanda or Uganda.
- A distance of 7 meters must be observed all the time while tracking these creatures. Avoid body contact with gorillas and this rule is of great significance as it helps protect these critically endangered creatures from spread of human infectious diseases.
- Smoking, eating, drinking is never allowed while on gorilla trek. Such acts put these creatures at higher risk of catching human infectious diseases.
- When the gorillas charge against you or get irritated, make sure that you stand still and avoid direct eye contact, never try as this puts you into more risks. Do as your guide tells and that is why you have to keep around with your guide and group.
- While taking photos of mountain gorillas, flash cameras are not welcome and if yours has, make sure that you have turned it off before taking photos. Flash lights tend to scare them off or make them irritated and they can easily cause harm to you.
For any plans to take part in thrilling gorilla trek, the above set rules and regulations should be a must to observe and you will have the best of your adventure.