Gorilla trekking briefing gives trekkers highlights of what they should expect on actual trek. It is a must-do for every trekker going on a gorilla safari in Uganda. Please note that this information is also relavant for those looking at gorilla trekking in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Briefing is the first thing to be conducted and it involves giving you insight into the set gorilla trekking guidelines or safety measures or rules and regulations to be observed on actual gorilla trek. It is during this moment that trekkers are assigned to a gorilla family and a park ranger guide to accompany them through out their trek. Gorilla trekking briefing starts at 7:00am to 8:00am.
Some of the guidelines for gorilla trekking that will be briefed to you include wash your hands prior going to trek mountain gorillas in any park of your choice, a maximum of 8 visitors is allowed to trek one habituated gorilla family, one hour is what is given to you to strike your imaginations with gorillas, always keep a distance of 7 meters away from mountain gorillas, do not touch gorillas, keep your voices low at all times, burry all your wastes as directed by the park ranger guide, stay within your group that you left with after briefing, no smoking, eating or drinking in the presence of gorillas, leave the gorilla habitat the way you got it or better, no flashlight cameras are allowed when taking pictures of mountain gorillas-you can turn it off before taking photos, do not go to trek gorillas if you are sick-mountain gorillas share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans and they are susceptible to human infectious diseases-cover your mouth in case of any need to cough and nose when sneezing.
Tour briefing is essential for visitors on gorilla watching safaris. It starts with a warm welcome by a respective gorilla destination official, present the passport and permits. Passports are essential in identifying trekkers if he or she is above 15 years. Those below 15 years are not allowed to go trek mountain gorillas.
On the day of briefing, the elderly persons will be advised to hire a porter to assist he or she carry essential items on actual trek. there are sedan chairs for hire and this lets the elderly too to strike their imaginations with these magical primate species. Briefing also assists park officials identify if the gorilla permits the client has is valid.
Where gorilla trekking briefing is conducted
Visitors on gorilla treks gather at respective park headquarters for briefing. In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, gorilla trekking briefing begins from Buhoma region, Ruhija area, Nkuringo sector and Rushaga sector. In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, visitors gather at Ntebeko Visitor Center. In Volcanoes National Park, gather at Kinigi park headquarters and in the Virunga National Park at Kibati Patrol Station.
When does gorilla trekking briefing start
Gorilla trekking briefing usually begins early in the morning at around 7:00am and at 8:00am, visitors are accompanied by the park ranger guide to trek mountain gorillas. Visitors are advised to report to respective park headquarters early which means, you have to wake up early enough to make preparation, take breakfast before you head out to join other visitors for briefing.
What else is done during briefing
Once you have been briefed on gorilla trekking rules and regulations, you will be grouped into 8 visitors. Every group is assigned to 1 habituated gorilla group and an hour is what is given to you to strike your imaginations, take pictures and learn more about their behaviors. Please remember to let the park official know of your physical wellness so that he or she assigns to you a group that is easy to trek.
It is on briefing date that visitors will be verified. This means you should have a valid passport for clarification plus a valid gorilla permit. Only persons above 15 years will be allowed to go to trek gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Virunga National Park.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking briefing is initial stage of trekking mountain gorillas. It is when you get know what you should expect while on gorilla trek.