Gorilla trekking is the number one tourist activity in many countries. Gorilla tourism was developed along the guidelines of ecotourism. Therefore on all gorilla watching sessions within the Mgahinga National Parks, tourists should adhere to the set rules and regulations. In other words, Gorilla trekking is a life time event which everyone should not miss before death. For conservation, there is a need to protect gorillas because they are highly endangered. For that case, the government through Wildlife conservation bodies set rules and regulations set to protect Gorillas.
- Tourists with communicable diseases such as flue, cough are not allowed to visit the gorillas. If you are sick you are given time of some days to get healed of flue before you are allowed to go on a gorilla trek. This rule is aimed at protecting the endangered gorillas, given that these great apes are prone to suffer from the same communicable diseases as humans. If you got a cough or cold, do not sneeze before the gorilla as they can be easily infected with human illness.
- Tourists should remain about 7 metres from the gorillas at all times. This is aimed at guaranteeing the safety of the mountain gorillas and the tourist as well. Tourists are not allowed to get so close to the gorillas. Though there are times when gorillas come close to you, this is uncontrollable. What is in control is the tourist not dare come close to the gorillas and the guides during the trek will try to see that you abide by the rule.
- Tourists should not look straight into the eyes of the gorillas. It is always vital for clients to be confident and take their stand, although it is not always easy for someone not to get nervous when a big mammal is gazing down at him/her, but remember that animals have a supernatural ability to sense fear.
- You should never go for gorilla tracking in bad health condition, as the trek maybe strenuous for you.
- Gorilla tracking is limited to only 1 hour. All clients are restricted to one hour with the gorillas
- All flash photography is prohibited. Therefore please tune your cameras to no flash.
Important Tips for Tourists
- Make sure to carry enough drinking water as you can get very thirty on the trek and at higher altitudes you could have a headache. Make it a point that your guide has packed for you enough water and a meal.
- A strong and sturdy pair of hiking shoes is required for the trekking; carry a water proof bag for your camera, as it is sometimes rain in the forest which may spoil your gadgets.
- A client should always carry identification documents like a passport/ national ID and gorilla permit at all time to present at the check in point or briefing point before tracking to avoid any hassles on your trip.
- You always not put on shouting color while going for a trek as they may influence the normal behavior of gorillas.
Do Not Go Gorilla Trekking if;
Below are the incidences which can force someone to forego Gorilla trekking:
- When you are suffering from contagious diseases like Coronaviruses, Ebola, Flu (Influenza), Hepatitis and so on. Due to the fact that human beings share 98% DNA with human beings means Gorillas a susceptible to human diseases.
- When you are not physically fit – Gorilla trekking requires some fitness due to difficult terrain. For that case, if you hope to trek gorillas, its wise to start gaining physical fitness through making physical exercises like running/jogging. The time taken while searching for Gorillas is unpredictable however, it depends on the movements of Gorillas.
- Arriving on the wrong date different from the one on the Gorilla permit – when someone makes a mistake of appearing at the park headquarters on a wrong day. Someone can only be allowed to trek Gorillas on the exact date shown on the Gorilla pass.
- Not booking permits in advance – In many countries, you can not go on a Uganda gorilla safari without a gorilla permit. More so, we recommend advance booking of Gorilla permits to avoid missing Gorilla trekking.
- Lacking identity – Whoever willing to trek Gorillas must present identification card or passport among others.
- Without Gorilla trekking gear like hiking boots, long sleeved clothes, sun glasses, huts and insect repellent among others. More so, when packing wrong trekking gear like clothes, shoes, etc.