The Uganda wildlife Authority has set up rules and regulations in place to enable visitors trek gorillas in their habitant. Gorillas are gentle giant apes which display human like behaviors and emotions like sadness and laughter. These primates share 98% DNA with humans. Actually, before you proceed for gorilla trekking you are required to go to the headquarters for briefing. The rules and regulations are set in place to ensure the protection of the endangered mountain gorillas. kindly note that there are only 1000 gorillas in the whole world and Uganda hosts 80% of these mountain gorillas in the remote areas of Bwindi and Mgahinga. Therefore, this article explains the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking in Uganda.
For one to trek the mountain gorillas, you are expected to be 15 years of age and more. This is because young children below 15 years always have colds, cough and other sicknesses like chicken pox and mumps which may infect the gorillas since they share 98% DNA with humans and any exposure to such colds from children is a threat to the mountain gorillas.
while with the gorillas in the forest, you are required to observe a distance of at least 15 feet. These rules and regulations enable gorillas move freely and not feel surrounded by people which may scare them. This also helps to prevent the risks of transmitting deadly diseases to gorillas from humans. Kindly note that the ranger has the right to stop you from trekking the gorillas incase of any diseases that might be transmitted to the gorillas.
A group of only 8 people is allowed to trek the gorillas. The minimum time to spend with the gorillas is one hour. the timing starts from the time you meet the gorilla family that’s why only 8 people are allowed per trek. This will prevent the gorillas from being over crowed that may cause them to charge.
You are advised to crouch down slowly incase a gorilla charges. You are not allowed to run away from the gorillas but rather to stay calm until the gorilla leaves on its own. In most cases the ranges are ready to alert you when the silverback charges and that’s how the gorillas show dominance and therefore in such circumstances tourists are advised to stay calm and to avoid unnecessary movements.
You are advised to move back slowly incase a gorilla decides to approach you. This is because juveniles are very inquisitive and will attempt to investigate you there for ensure that your bags are closed and other items that may draw the gorilla’s attention while around them.
Do not use a flash while taking photos of mountain gorillas. The lights may be irritating to gorillas that may cause them to charge. You should also pay attention to the rangers because they will tell you when to take photos and also avoid unnecessary movements.
Do not touch the gorillas or clear their vegetation. This helps to avoid aggressiveness from the gorillas. Ensure you don’t lift up your arms even when the gorillas are inspecting you as this might be taken as signs of aggression and also standing tall while steering at them is also considered as a sign of aggression to the gorillas.
While in the park, do not litter rubbish that may cause diseases to the gorillas. You are required to maintain cleanness of the park by not throwing cannisters, handkerchiefs, used tissues and other items that gorillas may swallow and might cause complications to their health. In case you want to go to the toilet, let the guide know and he will guide you on what to do.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking is an amazing activity that you will give you an opportunity to have an encounter with the mountain gorillas. However, navigating through the dense forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga is quite hard. Therefore, the Uganda wildlife Authority has put in place rangers to guide and protect the tourists as well as the mountain gorillas. And as Ganyana safaris the protection of tourists is guaranteed from the time you book your gorilla trekking experience with us.