Mountain Gorilla Tracking in the three countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo is regarded as the major tourist activities among those countries. After embracing gorilla tourism in these countries, strict rules were set to guide tourists taking gorilla safaris into the protected areas. These rules were set by conservationists and must be strictly adhered to in order to protect the mountain gorillas.
Any tourist who is interested in gorilla tracking before and during the activity in order should take these rules serious so as to put your life and that of gorillas safe. Some of the information given below is well written in the printed-leaflet offered by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to get clear information before and during an encounter with these giants. Only eight members are allowed to track gorillas in each family per day, as this help to reduce on the pressure human cause on to these species as well as the risk of exposing them to human borne diseases.
While On the way to the mountain gorillas:
- During your walk to meet the gorillas in their natural habitats, you are required to keep your voice as down as possible, and during the walk you will be in position to see the rich bird life and some wildlife within the forest.
- Do not visit gorillas if you have a cold or other infectious illness like flue or cough
- Human waste should be buried 30cm (12) deep
- Do not leave any rubbish within the park. Whatever you take into the forest must be taken out as you leave.
- The guide will inform you when you close in to the mountain gorillas
When you are with the gorillas:
- Maintain a distance of about 7-10m (21ft) from the gorillas as this will help the gorillas to keep relaxed and not to charge on you in case you get so close to them.
- When you meet gorillas, You should stay together as a group avoid staying alone and follow the guide’s instructions
- Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted on the tour as this may put the life of gorillas and you in danger
- If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn around away from the gorillas, as they can catch cough and colds from human hence this may result into death of gorillas
- Ounce you meet gorillas you are strictly allowed only one hour with them studying their behaviors as well as taking as many photos as you can( a flash camera is not allowed) . But, if the gorillas turn to be restless or nervous, your guide will end the visit earlier.
- When you are with gorillas try much as possible to maintain your voice low. However it is ok to ask your guide questions.
- When the gorilla charge follow the guide’s instructions for example squat down slowly, don’t look directly into the eyes of the gorillas they may think you are an enemy wait for them to pass). Don’t attempt to run away as this will increase the threat.
- You are not allowed to touch gorillas remember they are wild animals they may charge on you. .