Rwanda gorilla tracking rules and regulations – Gorilla tracking do’s and don’ts, Tourists willing or planning to do Gorilla trekking the following are the guidelines or Gorilla tracking do’s and don’ts you shall need to follow as issued but Rwanda Development Board. They apply as set out in printed leaflet by Rwanda Development Board. (Gorilla rules)
A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the Gorilla and the risk of exposure to the human borne diseases.
Always wash your hands before you head out to the Gorillas. On the way to the Gorillas;
Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
You will be taken to where the guides observe the gorilla the day before. From there you will follow the Gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting along the way.
When you approach the mountain Gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
A 7metre (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times from the Gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
You must stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas.
Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is ok to ask the guide questions.
Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/ drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
Sometimes the Gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crunch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
Flash photography is not permitted and when taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
Do not touch the Gorillas. They are wild animals.
The maximum time you spend with the Gorillas is one hour. However, if the Gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the Gorillas.
Rwanda gorilla tracking rules and regulations – Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human disease. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them.
Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risks of disease transmission and stress to the group.
If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the Gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses
Always stay 7metres (21 feet) away from the Gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
Do not leave any rubbish (e.g. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
If you need to go to the toilets while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a whole with his panga. Make sure the whole is 30cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.
Volcanoes National Park is found in a small village called Musanze previously well-known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi, Kigali City or from the Kigali International Airport. The drive to Volcanoes National Park is 2-3 hours and hence one can do Gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the National Park headquarters in Kinigi, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek Gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time. However, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the National Park at Kinigi.
Best time to visit
Visiting Rwanda for Gorilla tracking can be done all year round. The best time to travel to Rwanda is during the drier seasons, periods between December to early March and June to September. December to March is a long dry season for Rwanda, with temperatures going up to 29 degrees Celsius for some days while the months of March-Mid May, July to September, on the other hand, are regarded as the rainy in the country.
Overall Rwanda has a good whether throughout the year but the dry season is more preferable. The weather is generally good in addition wildlife viewing is also more common during this period of time. Tourists interested in visiting mountain Gorillas, this is the best time for Gorilla tours since there is a minimal chance of rain during the trek and a good hiking terrain in the rainforest. We still suggest your waterproof clothing even during these drier months, as this Equatorial climate is very unpredictable. This period is also a peak season, hence the prices can be higher on things like accommodation, car hire etc.
On the other hand, some travelers especially those on budget like visiting in the wet season. During this season, hotels have low occupancy, hence give travelers discounted food and sleeping services which is an added advantage. Also, there is low demand for Gorilla permits which guarantee visitors a chance to see these endangered species with no competition.