Tourists willing or planning to do gorilla trekking the following are the guidelines or rules and regulations you shall need to follow as issued but Uganda wild life authority. They apply as set out in printed leaflet by Uganda wildlife authority. (Gorilla rules)
Before departing on your gorilla trekking.
- 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.
When you are with the gorillas;
- 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 (crounch 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! 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.
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.
What to consider on your gorilla tour:
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
- Carry packed lunch and enough drinking water.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) an insect repellent.
- Bring a photo of film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted.