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Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations have been drafted to aim at protecting the health and well-being of the mountain gorillas as well as the safety of travelers. Precautions are taken to ensure the well being of the Gorillas and humans. The Gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases and infections. The Gorillas can become stressed if too many visitors visit them or come too close and behave in unfamiliar ways which may be threatening or disturbing. They are very protective of their young and can be threatening as well if disturbed. In this regard it is advised to obey all the Gorilla Trekking rules and regulations

1.    Group size and frequency

The gorilla groups can only be visited by a maximum of 6 or 8 visitors and each group can only be visited once per day with the interaction lasting a maximum of one hour in order to minimize behavioral interruption and stress

2.     Sickness
If a traveler shows signs of being sick, one can be denied access by the park staff to visit the gorillas. Refusing one to access the gorillas protects them from contracting a human illness or disease. You are advise to discuss with the guides if you are feeling unwell. Be responsible in protecting the gorillas for them not getting an infectious disease. Prevent any aerosol transmission, if sneezing or coughing, close your mouth

3.     Minimum age of the visitor

The minimum age of the tourist should be at least 15 years old. This will minimize the risk of exposing the gorillas to childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox.

4.    Keep Distance

There is a minimum distance that has been set, Always stay at least 7 metres or 21 feet away from the gorillas. Young ones usually come near to within one or two metres. When they come near then you should slowly retreat and if not possible you are advised to remain stand still. Guide instructions should always be adhered to. Your backpack and other items should be kept out of reach from the young ones.
The regulation attempts to reduce stress, disease transmission and behavioral interruption, to decrease the chance of possible hostility towards guests and to protect the gorillas from becoming too habituated to humans.
Sometimes if you see the guides breaking the rules please report them to the park authorities. If you break the rule by not keeping the distance or out of excitement then the guides may pull you off the sighting and terminate the trek.

5.    Stay low

Stay low while watching the gorillas, visitors should sit or crouch. Do not stand tall and stare at the gorillas it can be very scary or threatening to them

6.    Photography

Taking photos is what everyone would like to do in order to have great memories. While taking photos, flash photographic is not allowed as it can disturb or scare the gorillas and may provoke a hostile reaction or charge.

7.    Stay together

The guests are advised to stay together to give the gorillas more room to move around without feeling threatened so as not to attack. Do not surround the gorillas so as to take better photos or have good views.

8.    Do not eat

Having a Drink, smoking or even eating, is not permitted within two hundred meters of the gorillas as these behaviors can be stimulating to the gorillas and cause problems if they approach to explore.

9.    Keep Still

Do not raise your arms or hands, stare or point or show weird behavior. To gorillas these behaviors are signs of threat or violence.

10.    Do not run

The guides will always be in charge, when a gorilla beats his chest or charges, do not run away.  As much as this might be scary, the safest thing to do is remain at a standstill, keep low and look down.

11.    Do not litter

Do not litter, all waste or unneeded items must be removed from the park

12.    Keep silence

Travelers are advised to be as quiet as possible, when communicating they should whisper. Making noise may cause some gorillas to react aggressively or even move away further into the forest.

13.    Do not disturb

Do not try to clear the vegetation in order to get a better view, talk to your guide and he will assist without causing any disturbance.

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