RULES FOR GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI PARK
Before you embark on a gorilla adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Please take note of the following guidelines. These are put in place for the good of the Gorillas and the trekkers.
- To enjoy a gorilla Safari you need to be fairly fit, equipped for the humid, muddy conditions of a rainforest hike, and healthy. You will not be permitted to go gorilla trekking if you have a cold or similar illness because gorillas are susceptible to many human diseases.
- Trekkers must be at least fifteen years old so as to abate the risk of unveiling the primates to juvenile illnesses like mumps, chickenpox and measles
- Taking Flash photos is not acceptable as it can sadden or scare the gorillas and may provoke an aggressive reaction to the trekker. Photographers should be keen on this.
- A 7 meter distance from the gorillas should be observed at all times. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
- All trekkers must stay in a tight group when near the gorillas.
- Keep your voices down at all times but feel free to ask your ranger guide questions.
- All trekkers must not smoke, drink or eat when near the gorillas. Eating or drinking will inevitably increase the risk of morsels of food or droplets of drink being left behind. Even the tiniest leftovers could increase the risk of transmission of disease to the gorillas.
- Though excited, avoid touching the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Don’t panic. Follow your ranger guide’s example: crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes; wait for the animals to pass. Do not attempt to run away.
- Trekkers should Keep low before the gorillas.where possible, you can sit or bend while watching the gorillas. It can be very threatening to the gorillas if you stand tall and glare, since this mimics their own aggressive behaviours.
- Body language is important and trekkers must not put up their hands or arms, point or stare. To gorillas, these behaviours represent aggression.
- Do not leave any rubbish such as food wrappers or drink bottles in the park; foreign items can harbour diseases or other contaminants.
- If you need to go to ease yourself while in the forest, please ask the ranger guide to dig you a hole. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep. Please ensure the hole is filled after you are finished.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good traction, suitable for climbing steep muddy slopes.
- The weather can be unpredictable so carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion and a hat.