Gorilla tourism is guided by well thought after rules that aim at protecting the mountain gorillas as well as the visitors. At all times, visitors should adhere to these rules so that the conservation of the mountain gorillas and their habitat be maintained.
On the Way to Gorillas
1) Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.
2) A maximum number of eight (8) visitors may visit a group of habituated Mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human borne diseases.
3) You will be taken to where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the mountain gorillas’ trail to find them. Look out for the gorillas’ nesting sites along the way!
4) When you reach the Mountain Gorillas, the guides will inform you when to get your cameras ready.
5) Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great birdlife and other wildlife in the forest.
6) Do not leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back with you.
When You are with the Mountain Gorillas
1) Keep your voices low at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide (s) questions.
2) You must stay in a tight group when you are near the mountain gorillas.
3) Keep a minimum of 7 metres (21 feet) from the Mountain Gorillas. This is to protect the Mountain Gorillas from human disease transmission.
4) Do not eat or drink while you are near the mountain gorillas.
5) Sometimes the Mountain Gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example crouch down slowly. DO NOT look the Mountain Gorilla in the eye. Wait for the Gorillas to pass and do not attempt to run away as this could increase the risk of attack.
6) Do not touch the Mountain Gorillas. They are wild animals.
7) Flash photography is not allowed. When taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
8) The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the Mountain Gorillas is one hour. This is done to limit their disturbance. If the Mountain Gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will end the visit early.
9) After the visit, keep your voices low until you are 200 metres away from the Mountain Gorillas.
General Health Rules
Remember Mountain Gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following are ways to minimize the risk your visit might pose to them;
1) If you are feeling ill, or have a contagious disease when you are already at the park, please volunteer to stay behind. An alternative visit will be arranged for you or you will be refunded your money as per gorilla reservation guidelines.
2) If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the Mountain Gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of viruses or bacteria.
3) Always stay 7 metres (21 feet) away from the Mountain Gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
4) Respect the Gorilla limit imposed on the time visitors are allowed with the Mountain Gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
5) If you need to go to the “toilet” while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole and ensure you cover it when you have finished.
6) Do not leave any rubbish in the park.
By following the rules above and through purchase of a permit, you are contributing to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla.
A percentage of the funds raised from park entrance fees and the community levy on permits is shared with the local communities living adjacent to the parks so as to help contribute to their development projects and also improve on the natural resource management in the region.
Any breach of these rules may lead to termination of tracking without any refund.