In case you are to consider hiking Mountain Gorilla’s in Rwanda, D.R.Congo and Uganda, the take note of the following briefing data as applicable to any of these 3 countries where you may trek Mountain Gorilla’s.
Neverthless, much of the extract has been derived from the printed leaflet by the Uganda Wildlife Authority ‘Gorilla Rules’ with extra data added for better understanding of the gorillas.
WHAT IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE CONSERVATION OF THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS?
Mountain gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Berengie) are the world’s most harmed ape species. They are found only in small part of reserved Afro montane forests in southwestern Uganda, eastern DRC and north western Rwanda. They are among several unique species to these forests. These forests too are habitation for a wide variety of marvelous large reptiles, insects, primates, mammals, birds, plants and lasting medical and water plant resources for most local communities.
Mountain gorillas are separated into two populations and at present the total population is approximated to be about 600 people. One of the populations is located in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), in South taking about 330km. The ecologically homogenous ( flora and fauna) sorrounding the three nearby National Parks in three countries is; Volcano National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda covering an estimated total area of 300km2.
There are many threats to the remaining gorilla population plus its habitat one of them being the cause of disease outbreak as well as transmission from humans to gorillas and gorilla to humans. However, in order address this issue plus solve behavioral upsets to this delicate population, we have developed gorilla rules. Therefore through purchase of the permit you too are contributing to the conservation all mountain gorillas. Uganda Wildlife Authority uses the funds generated from the sale of this permit for the management of the National Parks. A portion of the money raised from Park entrance fees are also given to local communities living next to the parks to lead to their development and improve natural resource management in the region.
BEFORE DEPARTING ON YOUR GORILLA TREK:
Wash your hands always before you head out to the gorillas.
ON THE WAY TO THE GORILLAS
a) Always keep your voices low so as to observe the great bird life plus other wildlife in the forest.
b) Then you will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas a day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to locate them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites on the way.
c) DO NOT litter rubbish in the park. Whatever you come along with into the forest should be taken back out with you
d) A maximum capacity of 6 visitors (8 in Democratic Republic Congo and in case of trekking one of the bigger groups in Rwanda) may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day. This reduces behavioral disorganisation to the gorillas and the danger of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
e) If you come closer to the Gorillas, guides will tell you to get ready.
WHEN YOU ARE WITH THE GORILLAS:
a) A 5-meter length in distance ought to be observed every time (15 feet) from the gorillas in order to protect them from catching human diseases.
b) You must keep in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
c) Keep your voices low every time. Nethertheless, it is very okay to ask the guide questions.
d) Do not either eat or drink when you are near the gorillas. Drinking and Eating will inevitably increase the danger of droplets falling/drink morsels/ food/ which could increase the danger of transmission of diseases
e) At times gorillas charge, that is to say follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look at the gorillas directly in the eyes plus wait for the animals to pass). Do not try to take picture and do not attempt to run away, Running away will increases the risk.
f) Flash photography is not allowed! When you are taking pictures move carefully and slowly.
g) Do not touch the gorillas for they are wild animals however they might look cuddly but!
h) Maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is exactly one hour. However, if the gorillas become nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
i) After the visit keep your voices so low until you are 200 metres from the gorillas.
GENERAL HEALTH RULES:
a) Gorillas are most likely to cause human diseases so the following are ways to reduce on the risk your visit might poses to them:
b) Accept the limits put on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas every day. This reduces the risk of disease spread plus stress to the group.
c) In case you are feeling ill, or you arehaving a contagious disease, accept to stay behind for alternate visit will be organised for you else your your money will be reimbursed.
d) When you feel like to coughing or sneezing and yet you are near the gorillas, turn your head away, cover your mouth and nose so as to minimize the spread of viruses or bacteria.
e) Endavour to stay (15 feet) 5 metres away from the gorillas. When you are far back, the groups will be relaxed.
f) Never try to touch the gorillas.
g) Do neither smoke, drink nor eat when you are with gorillas.
h) Do not litter rubbish forexample food wrappers in the Park; foreign items can cause contamination or diseases.
i) In case you need to use toilet, while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole using his panga. Ensure that hole is 30cms of deepth and fill it in when you are done.