Gorilla Trekking Rules & Regulations
In Rwanda, plastic bags are not allowed and you will be charged for dropping them around. To track gorillas in Rwanda you need a negative Covid PCR test.
Before Encountering the Gorilla
Always follow the guide’s instruction because the guides navigate the national park every day and therefore are aware and understand every part of the forest.
- b) Always keep in the tourist tracking groups especially while in the forest to avoid getting lost.
- c) Avoid making a lot of noise as it can distract the mountain gorilla and other wildlife species in the forest.
d) Avoid littering any rubbish in the national park.
e) Do not go for tracking when sick.
On Encounter with The Mountain Gorilla
Always keeping a reasonable distance away from the mountain gorillas at least 7 meters.
b) Not using flash photography while taking photos of the mountain gorillas as it may irritate them.
c) Minimizing noise until you are at least about 200 meters from the gorillas.
- d) A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day, to minimize behavioral disturbances to the gorilla and the risk of their exposure to human bone diseases.
e) Avoid eating in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
f) Do not touch the mountain gorillas. When they come towards your way, just remain where you are and avoid a direct eye contact with the gorillas.
- g) Do not imitate the mountain gorilla behavior like beating the chest because it might send the wrong message to the mountain gorillas.
- h) You should not go gorilla trekking if you have Covid-19, diarrhoea, flu or a cold. Gorillas have no immunity to most human diseases and even mild human infections can be lethal to a gorilla. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us even more aware of the risk we pose to them. You are obliged to inform the authorities if you are sick and they will decide if you are well enough to visit the gorillas. Remember that the lives of the endangered gorillas are more important than your holiday.
- i) If you need to sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
- j) Don’t spit or leave litter in the forest. Gorillas can catch diseases from human rubbish.
- k) Gorillas can be quite curious. Do not touch the gorillas, even if they come close to you.
Tourists are allowed to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas for strictly one hour, which is intended to minimize chances of disease, spread from the human’s to mountain gorillas. There are high chances of disease spread from humans to the gorillas because about 98%of their DNA is similar to humans.
If the above are observed and well followed by tourists, they can enjoy exclusive and once in a lifetime experience. Tourist heading for tracking should carry enough drinking water because the hike through the forest is a little strenuous causing a lot of sweat and it is therefore wise to keep hydrating (drinking water).
Tourists are also recommended to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants because mountain gorilla tracking is done in the forest with a lot of plant vegetation some of which cause skin irritation when in contact. Carrying a raincoat or water proof pant can never be a bad idea because rainfall in volcanoes national park Is highly unpredictable and can therefore occur at any time of the day.