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Gorilla Trekking Rules-Guidelines-Dos and Don’ts of Gorilla Trekking

Rules and Guidelines for Gorilla Trekkers in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines – The Do’s and Don’ts for Gorilla Trekkers

Simple Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines aid/assists us to preserve everyone safe, secure, and healthy.  The same applies to the Gorilla Family you are touring.  They can clasp a cold, the flu, intestinal problems, etc. The Rules and Guidelines are there for the guard and welfare of the threatened gentle giants (Mountain Gorillas). Simple Do’s and don’ts are speedily respected and put into considerations and are firmly prescribed. Gorilla Preservation is at the forefront. The trekker is secondary though imperative in the aiding of preservation energies/ efforts of the threatened Mountain Gorillas that are positioned in the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/Forest.

Your permit Dollars pay for the preservation of the mountain Gorillas (Gentle Giants) in the Forest. They also help the indigenous community to spot that Gorilla Trekking by receiving a slice of the Gorilla Permit, which is used to pay for the infrastructure of close by villages.

The Gorilla Trek begins with The right Trekking equipment, wearing the proper footwear and clothing on the day of your tour/trip and relishing your time with a Gorilla Family.

Gorilla Trekking Gear and Wear Day pack

  • Hiking Boots
  • Thick Socks – tuck trousers into socks
  • Long Trousers
  • Long-Sleeved Shirt
  • Light Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Tough Gardening Gloves

The Gorilla Gear & Wear is for your defence. Do not trek wearing a tank-top unless you are immune to nettles. The Gorilla Trek is not about a Fashion Statement, No, but your welfare/cosiness. Having the right stuff will make an alteration.  Your welfare and defence should be your concern as it is ours.


Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines the Do’s and Don’ts for Gorilla Trekkers

The Same Gorilla Trekking- Rules – Guide Lines apply to the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience in The Rushaga Section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/Forest in Uganda, except there are only 4 contestants Daily, before the actual hike starts, Trekkers meet at the briefing point to go through a short briefing process in which some of the gorilla tracking rules and guidelines below will be recapped.


  • A total number of 8 visitors or tourists is allowed to track /visit a particular mountain gorilla family or group in a day. This number considered helps to reduce behavioral disturbances that humans may cause to these mountain gorillas. It also helps to reduce on the chances of transferring diseases from humans to the mountain gorillas.
  • Before your trekking exercise -set off, ensure to have your hands washed thoroughly well. This is to promote the highest level of cleanliness.

During the hike

  • You are advised to keep your voices extremely low as you are heading to track the mountain Gorillas and requested to even be quieter when you finally meet them. This enables you get an opportunity to watch the other various wildlife species in the course of the trail like Birds, Golden Monkeys, Butterflies, etc. Still the peace of these animals is not disrupted at all.
  • Always follow your tour guide through the whole trekking process and make sure you stick with the group for both safety purposes and also be able to get thorough explanations of the attractions seen along the way to the mountain Gorillas.
  • Do not recklessly litter rubbish in any National park or protected area. You are requested to keep any garbage or trash on you until you are back at the briefing point then dispose it off.
  • As you approach the place where the guides observed the mountain Gorillas the day before, from there you will follow the Gorilla traces to find them, and look out for the Gorilla nesting sites along the way.
  • The guides will inform you to get ready when approaching the mountain Gorillas.

Finally, when with the Gorillas

  • You are requested to keep a distance of 7m (21 feet) from where the mountain Gorillas are. Though they are habituated, mountain Gorillas are still wild animals and if they feel threatened they can move away.
  • Keep in a tight group whenever near the mountain Gorillas, Eating, Drinking or smoking is prohibited in the presence of these Gorillas and keep your voices as low as possible but then you are free to ask questions from your guide.
  • Do not look closely and straight /directly in the eyes of the Gorillas, sometimes these animals do charge. Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  • Do not touch the Gorillas because they are wild animals and flashy photography is not allowed, so move slowly and carefully when going to do that.
  • The time spent with the Gorillas is limited to one hour this is simply to minimize any behavioral disturbances, stress and possible risk of infection.
  • Keep your voices very down after the visit until you are 200m away from these animals.
  • Body language is important and visitors should not raise hands or arms, or point, nor stare at them because to gorillas their behaviours are signs of threat or aggression.

The General Health Rules

  • All wastes must be buried, a 30m hole is dug, dispose off every waste there then fill up the hole when finished. This is done because these wastes(faeces) can highly be infectious to the great apes and other animals.
  • If you feel ill, carrying a contagious disease, please don’t engage yourself in the activity. So another visit will be arranged for you or your money refunded back.
  • Respect the number of visitors or tourists recommended a day to visit or see the Gorillas because this minimizes the risk of disease transmission and reduces stress to the group, strain and behavioral disturbance, to reduce the possibilities of possible future aggression towards tourists and to prevent the Gorillas from becoming too habituated to humans.
  • Always stay away from the Gorillas,7m (21 feet). This protects them from catching human diseases.
  • If you, the tourist, need to sneeze or cough, turn away from the Gorillas and try to cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of airborne bacteria or viruses that you might unknowingly be carrying.
  • All rubbish must be removed from the park, and visitors/tourists are asked to be particularly careful not to drop small items, such as, film boxes / canisters, tissues or handkerchiefs, food wrappers, wipes, etc. Apart from being nasty, rubbish can interest animals, can cause problems if swallowed, and can be a source of germ or disease transmission.

The Gorilla Trekking Etiquette is the only Format to make certain of conservation of these Critically Endangered Species (mountain gorillas), the most important instruction is that you are advised to stay near your ranger/guide and follow keenly his instructions always as you experience these wonderful, graceful and peaceful gentle giants.

Before you set off on your Mountain Gorilla Trek 

Be in reasonable shape and have the level of fitness(physically fit) for the group you will be tracking, basing on the landscape you will be casing.  There are easier treks, and you can demand for one.  Remember, the standard trek takes approximately 5 hr & more in both countries with varying levels of hardships. People with Disabilities can be carried on Sedan Chairs by porters both in and out.

Minimum Age is 15 for Gorilla Trekking in both Uganda & Rwanda. If you have are younger than 15-year-old children, we will present to you an activity for them.

Have no communicable diseases or cold or flu, TB, diarrhoea, and any other contagious diseases, having any infectious disease implies withdrawing from engaging into the trek, this is for the welfare of the gentle giants (gorillas) who can clasp such things from humans.

To ease the burden of the Trek on you and keep you concentrated on the beauty of your environments, involve the services of a porter, and aid a Ugandan/  Rwandan family.  Access/Obtain a tall walking stick to stabilize /balance yourself on the Trek since often the path can be precipitous/ there is no path at all.


The Gorilla Habituation Experience, which is 4 hrs with a gorilla family, can also be taken in the forest, and here, only 4 visitors are allowed to a group.

As you transfer via the forest, keep your chats/discussions low, silence might be the finest since otherwise you might error other wildlife or the plentiful of birds positioned at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda/ Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Pack it in and pack it out.  Do not dispose of anything like rubbish, since it would spoil it for the next trekkers and pollute the park.

Your Mountain Gorilla Tracking involvement will start where the guides located your Gorilla group the day before and track them to their new position since they traffic daily. Pre-trackers go out ahead of you to trace/detect your gorilla group.

Mountain Gorilla Etiquette Guidelines:

Keep a distance of about 6-7 m, approximately 15 feet from the Mountain Gorillas.  This way you safeguard the gentle giants /mountain gorillas from diseases and illnesses humans may be carrying and not seem endangering to gorillas since you

Stay together as a group when you are in the presence of the Gorillas to diminish latent perception of the gentle giants/gorillas.

Voices need to be kept low, and it is fine to keep silence and star the moment with the Mountain Gorillas.  Keep your opinions down until you are well out of scope of the Mountain Gorillas.

Do not take food or drinks and no smoking in the presence of the endangered species-the Mountain Gorillas.

Don’t stare straight into gorillas’ eyes – this can be spotted to be aggressive. Don’t ever run from a gorilla, if one advances towards you, you should perform passive and squat down.  If you sneeze or cough, turn your head away from the mountain gorillas so as not to blow-out your germs.  No flash photography is allowed.  Do not make a lot of movement when taking pictures-keep it composed. There is no touching or endeavoring to touch the gentle giants(Gorillas).

Gorilla Trek Health Guide Lines:

Since gentle giants/Mountain Gorillas are closely connected to us, they are vulnerable to diseases carried by humans.  You, in turn, can clasp bugs from them. If you need to cough, sneeze, blow your nose, change your head away from the gorilla to keep the danger of contamination to a minimum.

No smoking, eating food, or drinking of beverages is permitted in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas. If you are sick, withdraw your engagement to Gorilla Trek, this is best for all concerned, involving the Mountain Gorillas.

Before the Trek – eat right, drink right, take medications that you might need.  Avoid getting cold, a runny stomach as they say here, and anything else that could delay and obstruct your time of trekking.