Uganda Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

Just like any other safari activity in Uganda, gorilla trekking has rules and regulations and these are the guidelines that each tourist has to follow for their trekking experience.

For those planning to go for a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda, here are the mountain gorilla trekking rules and regulations that you need to follow as set and noted in the Uganda Wildlife Authority leaflet in the section with “gorilla tracking rules” as well as some reminders from the Ugandan Gorilla Rwanda gorilla safari experts;

Rules to follow before departing for gorilla trekking

Before you even start planning or making payment for your gorilla safari, ensure that you have read and understood these rules that are applicable before the actual;

  1. A gorilla trekking permit is a key requirement to ensure you go for trekking. Remember to book and purchase your permit early. It is the requirement for allocation of a gorilla family to trek.
  2. To minimize behavioral disturbances and risk of exposure to human borne diseases, only a total of 8 individuals are allowed to trek a single gorilla family.
  3. Individuals with a cold or diseases that might be found infectious to gorillas may not be allowed to trek the gorillas. 
  4. Ensure to be at the park headquarters early for briefing. It starts at 8:00 am local time and this is when 8 individuals are allocated a gorilla family to trek. 
  5. Human waste should be buried 30 cm (12”) deep. You can ask the guide to help you know of these measurements. 
  6. Always wash your hands before you head to the gorillas.

During the trek rules

As you set off for the trek, ensure to follow these rules and regulations for trekking in Uganda;

  1. At all times please always keep your voices low. Do not make loud noises in the forest from the start of the trek to the end.
  2. DO NOT leave any rubbish in the park. Take out with you whatever you bring in.
  3. When you approach where the gorillas are, the guide will inform you to get your cameras ready for the 60 minutes moment.

When you are with the gorillas

After trekking and you finally get to the gorillas, here are the rules and regulations that you should follow,

  1. Maintain a 7 meters (21 ft) distance from the gorillas.
  2. DO NOT eat, drink or smoke during the trek. This is not allowed
  3. If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn away from the gorillas, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans. It’s been a successful conservation story, please ensure you do not cause any harm to this increasing population. 
  4. Only 1 hour is what you can spend in the presence of the mountain gorillas.  After the end of your 60 minutes with the mountain gorillas, no matter how great the experience is please leave the gorillas to continue with their day. 
  5. Do not use flash photography. You are allowed to take your memorable pictures however, it is not allowed to use flash photography. 
  6. Do not touch the gorillas. Keep a 7 meters distance and treat these as wild animals. 
  7. After spending your time with the gorillas keep your voices low until you are at least 200 m away. 
  8. When gorillas feel uneasy, they can easily charge which is a reaction to fight and keep away their enemy. In case the gorillas charge, your guide will guide you on what to do and this includes you to crouch down slowly, look away from the gorilla and let it pass. This will make it see you as no threat and will definitely move away. 
  9. When you are near the group, keep in a tight group. 

These gorilla trekking rules are meant to keep the gorillas safe, healthy and comfortable in their natural habitat.

Ensure to follow all of the rules imposed on the gorilla trekking activity for your personal good and conservation of these elusive species that are just being saved from extinction.