Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rules
The same rules apply to gorilla parks of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC with slight variations. Gorilla trekking start from the Park Headquarters with a briefing every morning at 0730hrs. As you prepare yourself for a gorilla trekking expedition, please take note of the rules and regulations below.
- No one with communicable disease like cough, Flu, Diarrhea etc is allowed to enter the park.
- Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, do not surround them.
- Do not get closer than 7 meters (21 feet) to the gorillas.
- Do not use flashes while photographing the gorillas.
- Do not eat or smoke when with the gorillas or within a distance of 200 meters from the gorillas.
- Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
- Burry all human feces a minimum of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly covered.
- Do not leave litter. All litter must be carried out of the park and disposed off properly.
- No person under 15 years is allowed to track gorillas.
- Do not make loud noise or move suddenly.
- Maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
- Do not spit on vegetation or soil while in the park, use your hankie or other garment.
- Your group must not be more than 8 tourists and must all be aged 15 years plus.
- Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning and once a day.
Gorilla Tracking Equipment List:
- A small, lightweight, frameless, waterproof back/day pack.
- Light, waterproof hiking or walking boots or shoes with treaded soles.
- Thick, high socks.
- High speed film 400 ASA minimum, 800 ASA recommended (no flash photography allowed on the track), fast film, binoculars are recommended/
- Long pants (jeans/khakis) and a long sleeved shirt.
- Leather or heavy canvas (gardening-style) gloves to grip vegetation (gardening gloves may be advised).
- Waterproof rain pants, a rain suit or poncho with hood.
- Moisture wicking undergarments, lightweight wool socks, long-sleeved shirt.
- Sturdy trousers, sunglasses.
- Sunscreen, a sun hat, a breathable lightweight rain poncho or parka with a rain hat.
- Thick sweaters not necessary on the trek, as it gets very hot during tracking. Best to have layers of clothing, as temperatures tend to change.
- A waterproof, squash-able hat.
- You may ask for a walking stick if needed.
First Aid Kit: including anti-diarrhea medicine, rehydration sachets, aspirin, cold medication, antiseptic cream, band-aids, motion sickness pills, lip balm, eye drops and personal medication
In addition to the equipment list for gorilla tracking, the most practical items/clothes to pack for an East Africa trip include:
- Shirt with long sleeves for protection from the sun and from mosquitoes.
- Shorts or a light skirt.
- Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days.
- Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives or if you are going to the western or eastern mountainous areas.
- Comfortable walking shoes, hiking boots, waterproof sandals.
- Sunglasses, hat, insect repellent - essentials!
- Binoculars and a camera are a must.
- Tracksuit - good for sleeping when in the mountains.
- Light, compact raincoat is vital for Uganda's rainy climate.
- Swimsuit, as most hotels/lodges have swimming pools.
- Towel, torch and sleeping bag for camping/hiking safaris.