The following Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations (as outlined in the printed brochure by the Uganda Wildlife Authority titled “Gorilla Rules”) would apply to anyone arranging a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda.
Before departing on your gorilla tracking
A habituated mountain gorilla group may only have up to 8 visitors each day. By doing this, the gorillas’ behavioral disruption and chance of contracting diseases spread by humans are reduced.
Be sure to wash your hands before seeing the gorillas.
On the way to the gorillas
- Please speak quietly at all times. Also, the abundant birdlife and other species in the forest will be visible to you.
- DON’T dispose of trash in the park. You should take everything you bring into the forest with you when you leave.
- You will be brought to the location where the guides saw the gorillas the day prior. From there, you can locate them by following the gorilla’s track. Be on the lookout for gorilla nesting locations along the journey!
- The guides will warn you to get ready when you come close to the mountain gorillas.
When you are with the gorillas:
- Try to maintain a constant 7-meter (21 foot) distance from the gorillas. The group will be more at ease the further back you are.
- When you are close to the gorillas, you must remain in a small group.
- Maintain a low voice at all times. It is acceptable to query the guide, though.
- Avoid smoking, drinking, and eating when you are close to the gorillas. Eating or drinking will inevitably raise the chance that food, drink, or droplets will fall, increasing the possibility that diseases will be transmitted.
- The gorillas occasionally charge. Observe the example provided by the guide (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Avoid attempting to flee because doing so will increase the risk.
- No flash photography is allowed! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- The 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.
- After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.