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Gorilla Trekking Guidelines

Gorilla Trekking Guidelines

Gorilla trekking is considered a lifetime and a memorable experience to those that have had a chance to meet these majestic creatures in their natural bedding. The gorillas, which are human-like creatures found to be sharing almost 98% of their DNA with human beings, only remained in the Greatlakes regions specifically in the massive Volcanoes mountain shared between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla trekking means travelling to one of the above countries, by a permit to allow you to visit these endangered species to see how they live, feed and behave in a family like organization as human beings do.

Gorilla trekking activities are very adventurous, and challenging. Before packing for your gorilla trekking adventure we bring you to your attention the following guidelines to help you prepare in advance. You can not be allowed to trek gorillas if you have Covid-19 or any other infectious disease.

Who is allowed to trek gorillas

The minimum age for trekking gorillas in all the countries has been set at 15 years old and above. A maximum of 8 people are assigned to 1 group of gorillas but also a private gorilla trekking is organized on special cost.

Gorilla Trekking Guidelines

The choice of clothes

Gorilla trekking is not a trip to a park for a picnic, it takes some forethought and planning, especially when it comes as to what to wear and bring while going on a gorilla trek. The right Clothing and Footwear on a Gorilla Trek protects you from Nettles, Thorns, Branches, pesky flies, soldier ants, spiders, and more.  You are not hiking on comfortable paths, but small trails or “no trails at all”, some of them freshly blazed by the Rangers, you have to wear the right clothing for your protection against thorns, nettles, underbrush, insects including soldier ants, flies and at rare times even wasps.

Food and Drinks

Gorilla trekking is a physically demanding activity that involves hiking the high mountain to meet the gorillas. It may take between 2 to 6 hours depending on the location of an assigned gorilla family and the speed of the group you are trekking with as you should keep together. So you need to pack for some water and snacks to keep you refreshed along the trekking. You may even take a packed food with you. Do not leave any rubbish or the rest of your food in the park, keep it with you until you return back and get a dustbin.

Behavior to observe when you are with gorillas

When you have met gorillas, you are requested to observe at least 5 meters distance with gorillas. Though the gorillas may sometimes not respect this rule, you are requested to avoid contact. you are also requested to keep a low voice when you are on gorilla trekking activity. You will not be allowed to eat or drink in the presence of gorillas, the guide gives time to get refreshment when close to meet gorillas.

It is normal that a gorilla may act aggressively, in this case you need to follow the guide’s instructions and example like crouching down slowly, not to look directly in the eyes of the gorillas when it is agitated and wait for the animals to pass. Do not attempt to run.

silverback gorilla in Rwanda

Taking pictures

When you are trekking gorillas, you are given one hour of staying with them once you have found them. This is a very good time to take as many pictures as you wish. You are therefore advised to take with you a good camera or good telephone. You are not allowed to use a flash when taking pictures as it can disturb gorillas and respond aggressively.

How to get prepared for the gorilla trekking

Well, before the gorilla trekking, you will have a briefing about does and don’ts at the park headquarters before starting the trekking. A park guide will be assigned to guide you all along the trekking. Also park range will have gone to see the location of gorillas before you start the trekking and advise your guide on the direction to take. On the way you, don’t hesitate to ask questions to your guide if you need to know something in the park just for information.

Booking a gorilla trekking permit

Gorilla trekking permits are booked, paid and processed through an online system. Make sure to reserve your gorilla permit as early as possible as the permits are limited in number and may get finished on your desired date of the trekking. All you need to do is to work with a tour operator who will advise you on how, when and how much you need to save for your gorilla trekking adventure as well as some other activities you can combine with, during your stay. We at Unique Rwanda Vacations Experts will make sure that every single detail is taken into consideration to make your gorilla trekking a memorable experience for a lifetime experience.

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