Advice & Rules for Gorilla trackers
When tracking gorillas, avoid bright colours and bright white, muted colours are best – greens, browns, blues etc.
You are advised to wash your hands before you start your gorilla trekking trip.
Do not leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back with you.
You will be taken to where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trial to find them. Look out for the gorillas nesting sites along the way.
When you approach the gorillas, the guides will inform you when to get your cameras ready.
Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
When you are with the gorillas:
-Keep a minimum of 7 meters (21feet) from the gorillas but if they come closer you have no option. This is to protect gorillas from human disease transmission but remember they are wild animals they don’t know any boundary so when they come closer don’t run.
-Do not look the gorillas directly into the eyes, always keep away the direct eye contact with the gorillas.
-You must stay in a tight group when you are near the gorillas.
-Keep your voices low at all times.
-Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
-Don’t point or wave your arms-this can be seen as a threat. Move slowly.
-If approached by a gorilla, back away slowly to keep 5m separation.
-Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example crouch down slowly, do not look at the gorillas in the eyes, and wait for the animals to pass. Do not attempt to run away. Running away will increase the risk of attack.
-Flash photography is not permitted, when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
-Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
-The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the gorillas is one hour to limit their disturbances. If the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will end the visit early.
-After the visit, keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.
General Health Rules.
-Remember gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following are rules to minimize the risk your visit might pose to them:
-Respect the limit imposed on the time that visitors are allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
-If you are feeling ill, or have a contagious disease when you are already at the park, please volunteer to stay behind. -An alternative visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money as per gorilla reservation guideline.
-If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or virus.
-Always stay 4 meters away from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
-Do not leave any rubbish e.g. food wrappers in the park.
-If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide, to dig you a hole. Please fill it when you have finished.
Recommended clothing list…
Strong walking boots with ankle support for gorilla tracking.
· Relevant socks
· Light shoes
· Cotton or gortex trousers
· long sleeved shirts for trekking
· light jacket
· water proof clothing (not bright colours)
· hat for sun and or rain
· plastic bags for cameras and film
Be prepared for cool, dry, warm, wet weather when trekking Gorillas. Gorilla tracking can be a long and strenuous walk, so go prepared.
Wear shoes with good traction, suitable for steep muddy slopes.
Carry rain gear, sunscreen and a hat, as the weather is unpredictable.
Carry water and food.
Carry binoculars-you’ll see much more! You can hire them at the park office.
When taking photos, remember your subjects are black animals in dim light, and flash is not allowed. Use a fast film (400-800 ASA); overexpose if possible.