Gorilla tourism is one of the well monitored and regulated form of responsible tourism. There are strict rules and guidelines that tourists taking gorilla safaris must adhere to! These regulations are the same over the three destinations where mountain gorilla trekking is conducted i.e Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
Protecting the Gorillas is the first rule; this means that if the tourists is sick or has any infections shouldn’t be allowed to meet gorillas. Diseases like Cholera, Cough, and Tuberculosis among others can easily be transmitted from human to Gorillas and the reverse is true.
Manners are recommended- always turn away your face while coughing or sneezing and remember to cover the nose as well as the mouth to help reduce on the bacteria transfer to the Gorillas.
There are strict number of tourists that are allowed to visit a gorilla family in Congo. The number is based on the carrying capacity of the area where gorilla watching is to be conducted. There are groups that allow 4 travelers and others that allow 6 travelers!
How to Behave While with the Gorillas
Don’t over stay with the gorillas- End ever to stay for the only recommended time with the gorillas; it’s usually one hour that is allowed. This is done to avoid over stressing Gorillas as they can charge to turn harmful to human beings.
7 meters distance is recommended between Gorillas and the human beings. This is done to overcome the spread of diseases and harming of human being. Gorillas are wild animals and can easily catch diseases from humans.
Well behaving while trekking: the rangers always advise the trekkers to keep noise levels as low as possible, avoid pointing or using flash light when taking photos of the Gorillas.
Adequate preparation, always carry water proof and warm gears for the cool conditions with in the mountains since it sometimes gets wet within the forest and comfortable walking shoes are of a great advantage.
Avoid smoking and no snacks- Visitors are not allowed to drink or eat as well as smoking during gorilla trekking experience.
For Your Safety
Always wash your hands before engaging in the gorilla trekking.
Do not touch any Gorilla at any time; always keep hands to yourself to avoid direct contact.
Do not litter within the forest and keep the trash to yourself
Always remain calm– Avoid direct eye contact in case the gorilla charges and stay calm until it moves away or you can reduce the height when you discover that the Gorilla has charged.
Toilet manners: A ranger will be willing to dig a hole for you and after make sure it’s fully covered.