Gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park is the most prominent Eco friendly activity. Rules and regulations have been put in place for the safety of both the gorilla and the trekkers, in addition to guarantee the existence of the gorilla and adverse environment impact.
An encounter with these endangered giant species is an intimacy. The silver back male is always gentle unless provoked, but the young ones are usually playful and in many cases they attempt to touch. They are attracted to bright colors especially yellow so it’s advisable not to put on a yellow color on trekking.
Make sure that you attend the pre-tracking orientation where you will be grouped and briefed on your way of conduct and when with the gorillas.
Make sure that you have a gorilla trekking permit.
Be in good reasonable shape or health and a level of fitness is required for the gorilla group. It shouldn’t necessary be an athletic fitness or strength just good heath because the guides will walk you through at a reasonable pace
Have no communicable disease or cold, flu, TB, diarrhea and any other as long as it’s in this category.
A maximum number of 8 visitors are only allowed to visit a group because more of this will emotionally upset the mountain gorilla. This also avoids exposure to illnesses
Always wash your hand before you go for the trekking.
ON THE WAY TO THE GORILLAS.
Do not leave any rubbish in the park.
You will be taken where the guides observed the gorillas the previous day, then follow the gorillas step to there nest.
As you approach them, the guides will alert you.
Your voice should be kept low.
WHEN YOU ARE WITH THE GORILLAS
It’s very important that you must follow the instruction of your guide because they are always with the gorillas understanding them very well. So you should remain in a compact group behind the guide.
Always stay 7 meter away from the gorilla as this helps to limit the spread of disease since they are susceptible to human diseases.
Stay together as a group when you are in the presence of the gorillas to reduce potential confusion of the gorillas
Submissiveness is required in case the male silver back charges. You shouldn’t attempt to run away, just remain where you are, do not panic and look down in case it stares at you.
Never make any sudden movements or loud noise in the presence of a gorilla. Your voice should always be keep low until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas, though this can not avoid you from asking questions from the guide.
Do not attempt to move when the gorilla is passing wait for it to pass first.
Your movements should be slowly and careful, do not point or wave your arms in the presence of gorillas.
Do not imitate the male gorilla chest beating as this will create chaos.
In case a young gorilla approaches because they are playful, do not attempt to touch them because this can create a threatening situation with the dominant male.
Never use a flash camera when photographing the gorilla this is seen as aggressive by the gorilla. Besides special photographic and filming can be organized when arranged especially for commercial use and documentaries but will require accreditation card unlike normal tourists. If photographing using film, 400-800 ASA film is recommendable.
Concerning health, you must be physically fit and mentally prepared to endure several hours walk in difficult and rough terrain.
Only visitors in good health will be permitted to track gorillas as they are susceptible to common colds and other respiratory diseases transmitted by humans
In case you are sick let it be known and be removed from the gorilla tracking team. An alternative gorilla trekking opportunity will be arranged or money referred back to you
If you need to cough, sneeze, blow your nose, move your head away from the gorilla in order to keep the risk of infection minimal
In case you need to go to the toilet, ask the ranger guide to dig you a hole of 30cm deep and ensure its filled after you have finished using it.
Environmental conservation is important so it’s prohibited to destroy any vegetation unnecessary or to make open fires in the national parks and reserves they are strictly protected.
All visitors must carry their own liter with them out of the park reserves leaving nothing behind as these can harbor diseases or other contaminants
One should not collect any souvenirs from the pack.
No smoking, eating food or drinking of any beverages is allowed in the presence of the gorillas. Its only permitted within 200 meters of a gorilla family.
The recommendable age limit is 15 years and above so any one below that should not bother.
It’s very important to know that the limited number of eight persons per group at a length of maximum one hour makes it hard or impossible to do gorilla trekking on personal basis.
WHAT TO BRING ON TREKKING.
A small, light weight frame less water proof back for your packing.
Alight rain jacket since is usually rains, long sleeved shirts to avoid scratches by branches, gloves made of cotton to pull yourself up on branches, proper light waterproof hiking boot to support your ankles, thick stocks, waterproof squash able hat
A bottle of water like 2 litters, energy bars or other high energy snacks for the hikes
Binoculars or one con be hire
Spare batteries and an extra memory card for your digital camera.
A walking stick can be purchased and you can hire a porter at a less price to carry your luggage.