Gorilla Tracking Notes

Mountain gorillas live in three national parks in Uganda and Rwanda, in Uganda they live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga, while in Rwanda they are found in Parc National Des Volcans (PNV).

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rules

The same rules apply to gorilla parks of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC with slight variations. Gorilla trekking start from the Park Headquarters with a briefing every morning at 0730hrs. As you prepare yourself for a gorilla trekking expedition, please take note of the rules and regulations below.

  1. No one with communicable disease like cough, Flu, Diarrhea etc is allowed to enter the park.
  2. Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, do not surround them.
  3. Do not get closer than 7 meters (21 feet) to the gorillas.
  4. Do not use flashes while photographing the gorillas.
  5. Do not eat or smoke when with the gorillas or within a distance of 200 meters from the gorillas.
  6. Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
  7. Burry all human feces a minimum of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly covered.
  8. Do not leave litter. All litter must be carried out of the park and disposed off properly.
  9. No person under 15 years is allowed to track gorillas.
  10. Do not make loud noise or move suddenly.
  11. 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.
  12. Do not spit on vegetation or soil while in the park, use your hankie or other garment.
  13. Your group must not be more than 8 tourists and must all be aged 15 years plus.
  14. Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning and once a day.

Gorilla Tracking Equipment List:

  • A small, lightweight, frameless, waterproof back/day pack.
  • Light, waterproof hiking or walking boots or shoes with treaded soles.
  • Thick, high socks.
  • High speed film 400 ASA minimum, 800 ASA recommended (no flash photography allowed on the track), fast film, binoculars are recommended/
  • Long pants (jeans/khakis) and a long sleeved shirt.
  • Leather or heavy canvas (gardening-style) gloves to grip vegetation (gardening gloves may be advised).
  • Waterproof rain pants, a rain suit or poncho with hood.
  • Moisture wicking undergarments, lightweight wool socks, long-sleeved shirt.
  • Sturdy trousers, sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen, a sun hat, a breathable lightweight rain poncho or parka with a rain hat.
  • Thick sweaters not necessary on the trek, as it gets very hot during tracking. Best to have layers of clothing, as temperatures tend to change.
  • A waterproof, squash-able hat.
  • You may ask for a walking stick if needed.

First Aid Kit: including anti-diarrhea medicine, rehydration sachets, aspirin, cold medication, antiseptic cream, band-aids, motion sickness pills, lip balm, eye drops and personal medication