Bwindi gorilla trekking dos and don’ts
Bwindi gorilla trekking dos and don’ts: Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the most famous park when it comes to mountain gorilla trekking in the world. This is because the park is where you meet the highest population of mountain gorillas in the southwestern part of Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the main done activity in this park done by travelers that are 15 years and above. Before trekkers in Bwindi go for gorilla trekking, they must learn about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity from the park wardens. These help them to trek mountain gorillas safely and come back safely with smiles. Bwindi gorilla trekking dos and don’ts include the following.
Bwindi gorilla trekking can only be done by those that have valid gorilla trekking permits. Without this permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority, you will not be allowed to trek. All people with gorilla trekking permits in their names are believed to be above the age of 15 years which is the minimum age for gorilla trekking.
Trekkers with transmitted diseases are not allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi. These are checked by the park wardens on the morning of briefing and if a trekker is found having flu or cough, they will not trek instead, they can choose another day on their safari or get refunded part of the money.
All people going for gorilla trekking in Bwindi must sanitize their hands or wash them with soap and clean water before heading into the jungle.
Each gorilla family is trekked by a maximum number of 8 trekkers and these are chosen by the park wardens based on their physical fitness and age.
Trekkers with excess luggage are allowed to hire porters at a fee from the briefing point before heading to the jungle so that they help them carry their luggage.
All trekkers must follow the armed ranger guides throughout the whole trek and this helps them not to get lost in the jungle or get attacked by dangerous wild animals.
Trekkers must keep their voices low while searching for mountain gorillas and this enables them to listen to the information from the armed ranger guides.
If a trekker wants to ease themselves, they must inform the armed ranger guides to dig for them a whole which must be covered after.
Trekkers must not litter in the jungle they can keep their rubbish with them and look for bins out of the jungle where they can through them.
The moment you see the mountain gorilla family assigned, you must keep your voice so low and then keep a distance of 7 meters away from the members.
Trekkers are always given 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas
If you want to cough while around the mountain gorillas, put on your mask and turn away from the mountain gorillas.
Trekkers are not allowed to eat around mountain gorillas or even give them food because this can cause the transmission of diseases.
Avoid looking directly in the eyes of the mountain gorillas because if you do, they might charge. When a mountain gorilla charges at you simply crouch down slowly and try eating grass.
Photographing mountain gorillas with cameras that have no flashlight is not allowed when around gorillas.
To enjoy gorilla trekking well in Bwindi gorilla park, wear a long-sleeved pant, a long-sleeved shirt, waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, gardening gloves, a pair of binoculars, a hat, a rain jacket, and have a light backpack where you will put things such as drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, facemask and sanitizer among others.
The gorilla trekking experience
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi starts early in the morning in Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo regions. The activity starts with a briefing from the park wardens who teach about the dos and don’ts of the activity like we have showed you above. Groups not exceeding 8 people are made to trek in a single group and the trekkers are led by armed ranger guides.
The armed ranger guides talk with the trackers to see where the mountain gorillas could be and then they use the simplest routes. The search for mountain gorillas could take 2-7 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family and the speed of the trekkers. The trekkers get opportunities to see different park mammals, primates, and birds during the search. The moment mountain gorillas are spotted, armed ranger guides give 1 hour to the trekkers to be around these apes watching them daily activities, taking photos, recording videos and you will be able to learn about their behaviors.