Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda 2021
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda 2021: Mountain gorilla trekking is one the main tourist activities in Uganda that attracts more than 10,000 people into the gorilla jungles yearly to see the mountain gorillas. The year 2020, has been harsh on tourism so most gorilla lovers have not had a chance to visit these mountain gorillas in their habitats because most countries across the world were on a lockdown.
However, since almost all the countries in the world have had their lockdowns lifted and travelling across countries has resumed, there is hope there is a chance for you to see the mountain gorillas once again especially in 2021.
And as you plan your mountain gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda in 2021, these are some of the mountain gorilla trekking rules that you will have to adhere to ensure a safe and exciting experience in the mountain gorilla jungle.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two National parks, thus Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The activity in both parks in is a whole day activity and it’s done in groups of 8 people who trek the mountainous forests under the guidance of a mountain gorilla ranger to see one mountain gorilla family.
So the rules that will have to be adhered to during a mountain gorilla trekking experience include but not limited to:-
- As has always been, you will have to book you mountain gorilla trekking permit months in advance to be sure you have slot for trekking the gorillas when you come. Mountain gorilla trekking permits are usually purchased three months in advance and they currently cost 700 USD and the months of December 2020 and March 2021 you can purchase this permit at UWA festive discounted rate of 400 USD.
- Since the COVID19 pandemic hit the world, keeping ourselves and each other safe from catching the virus is the major priority even as we travel and interact; mountain gorillas share over 98% DNA with human beings so it’s easy to spread the virus to these animals; so it’s for that reason that in 2021 you will be required to have tested negative for COVID19 at least 72 hours prior to your mountain gorilla trekking experience.
- For your trekking experience you will now be required to have face masks and gloves as additional trekking gear for precaution.
- If you feel sick before the trek, you will not be allowed to take part of the trekking experience.
- You will still have a briefing before you start the trekking experience at the park headquarters and after the briefing you will then enter the forest for your gorilla trekking experience.
- Before you enter the forest you will have to thoroughly wash your hands with soap.
- You will keep 2 meter distance from your group members even as you trek in the forest. This is because on the climb and descend, you will not be putting on your mask. It’s not advisable to do physical work with a mask on.
- When you get to the gorillas you will be required to put on your masks and you observe them. This will reduce the chances of you spreading any virus to the mountain gorillas.
- You will also be required to keep a distance of 7meters between you and the mountain gorillas while you’re in their presence.
- When you are with the mountain gorillas and within the forest, please endeavour to keep low voices because noises scares and irritates the mountain gorillas. The other advantage to this you will also see birds on trees and butterflies.
- To continue the conservation of the mountain gorillas, it’s apparent that the forest is kept free from litter, so you will be required to not litter the forest at all cost.
- While in the mountain gorilla presence please avoid eating or drinking and smoking. This will help not to distract the gorillas’ attention and cause them to behave in a distractive manner. Also prevents littering anything that the gorillas may pick up later, that may be harmful to them.
- Don’t touch the gorillas even if they come near to you; touching them may agitate them and cause them to fight you. When the gorillas get agitated and angry it’s hard to calm them down and they are fatal fighters. In a nutshell just don’t touch them.
- Also it would be nice to minimise your gestures because different gestures may mean something totally different for the gorillas and this may cause the gorillas to lose their peace.
- Don’t use flash photography when taking pictures of the gorillas, flashes irritate the gorillas.
- Don’t cough and sneeze directly to the gorillas
Gorilla conservation is the main priority even as you trek do please observe all the given guidelines while you’re on your mountain gorilla trekking experience in 2021.