Why do I need a mask for chimpanzee trekking?

Why do I need a mask for chimpanzee trekking : Since the covid19 global outbreak a lot standard operating procedures have changed for human interactions to help minimize the spread of the deadly coronavirus and these operating procedures include but not limited to wearing a face mask, routine washing or sanitizing of hands, maintaining the recommended social distance during social gatherings among others.

These operating procedures as stated were mainly created to facilitate safe human interactions even in the midst of the prevailing pandemic. However since other development sectors have resumed work and also have some human interactions, there is a wonder if it’s necessary for humans to observe these procedures as they interact with other creatures that are not human.

One of the sectors that have human interactions with other creatures is the tourism sector; and since the sector reopened for tourists a lot of questions have been asked about observing the different SOPs during safaris and any tourism activity. The most common question recently has been, why does one need to wear a mask for chimpanzee trekking.

Well, IUCN experts state that since chimpanzees share between 95 – 98% of their DNA with human beings, chimpanzees like humans are at risk of catching any disease including the corona virus from humans during the chimpanzee trekking interactions. This is because the shared DNA makes the chimpanzee very susceptible to most the disease and conditions that human beings suffer.

chimpanzee trekking
chimpanzee trekking

It’s because of that reason that experts from IUCN recommend the all persons planning on trekking the famous chimpanzee in this pandemic season, should wear masks during the trekking activity to help reduce the chances of the coronavirus spreading to the chimpanzees. Hence the reason why you need to wear a mask during chimpanzee trekking is to protect the chimpanzees from catching the coronavirus from you; and also to protect yourself from catching any disease the chimpanzee may have that can be easily spread to you.

On a chimpanzee trekking experience conservation of the chimpanzees is extremely important but also a trekker staying safe and health is also important.

Furthermore during this covid19 season, the IUCN also recommends that on top of wearing a mask during the chimpanzee trekking activity, chimpanzee trekkers should also observe all the other covid19 standard operating procedures that include maintaining a distance of about 10 meters between the trekker and the chimpanzees, washing hands with soap or sanitising hands and not trekking if they are suffering from the coronavirus disease.

It’s very important that before the trekking experience the trekkers take a covid19 test, to ascertain their covid19 status and if they have a positive covid19  test; its advised that the trekker aborts the trekking experience for their own healthy safety and the chimpanzee’s healthy safety.

chimpanzee trekking
chimpanzee trekking

Also even without covid19 pandemic, trekkers are advised not to take on a trekking experience when they are sick or have a communicable disease that can easily be passed on to the chimpanzees. Other guidelines to follow during the chimpanzee trekking experience include not feeding the chimpanzees, not touching the chimpanzees, not using flash photography while taking pictures of the chimpanzees, not littering the forest which is the chimpanzee habitat, not doing anything that can irritate the chimpanzees and disorganise their peace among other things.

Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most famous tourist activities in Uganda coming second to mountain gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking experiences in Uganda are done almost throughout the year and they are done mostly in Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest and Kalinzu forest. The chimpanzee trekking experience is both adventurous and fun filled and also very fulfilling at the sight of these famous primates.

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