Congo Gorilla Trekking Rules
Congo gorilla trekking rules are more the same are those that are given elsewhere where gorilla trekking is done, namely Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking rules are guidelines that travellers on a gorilla trekking adventure follow for responsible tourism and conservation of the gorillas as well as their natural habitat. Gorillas are a very rare ape species with mountain gorillas in particular being endangered. Gorillas share about 98% DNA with humans, making them very susceptible to human infections. To protect the gorillas, the gorilla trekkers as well as their natural habitat therefore, various gorilla trekking rules were put in place. These are shared with the trekkers during the briefing, but your tour operator could also do so as you plan your Congo gorilla trekking safari just to prepare you well enough. Below are the Congo gorilla trekking rules that travellers are expected to follow;
Before departing on your Congo gorilla trekking adventure;
- Do not embark on gorilla trekking if you sick of mostly communicable diseases like flu and cough. Should you wake up sick on the day of gorilla trekking, please volunteer to not proceed. An alternative gorilla trekking day can be made available for you, or given a refund
- A maximum of only 8 persons can visit a single Congo gorilla group that is habituated and available for gorilla trekking, per day. This is to minimise behavioural disturbances that they may get stressed out. Having a maximum of 8 persons per gorilla group per day also minimises risk of gorillas’ exposure to human-related infections.
- Persons below 15 years do not take part in Congo gorilla trekking, only those 15 and above can do so. This is to prevent spread of childhood diseases to the gorillas that are very susceptible.
- Wash your hands thoroughly well before you embark on gorilla trekking.
While trekking the jungles in search of the gorillas;
- Always keep your voices low when speaking to each other. This is to not scare away the birds and other park animals or even have your sounds misinterpreted by the various animals.
- Do not litre the park. Carry with you all your rubbish including food wraps until you are back at the park headquarters where you will dispose of it.
- When you are soon approaching the gorillas, the rangers and guides will let you know such that you may get ready to encounter.
When you have encountered the gorillas;
- A 7-meter distance away from the gorillas should be maintained at all times. The further back you are is the more relaxed the gorilla group will be.
- Stay in your group at all times. Do not distance yourself from them or even wonder around alone.
- Do not look straight in the eyes of the gorillas. This makes them uncomfortable and can get stressed out and thus charge at you since they feel threatened.
- Do not touch the gorillas.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke near the gorillas.
- Should you feel the urge to cough or sneeze while in presence of the gorillas, make sure to turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth to minimise the spread of the bacteria or viruses.
- Do not use flash cameras during photography. The flash light causes the gorillas to become stressed out.
- When a gorilla charges at you, follow your guide’s example that usually includes crouching down slowly making no eye contact with it as you patiently wait for it to pass. Please do not be tempted to run because this only makes the gorilla charge at you the more.
- Spend only one hour maximum with the gorillas. If the gorillas however become nervous before the end of the stipulated one hour, the visit can be cut short.
- When retreating after the encounter with the gorillas, do so in a less noisy and hasty way least you have the gorillas alarmed.
- Should you need to go to the toilet while in the jungle, have your guide dig for you a hole with his panga. The hole should be at least 30cm deep and make sure to properly cover it after use.
With these Congo gorilla trekking rules, you are sure to enjoy gorilla trekking whilst endeavouring to conserve and protect not only the gorillas but also the habitat. For a successful Congo gorilla trekking safari, endeavour to carry comfortable hiking shoes, rain gear and other essential gorilla trekking gear. Also remember to book your Congo gorilla trekking permit way in advance least you miss out on an opportunity to encounter the gorillas on your preferred day. For more information about Congo gorilla trekking, get in touch with us and we will be more than glad to provide it.